Shannon's Trip to Century

Shannon's Trip to Century

Senior Designer Shannon Martin’s recent visit to Century in Hickory, NC was not only a fantastic professional development experience, but a fun trip down memory lane for the recent High Point University graduate. As part of Saybrook Home’s dedication to developing our designers, Shannon recently had the opportunity to tour the Century factory and see the inner workings of the brand from the workroom floor. Over the course of three days, and a jam-packed itinerary, she came back to Connecticut with an even greater appreciation for Century’s quality craftsmanship and organizational mastery. 

The first day of the trip included browsing all the new Century styles at their High Point Market showroom. Seeing new frames, new fabrics and new looks was, for Shannon, the perfect opener to the entire experience. The best of the best was on display in the Century showroom and it was not lost on Shannon that Century takes great pride in their product and their brand as a whole. 

Shannon spent the next day or so touring the factory, on the workroom floor. She was able to meet the whole team, from the factory workers all the way up to Century’s president, Alex Shuford. The transparency and communication between all levels of the company was very impressive.

Shannon’s favorite part of the tour was the fabric room. “Everything about fabric design, all the textural aspects and that part of the industry really inspires me,” she said. 

Seeing how the velvets are stored, suspended in wood boxes with such care and precision so as not to be crushed, set Shannon’s heart a flutter. “I never considered how velvet would be stored, considering its delicate nature,” she said. “The care and effort that goes into making sure its condition is preserved, was very notable.”

When asked what surprised her the most about her visit to Century, was the presentation by Alex Shuford wherein he systematically deconstructed an armchair in front of an audience of designers and Century customers. To sit and watch him destroy a chair that took several weeks, and the effort of more than 30 individuals was poignant and certainly a moment Shannon won’t be forgetting anytime soon. The purpose of the presentation is to show the superior craftsmanship of the Century piece, layer by layer and piece by piece. 

Shannon loved learning more about the finishes available at Century. Fun fact: Century can replicate any Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore paint color. Another fun fact: each finish takes between 18 and 30 steps to finish from beginning to end. Seeing most certainly is believing. Before visiting the Century factory, Shannon had a great foundation of appreciation for the brand, but actually experiencing the creation of the pieces on the workroom floor added a whole new level of admiration and understanding. 

“I feel as if my trip to Century really has allowed me to explain to clients the meaning of the term ‘bench made, American-made furniture’ with a new confidence in the processes that go into it,” said Shannon. “My schooling and my experience prepped me for this experience, but actually being there and seeing how it's done, definitely took my appreciation to a whole new level, which will only benefit my clients in the long run.”

Overall, Shannon’s visit was a 3-day whirlwind of presentations, tours and meetings. It was totally exhausting, but the experience was immeasurably important to her as a design professional. She looks forward to future opportunities to travel to more of our amazing Saybrook Home furniture manufacturers. 

Are you in the process of a home design project that you’d like Shannon’s helpful input on? You can book an in-store or in-home appointment with her today! Click here to book an appointment. Virtual appointments are also available.  

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