New Products lean toward clean, flowing lines and features new product categories such as lighting, accessories and wall décor.
Shop one of Robb & Stucky Interiors’ chic furniture showrooms in Florida, Texas, or Arizona, or Interior Accents Furniture Store in Honolulu.
Visit a high-end condominium complex in downtown Milwaukee…or the British West Indies…or Costa Rica…or the island of Anguilla.
Thumb through the Neiman Marcus catalog, or Horchow Collection, or Bloomingdales, or Gump Interiors.
Read “Essence” magazine, or “Creative Home,” “Bedroom & Bath,” “Boca Raton,” “Coastal Living Magazine,” “Phoenix Home & Garden,” or “Casa & Estilo Internacional.”
Book a room at the Polynesian Resort in Disney World, or a five-star hotel in Ecuador or maybe the Tradewinds Inn in Carmel, California.
What will you find in all these places?
You’ll find a little bit of Brookfield, Wisconsin. And a LOT of John and Dori McKearn.
The couple owns J.D. Chamberlain, an accent furniture company that John McKearn defines as, above all, “Fun, fresh and design-forward.”
Headquartered in Brookfield, J.D. Chamberlain designs and manufactures upscale furnishings crafted from the finest woods, exotic veneers, intricate metals, supple leathers and other natural materials. To that end, the McKearn’s travel the world.
“We've found there is simply no way to do this without getting sawdust on ourselves,” says John McKearn. “After narrowing our list to the very top tier of manufacturers and craftsmen, we personally spend months getting to know the people involved. We design our products utilizing unique materials and elegant lines, and then scour the world for the suppliers and artisans who do those things best.”
Apparently they’ve found them. J.D. Chamberlain has enjoyed double-digit sales growth since its launch in 2000--up 50 percent just last year. This year, Chamberlain became a top 100 vendor for Robb & Stucky Interiors, one of the most prestigious furniture retailers in the nation.
Despite the international globetrotting aspect of their business, the McKearns, who were both born and raised in Beloit, stay rooted in Wisconsin. “We enjoy the quality of life here,” says John McKearn. “And we believe that the life-long relationships we’ve established help us to remember who we are, what we’re about, and how much everything we do ultimately involves real people very much like those we love most.”
While John McKearn oversees the financial and marketing segments of J.D. Chamberlain, Dori McKearn handles the creative and sales end. Chamberlain represents the third "incarnation" of a design and sales venture that began as McKearn Enterprises in 1993, and encompasses the couple's more than 30 years of combined experience in the furniture industry.
The J.D. Chamberlain signature line was introduced in October of 2000, at the prestigious InterHall of the International Home Furnishing Center in High Point, North Carolina, considered the Mecca of the furniture industry. “Fine Furnishings International” said of their debut: “The McKearns introduced the Chamberlain line at the fall market in High Point to a buzz…it was clear the furniture was charming the crowd.”
“Our customers frequently tell us that they enjoy the eclectic nature of our furniture often using our products to add spice and originality to their overall design setting,” says Dori McKearn. “We like creating furniture that’s fresh, luxurious and comfortable and we get a big kick out of seeing the original and expressive ways our customers use these pieces to create environments uniquely their own.”
The McKearn’s are doing more original designs than ever before, and to great success. As from its inception, the line focuses on the use of diverse materials, textures and patterns, incorporated within fresh, functional designs. The fall line, to be introduced at High Point October 18, leans toward clean, flowing lines and features new product categories such as lighting, accessories and wall décor, along with the use of new materials like folded sea grass, richly patterned leather, solid brass, natural sea shells, arurog, horn, resin, faux bamboo iron, etc.
The McKearns eschew what Dori McKearn calls “matchy-matchy,” preferring eclectic pieces that accent a room. Pieces like the Leather Arorog Entertainment Center, The Medea Bar Chair or the Sunburst Accent Table.
“Buying a full bedroom or living room ‘set,’” says Dori McKearn, “is a little like a man buying only pre-packaged shirt and tie combinations, or a woman feeling she must match her earrings to her bracelet and necklace, or her purse to her shoes. No one should dictate what ‘goes together’ in your house.”
After all, what fun is that?
Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada. In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.