What is Organic Furniture?
We design furniture that is made with with high-quality ingredients, created by people who love their work, with full disclosure of the sourcing and origin of our materials.
Organic is the Best Word to Describe Our Furniture
My grandfather Ludwig Schimek was one of the first organic farmers in the country, but no one called it organic at the time -- it was just good old-fashioned farming like he learned from his father. He sent his crops off for testing in California and gave tours of his farmland, showing how you can grow quality food without petroleum-based additives.
My company Rising Design has led the way in bringing quality handmade furniture to a wide national market. Like my grandfather, we're not certified 'Organic' because we're ahead of the curve for our industry.
I decided to call my company Rising Design in honor of companies like Tom's Toothpaste and Amy's Organics — companies that were founded with deep values of quality and integrity.
We are Still Ahead of the Curve
We have a spectacular customer satisfaction rate of over 99%+, sustained over 19 years.
Our customers tell us why: It's because our furniture is so beautiful, bringing a harmonious and warm feeling to their home. It's because we treat our customers like guests in our home, going out of our way to assure their full satisfaction.
When we look at 'competitors' to Rising Design on the Internet, we find a surprising number of deceptive business practices.
Wood Descriptions: Many websites hide the fact that manufactured woods are extensively used in their furniture. Deception about the kind of wood being used is ubiquitous in the industry — just like it is with fish.
Most furniture available on the Internet is created with laminates, pressed boards, plywood, and other engineered 'wood'. This creates a profound difference in quality.
- Our furniture is created from 100% real hardwoods, and is crafted by people who have been working with the same hardwoods for 3 generations. We make furniture art
- Walnut, oak or cherry laminate on on top of pine lumber or pressed wood is incomparable to our furniture in quality, texture, durability, and beauty.
- This artificial grade of furniture is nearly impossible to repair, as the outer laminate layer is a manufactured material. It will show wear-and-tear much more quickly than furniture created from genuine hardwoods.
- Furniture created from artificial materials offgas artificial materials into the home, and they can accumulate over time. Each time this low-quality furniture is replaced, a new suite of artificial materials is introduced into the home to begin offgassing anew. While poorly constructed furniture is not the largest contributor to poor indoor air quality, it is one of the most easily preventable.
Furniture Origin: Many 'eco friendly' and 'we will replant a tree for every piece of furniture we sell' furniture companies either manufacture their furniture in Mexico, or drop-ship their furniture from South-East Asia.
We've also found numerous websites that promote ‘sustainably harvested wood’, while a bit of research reveals that the source of their materials is from endangered Asian or Brazilian rain forests.
It is worth noting that there are few laws regarding the safety of these imported furniture products, so you literally don't know what you're getting.
Rising Design furniture contains only five ingredients: hardwood, hardware, woodworking glue + common woodworking binders, wood finish, and love of craft.
(If we add anything else, we note that in the product description).
Our furniture is made in the town of Harmony, Minnesota. We know where our hardwoods come from because they are locally grown, locally sourced, and sustainably replanted.
The Environmental Impact of Furniture
We also call our furniture Organic because we are mindful of the community and environmental impact of our business.
Sustainable Hardwoods: The solid hardwoods used in our furniture are locally grown and harvested. Local farmers plant trees on the hilly sections of land that can't be easily reached with tractors, and they plant corn and soy beans on the flat sections of land. This section of Minnesota is 'unglaciated' meaning that it wasn't crushed flat like the rest of Minnesota was during the last ice age.
The overwhelming majority of the wood used in our furniture does not travel more than 100 miles from where it is grown to the craftsman's workshop. By keeping production local, we reduce our impact on the environment.
We are also providing an income to local farmers to keep replanting beautiful hardwood trees, to assure that they'll be available for the next generation.
Make it Once, Make it Right: Mass-produced furniture created from artificial wood is often created in Asia, shipped to West Coast warehouses, and then shipped from these warehouses to distribution centers and/or stores in other parts of the country. This shipping has a substantial carbon impact.
Furniture created from manufactured 'fake' wood begins showing its age after just a few years, as composite wood cannot be repaired or refinished. Replacing this furniture requires the use of all new materials; this creates a large amount of waste.
Our furniture is created from locally grown hardwoods, and is shipped only once: directly from the community where it is made to the customer. We offer heirloom quality furniture that is designed to outlast the owner, so that it can be passed down to the next generation. This reduces the carbon footprint and environmental impact of our furniture, as the environmental costs of shipping and packing can be depreciated over a long period of time.
Hand Delivery — No Packing Waste: We have worked with our drivers and freight carriers to substitute moving blankets (which can be recycled) for styrofoam and other packing materials. As a result, we've substantially reduced our packing waste.
The Economic Impact: I grew up in a farm town of less than 100 people called Pemberton, that essentially disappeared during the farm crisis of the 1980s. It became an exurb with little of its previous economic and cultural vitality.
Because of this background, I am acutely aware of how important it is to bring revenue from the cities back into the rural economy through value-added services like furniture making.
Purchase of furniture from Rising Design has substantial economic impact in a part of America that could really use the help -- the rural Midwest. We've done our part to keep the town and region of Harmony thriving for almost 20 years, and we've done it without seeking government subsidies or preferential tax breaks.
To be more specific, the purchase of Rising Design furniture employs rural crafters who are able to maintain their woodworking traditions by crafting furniture in their own workshops to supplement their farming income.
This income has an enormous multiplier effect in their local farming community, because our crafters spend their money at the locally owned sawmill, grocery store and hardware store.