There are lots of furniture factories in Chickasaw County but few that have been around since 1976.
Dixieland Furniture Manufacturing opened 37 years ago making sofas, loveseats and chairs and has found their niche in a industry with lots of ups and downs. The company continues to make upholstered furniture at the factory east of Houston.
“We have found what we do best and work hard to stay in touch with our customers and get them what they want,” said Mary Holder, co-owner of Dixieland. “We have a contract with a company in Houston, Texas that markets our product. We don’t do retail.”
That business plan allows Dixieland to focus on making quality furniture.
“We still make the sofas, loveseats and chairs that we have made for years,” said Holder. “When times got hard a few years ago we started making headboards for beds that have padding on them. It’s done well for us and helped us keep employees working.”
The bulk of Dixieland furniture is used to furnish apartment complexes, military base housing and college dormitories.
Holder said the jobs are big and require a lot of the same style and type furniture at one time.
“We assemble everything here and ship it to Texas where they get it to the customer,” said Holder. “The busiest time of year for us is April to August.”
Dixieland no longer has a frame shop and has contracted that work out to a company in Thorn, keeping jobs and dollars in Chickasaw County. Having a major supplier locally also allows Dixieland to respond quickly to market needs.
Holder also pointed to experienced workers as the key to Dixieland’s success.
“Our plant manager Tim Finn and our assistant plant manager Randy Allen have been with us since they got out of high school,” said Holder. “It takes special skills to do this job and do it right.
Holder said Dixieland currently employs about 20 and that number goes up and down as production demands.”
The price of upholstered furniture has seen a rise over the past few months and Holder hopes that is reflective of an increased demand in the retail market.
“This business is much more competitive than it was just a few short years ago,” said Holder. “The upholstered furniture market is also much more global than most people think.”
But Holder said Dixieland’s philosophy of quality materials put together in a quality fashion by quality employees helps them be a contender.
Local Focus is a regular business feature of the Chickasaw Journal. Locally owned businesses wanting to be included in Local Focus should call the Chickasaw Journal at 456-3771.