George realized his natural gift and talent for making quality wood products and wanted to spread the word. The challenge with spreading the word about quality of hand-crafted products is finding customers who appreciate handcrafted items.
George first displayed his wood items at Springs Festival, Springs, PA. He skillfully created live edge furniture such as stools, benches, tables, and bookends. Thin, woven wood-strip baskets and lamp shades characterized his unique, woodworking styles. Throughout the show day, George engraved custom plaques ready in one hour. Other larger wood items like rockers, dry sinks, trestle table and benches were available for purchase. Customers also used the furniture to explore the different furniture style options for placing custom orders. For many years, the order placed at the craft show supplied work for the next 12 months. George not only went to Springs festival but also displayed his crafts at the Dutch Family Festival in Lancaster, PA during the summer tourist season.
In 1973, he rented a small showroom at 4 Center Square, Elizabethtown, PA. Later that winter he moved his furniture store to 20 S. Market Street, Elizabethtown, where he sold furniture for thirteen years. This furniture store was quite small but allowed customers to see the quality of craftsmanship made by George and his craftsmen. On Friday and Saturdays, he also had a stand at Meadowbrook Farmer’s Market, Leola, PA. George purchased a 12-acre farm where he moved his wood working shop into the dairy barn.
Showroom and wood shop tours
One added benefit our customers enjoy is touring the wood shop. George moved the showroom to the same location as the wood shop. Allowing customer to view the furniture manufacturing shows everyone the time and attention to detail given to each piece of furniture. The larger showrooms present a visual display of completed furniture. Larger furniture-dining room sets, bedroom suites, living room tables, entertainment centers are displayed.
Our two large showrooms are located 9 Reichs Church Road, Marietta, PA, Monday through Saturday. The wood-shop tour exhibits the manufacturing process from raw lumber to finished furniture. Take a trip to our location and enjoy the quality furniture and talk to our design team about a new piece of custom-made furniture. We also display our furniture at craftshows in the Eastern United States. Check our website for updated schedule.
Commitment to Quality
From the beginning, George’s Furniture is committed to create quality, hardwood furniture, crafted by a single craftsman and safely delivered to the customer’s home. As a child, I heard George lament over customers requests to cut costs by utilizing a commercial delivery service. As a result, the furniture arrived in poor condition. Nothing matches the quality of furniture delivered and assembled by individuals who understand its design.
A typical delivery includes transportation from George’s Furniture to the customer’s home. The cost per mile includes assistance of George’s delivery driver. The customer will provide at least one individual to help carry furniture into the home. Additional delivery personnel can be requested at an additional cost.
Affordable Safe Delivery by George’s Personnel
George’s Furniture groups deliveries, going to a similar region, together to help customers share delivery costs. While viewing one of George’s 15 passenger vans holding 4-5 separate orders headed for a region, one person commented, “That looks like a tight fitting puzzle.” Yes, each piece is blanket wrapped and packed with care. During difficult corner maneuvers, desks and other large pieces are placed on their sides, protected by thick furniture blankets and escorted to their desired location.
Up Elevators, Over Balconies
Over the past 45 years of delivering furniture, we have encountered challenging situations navigating around unique house layouts. Creativity, persistence and strong skills in spatial relations served us well, resulting in satisfied customers. One challenging occasion, an executive desk was delivered to a customer’s home. Although George’s Furniture is designed to fit through a standard 30” door, this door was narrower. The delivery/craftsman personnel quickly ascertained that the feet could unscrew from the desk and the base placed on its side to maneuver into the office. A few minutes later, the reassembled desk brought delight of another satisfied customer.
A customer living Manhattan purchased two hutches. The flexibility built into George’s Furniture paid off when the elevator servicing the multi-story building was small. George’s design allowed the hutch tops to be disassembled from the bases. Each of the four sections fit snugly into the elevator. After 4 trips up and down the elevator, all parts arrived safely to the apartment. George’s delivery man secured the screws between the Hutch’s top and bottom as the delighted customer viewed the new edition.
Flexible designs inspired
Building flexible designs is a work in progress. During the early 1970’s, George designed a king size poster canopy bed. Upon delivery to her home, it was discovered that the hallways were too small to maneuver the large bed into the bedroom. She was so taken by its design that she stated, “I’ll just keep the bed and build a bedroom around it.” Following this experience, George redesigned the structure, allowing the bed to be a designed in smaller sections without compromising the strength of the bed.
An Ounce of Prevention….Measure
George’s delivery personnel are creative, however they do not know the dimensions of your home. Please measure all hallways, rooms and stairways along the path to the desired destination. I recall stories of a desk or bed entering a house over a outside balcony because the custom piece would not fit through the interior hallways or up the steep narrow stair steps. Pieces can be designed with increased flexibility, but these details should be discussed during the design process. George’s Furniture designers work hard to take all aspects into consideration when working along side our customers, Contact us to begin the design of your next new piece of furniture.
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana are home to the largest Amish Communities in the United States. The Amish lifestyle consists of plain clothes, horse and buggy, no electricity, one-room schoolhouses, and farming. Over the years they developed a reputation for their quality quilts, furniture, baked goods, and produce. In fact, in 2015, about 8.34 million visitors to Lancaster County directly spent $1.97 billion, creating a total tourism impact of $2.64 billion in the county.
Over time, marketing replaced craftsmanship. While a few Amish craftsmen are still producing quality furniture, many stores market Amish furniture devoid of the quality buyers expect. As the perception of the quality Amish furniture increases, the natural result is an increase in demand. This increase brought new systems and processes which dropped the quality of the product. They compromised when materials such as cheaper stains, protective coatings, glue, or hardware. They left the old process of construction behind while newer methods of cheap assembly take over. These newer methods, which use assembly lines and computerized machines, compromise excellence for the convenience of efficiency. Consequently, the quality of hardwood furniture is lost along with the buyers ability to customize their product.
Furniture experts pinpoint pieces displaying true quality, handmade Amish furniture. The untrained eye, however, sees little or no distinction. While Amish craftsmen are talented, rarely is the resulting piece considered by furniture experts as constructed by a Master Craftsman. Why does this matter? Furniture crafted by a Master Craftsman ultimately become heirlooms.
Heirlooms are pieces constructed to withstand the test of time and passed down to the next generation. Furniture designed, crafted, and assembled by master craftsmen endure the normal wear and tear of daily life. While George’s craftsmen are not Amish furniture makers, we are Master Craftsmen. George’s master craftsmen build each piece to suit the needs of the buyer now and in the future. Forever cherished assets.
At George’s Furniture, one craftsman uniquely crafted each piece – signed and dated. 100% Pennsylvania hardwood construction—no plywood here! Each item is built-to-order, custom made to your specifications. Visit our showrooms and see the furniture manufacturing! Time-tested construction for over 50 years…that’s the George’s difference.
Juanita Horst is the proud owner of the family-run George’s Furniture. She initially started getting involved in the furniture making industry while assisting her father with work in the woodshop and helping at craft shows. Later, she strengthened her communication abilities by assisting in customer service and answering phones in the showroom. She also became heavily involved in website design and other computer needs. Juanita has now dedicated 15 years to George’s Furniture and loves every minute!
Her favorite part about working at George’s Furniture is being able to share the quality of their handcrafted solid wood furniture with their customers. She absolutely loves hearing comments like “Wow! That is a long table” or “quality handcrafted furniture is still being made today” or “that’s a strong table.” Seeing the excitement when customers realize that furniture can be constructed out of 100% solid hardwood, signed and dated by one craftsman, made their way is truly a treat. Juanita thoroughly enjoys providing woodshop tours and helping customers with their design ideas to bless their home for many years to come.
The most interesting experience that Juanita has had during her 15 years was being able to transform the George’s website and set up their accounting and customer records digitally. In her free time, she enjoys scrapbooking and reading.
Head into George’s to say hello to Juanita and the rest of the team during your in-depth woodshop tour!
At the age of 10, George Martin had an extensive interest in woodworking. In response to a mishap with his mother’s rocker, he designed a rocking chair that would not go over backward. George decided to turn his love for the woodworking craft, that started as a hobby, into a thriving business that would soon be passed down through generations.
Handmade Furniture Store Begins
George founded George’s Woodcrafts in 1970 which specialized in handcrafted, solid hardwood furniture for customers who appreciated quality construction. Since 1975, the business has operated at the present farm located just outside of the historic Maytown, in Lancaster County, PA.
George was a dreamer and deep thinker. Whether in the middle of the night, or the lawn mower or just relaxing under a tree, he was working on new ideas or processing life. “The Place where dreams come true” was true for George as well as his customers. His love for wood working blesses not only his employees but also his customers.
Hidden Potential Discovered
George saw the potential in a piece of wood that others might set aside. He saw potential in each of his craftsmen. He loved watching his craftsmen enjoying their work and the satisfaction that come from building the complete piece of handcrafted furniture from start to finishing with their unique signature.
“Georges saw the gifts and potential in me, taking my love of wood and people, and steered me towards sales and design. I still love wood and enjoy working with people.” -Anthony
George’s passion was evident as he related to his customers. He loved sharing his ideas and details of solid hardwood furniture crafting with everyone. Hobby woodworkers indulged in his extensive knowledge and spend hours listening to his stories. Working with George and feeling his passion for wood and people clearly impresses our customers. The personal experience is what our customers enjoy over the decades. Georges passed away in 2010 but you can still feel George’s passion by visiting our video page. Experience first-hand as George narrates and shares his passion for woodworking.
Legacy Carried On
In 2008, George reached retirement and turned his business over to his talented daughter Juanita and husband Chris Horst. Both Juanita and Chris have gone on to carry along the family legacy and share the dedication to quality that George’s customers have come to expect.
To learn more about us, visit us for an in-depth tour of our facilities!