In the 1930's, when Martin Fainman was joined by Harry Bergman as partner in the Butler Specialty Company, it was difficult to imagine that the nascent organization would see the twenty-first century...
In the 1930's, when Martin Fainman was joined by Harry Bergman as partner in the Butler Specialty Company, it was difficult to imagine that the nascent organization would see the twenty-first century, let alone survive the decade. Founded in the midst of the Depression era, Butler faced tough competition and limited demand. Although some of its early products (including radio benches -- a decorative bench on which people would sit and listen to their radios) have gone the way of the buggy whip, the company has survived and thrived by focusing on quality and by continually updating its merchandising mix to suit current home fashion trends.
Butler Specialty Company continues to operate today from its 135,000 square foot headquarters in Chicago. At one time, this building housed a bustling manufacturing operation. However, in the late 70's, Butler began to find more efficient sources for its production offshore. Today, Butler's headquarters serves as the center for quality control, operations, and warehousing.
"Our company really changed about eight years ago. We decided not to compete against the promotional importers," said Burt Fainman, son of Martin Fainman and vice-chairman of Butler. "We foresaw the direction the market was moving and made a conscious effort to reinvent our company by enhancing our styling, materials, and craftsmanship. It was a risk we had to take at that time," he said.
That gamble has paid off well for the company. David Bergman, who is third generation, is currently Butler's President, overseeing the double-digit growth the company has enjoyed over the past few years. "We discovered a demand for better quality home accents and rededicated our organization to be able to serve the middle to upper level occasional furniture market," he said.
Burton Bergman, David's father and Chairman Of The Board agrees, "Our organization is unique because of its manufacturing roots. We are able to offer a higher value product because we understand and control the total process, from design to shipping." "Our quality assurance operation in Chicago is unequalled. We have the facilities and the know-how to perform more thorough inspections from inside out to insure the highest standards of quality," he said.
About six years ago, Butler introduced "Heritage," its upscale flagship line, which became an immediate success. "Heritage" incorporates fashion styling, hand carved details, and premium materials such as solid mahogany and fossil stone into an unparalleled collection of home accent pieces.
Today, Butler is known for its unique occasional furniture such as bombe chests, hand-painted consoles, distinctive secretaries, decorative tables, popular British-inspired game tables, and other fine occasional furniture.
During the April High Point Market, to celebrate its 70th anniversary, Butler is introducing an unprecedented number of new pieces in every collection.
Butler Specialty Company is located at 8200 S. South Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Phone: 800-799-2857 or 773-221-1200. Fax: 773-221-5892.
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