A bright future for Lane Venture

A bright future for Lane Venture

Lane Venture has been a staple of the outdoor industry since its founding in 1972, and today — under the Bassett Furniture umbrella — it continues to set trends in the industry with high-quality, upscale furniture.

In 2017, Lane Venture’s previous owner Heritage Home Group filed for Chapter 11, and when Bassett bought the company it revitalized it and gave it new capabilities that increased production and delivery times. 

A year and a half ago, the company added casual industry veteran Schon Duke to the team, and today he oversees the brand as vice president — taking over the position from Rob H. Spilman who has become a vice president at Bassett. 

“When I first spoke with the Spilmans, I was excited by all the things they had done to prepare the brand for future growth,” Duke says. 

Schon Duke

He adds that product selection and range is something the company is growing, and they’re getting recognized for it. Lane Venture works with key designers like Matt Scallions and Celerie Kemble to design high-end products that appeal to retailers and designers. 

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in those two channels and a lot of it has to do with our stories, our customization — which is certainly a designer calling card for the high-end consumer,” he explains. “And then you know, you have people like Celerie who have so much credibility in the design space, that creates a halo effect for our brand. There are a lot of things that are going right at Lane Venture and we’re up double digits again this year.”

Part of the reason the company has been able to grow these channels is because of its new capabilities under the Bassett umbrella.  

“Half of our products are made domestically,” Duke explains. “We have an upholstery plant in Newton, North Carolina, in which we make outdoor performance upholstery. And then we have Haleyville, Alabama, which is kind of a storied area for the outdoor industry as people have been making aluminum furnishings for a long time down there.”

Bespoke is an outdoor collection born from the ability these factories offer and allows customers to design their own outdoor chairs. The collection includes three different back styles, upholstered or aluminum, three different arms, 14 colors — and the company can make that product in two to three weeks. 

“‘That goes for our upholstery as well, as we have a very classic custom upholstery program that is part of Bespoke where customers can choose from three different arms, two different pillow styles, two depths and over 248 fabrics,” he says. “And we also make that to performance outdoor spec, fully upholstered in two to three weeks.”

These products and capabilities have drawn an influx of indoor furniture stores that are either in the category or getting in the category as well as some of the best design firms and to-the-trade showrooms in the U.S.

However, Duke wants the industry to know that no matter how much it grows, it will never turn its back on independent retailers who have been the backbone of the business and helped Lane Venture get to where it is today. 

“We covet that business and because of that we are careful in who we partner with when it comes to new accounts,” he says. “We never want to alienate that group of retailers.”

Tracery from Celerie Kemble

Overall, Duke says he’s excited about the growth opportunities in the year ahead and looks forward to seeing how the company continues to innovate in the outdoor space. With over 50 years under its belt and a dedicated parent company, it doesn’t look like Lane Venture will slow down any time soon.

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