Located in Millersburg, Ohio, Country View Woodworking is the largest Amish-owned furniture manufacturing company in Holmes County, employing 42 people. Roy Miller, a former cabinetmaker who saw an increasing demand for quality furniture, founded the company in 1993, and it has expanded such that Roy, along with his four grown sons, now have 12 independent shops producing furniture for them.
The Amish furniture industry was born when retired farmers began making pieces for themselves and word about their craftsmanship spread. When the farm economy began to decline, many of the Ohio Amish saw an opportunity to translate their skills into this new livelihood. Today, Holmes County has between 450 and 500 individual wood shops. In fact, the area is believed to be home to the largest gathering of hardwood furniture makers and retailers in the nation.
Sustainability is also a cornerstone of Country View Woodworking’s philosophy. Ninety percent of the furniture is made of red oak, cherry, maple, quarter-sawn white oak or hickory from Ohio forests. The company plants two to three trees to replace each tree that’s cut. In addition, the company uses hand tools and equipment powered by generators, as is customary with the Amish community.
The furniture business has now become a way for life for this Amish community, and its success is based on the strong work ethic of its members. In fact, the woodworking trend is so prevalent, more than 3,000 now work in the industry in Holmes County alone.
It has become a way of life now for the community, its success based on a solid foundation of a strong work ethic. “Most of us have only an eighth-grade education,” said Roy, “but we are successful because we work very hard, and we surround ourselves with business people to help us understand how to become more successful using modern business metrics.”
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