Here’s something you don’t think about when you are getting ready to enter treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) – the chairs. But it should be on your priority list. With 6 to 8 hours of rigorous programming per day, there is a lot of “sit-time” in rehab. A well-designed chair in group therapy can be your friend. It can also help improve your posture and your concentration…
Family Businesses – Family Friends
Sanford is a Grand Rapids, family business. Local and family-run businesses were called upon when the Greens restored the historic homes that are now: Sanford House at Cherry Street and Sanford House at John Street. Local artists Kathy Mohl and David Lubbers created original oil paintings and photographs. And Grand Rapids artisans like Bylsma Painting, Custom Cottage and Kolenda Art Glass worked their magic on the century-old homes.
The “ties that bind” are closest and longest however, with Grand Rapids Chair Company. The Miller family’s organization custom built all the group chairs for Sanford and most of the furniture for the newest facility – Sanford Outpatient Center. But the family connection goes way back. Back to when Sanford Director of Operations, Alec Green was a baby. And Sanford Director of HR, Jacqueline Green Campbell used to whisper through bedroom screens to the Miller’s daughter – Allison (Miller) Kaulfuss.
The Millers and Greens were close, next-door neighbors and friends. Sanford founders, Rae and David Green remember David Miller was always building something “brilliant” in his garage office in the early 1990s. It was the first location in a series of steps to what is now the Grand Rapids Chair Company. They moved from the garage to a rented space on Century Street in 95. And when the Millers outgrew that – they purchased an unheated building on Chestnut Street. Here, they ferried furniture in golf carts to an additional space across the street until it became overwhelming. And the demand was too great for the space.
Jill Miller says, “We formed Grand Rapids Chair from humble beginnings – with hard work.” Her daughter, Allison says, “From garage to factory – the American dream…”
Grand Rapids Chair Company Now…
These days, founder David Miller has stepped down from running the company. It is now in the hands of his son, Geoff. Geoff Miller divides his time between factory floor and traveling to nurture client relationships.
But, he seems very at ease in the factory environment. He explains everything from the massive duct work in the welding area to the coloration process for the dipped steel chairs. Geoff says, “This is a relationship business. We market primarily to dealers, architects and the interior design community. It is also a fashion industry. We ask our clients, what do you want? And then we create it.”
The Sanford Outpatient Center has one of the mixed-wood tables that are being created here. Geoff says, “We work with wood from Central Michigan. We even recycled the maple trees that were felled by a huge storm at our property Up North. It felt like one way to save those beautiful, old trees…and to turn a disaster into something usable.”
Grand Rapids Chair Company operates on the “PDQ System”:
Personalization – An individualized approach
Design & Product Development – Innovation and a beautiful end-product
Quality – Excellence in workmanship
Interestingly enough, that sounds like the way we might describe the Sanford Addiction Treatment Center experience. Perhaps these long-ago neighbors have remained friends and business collaborators for a reason. Mutual respect certainly, but also mutual, Mid-Western values. And a desire to create something tangible and lasting – to be proud of.