Traveling Amish Country: Scenes Behind the Furniture

Beth Rice 27/07/2017

We’ve spent years finding talented woodworkers, and getting to know them and their work. Trips to Amish Country take us to Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio where the day usually starts before the sun rises.

There are no warehouses with rows of pre-made chairs and tables waiting to be selected and shipped. Solid wood furniture of this magnitude begins with the ideas of Amish woodworkers who have been perfecting their skills since they were children.

Take a trip with us through our home-away-from-home as we share some of our favorite sights and memories, and where the essence of DutchCrafters Amish furniture was born.

From Milca: Marketing Assistant

“I attended a trade show in Indiana. It was refreshing to see hills and miles of green grass and expanse, and it was really neat to share the road with buggies.”

Amish Country, Indiana

An early morning in Indiana.

“All of the furniture was beautiful, and since we sell online, it was nice to see the product in person. You can tell that the vendors take pride in what they do.”

Vice President Linse Miller, Product Portfolio Manager Mary Fehr, and Marketing Assistant Milca Rivera

Linse, Mary, and Milca at a show in Indiana.

From Mary: Product Portfolio Manager

“The reason I love visiting the woodshops is the human connection. Woodshops are truly a family affair, whether its children running around, sons and daughters in the shop, or wives in the office designing products.”

Woodworker with children

Woodworker in Ohio, with grandchildren joining in.

“I remember visiting Rustic Barn Wood in Pennsylvania. There were only three woodworkers in the shop, but upstairs they had all these pieces in progress that were absolutely stunning. For most of the woodworkers I’ve met, it started out as a hobby but they fell in love with the process.”

Room at a woodshop with pieces in progress.

Upstairs at Rustic Barn Wood in Pennsylvania.

From Ross: Product Portfolio Manager

“The pace of life is different in Amish communities. Large farms everywhere, acres of yard, and tons of corn fields. Amish Country just has that quiet, family-oriented feel.”

Ohio Amish Country

Farmland in Ohio.

“I’ve visited Berlin Gardens. Although there is technology in the shop, each piece is still touched by hand and inspected for superb quality. The Amish woodworkers give so much attention to detail. The technology helps provide the highest quality on a consistent basis. It was cool to see the mix of technology and Amish workers.”

Woodworker at Berlin Gardens assembling a chair with technology.

Berlin Gardens woodshop.

“At the shows, I think the biggest thing that stands out is the attention to detail and how much sweat, blood, and tears these woodworkers put into their products. Herman Miller, who crafts the Innovative Designs Collection, is so passionate about producing high quality products. They’re products he believes in, and stands behind fully. You can hear the passion in his voice and it’s contagious.”

woodworkers building furniture at a woodshop in Indiana.

Amish woodworkers hard at work in Ohio.

From Debra: Marketing Manager

“Our woodworkers get up early and so do we when we are visiting their shops. Here is one image of a woodworker shop in early morning.”

The sun has barely begun to rise outside of a woodshop in Indiana

Woodworking shop in Indiana.

“These are leftovers of poly pieces that will be recycled. Scrap pieces are melted down and recycled. Any shavings on the floor are swept up and reused in an Amish woodshop.”

Scraps from Berlin Gardens poly furniture that will be reused.

Berlin Gardens woodshop.

“This is some high corn and another example of how the Amish do things to the best of their abilities.”

High corn in Pennsylvania's Amish Country

Corn Field in Pennsylvania.

From Jennifer: Customer Service Specialist

“One interesting fact that I learned while visiting one of our hickory woodshops is that hickory is harvested just a couple of times a year, so woodworkers have to order enough to cover their orders for a year.”

Woodworker with a piece with a hickory side table.

Hickory woodshop in Indiana.

“Woodshops are often located on the owner’s home property. When you pull up you see bikes and horse and buggy parking for the workers. You’ll see children in the shop that are the owner’s children. There is a feeling of family everywhere you go.”

Horse and buggy parking outside of a woodshop.

Horses waiting outside a woodshop in Ohio.

From Linse: Vice-President

“I love seeing all the color around an Amish house. Dresses are hanging out on the clothesline, and beautiful flowers are always planted in the yard.”

Clothing drying on a clothes line in Amish Country

Flowers in bloom in Amish Country

Amish homes in Ohio.

From Jake: Multimedia Producer/Graphic Designer

“The shops I visited were situated on and around farmland in the rolling hills of northern Indiana. Over the course of two days, I visited nine shops and one store. The men and women I met were all friendly, welcoming, and genuine. It never felt as if they had anything important to hurry off to besides being hospitable to those of us visiting.”

The view from the front door of a woodshop: the rising sun and the home of the woodshop owners.

The view from the front door of a woodshop in Indiana.

“We visited Blue Mountain Hickory the first day, starting around 5:30 a.m. and the workers had already been in the shop for some time. I learned about their process of baking wood to kill insects and steam bending to form it to the necessary shape for their furniture. After a tour, we were offered homemade baked goods and fruit. We enjoyed the same hospitality at almost every shop.”

Pie

Enjoying some Amish made pie.

“I expected the hard work ethic and commitment to their work, but what surprised me was their interest in process improvement. Every shop wanted to know if we had any advice for them — not to finish quickly and send out more product — but to really get it done right and achieve the most impressive product to please a customer.”

woodworker shows the details of a piece of furniture.

Amish woodworker inspecting his work.

As we continue to grow, we are sure to be on the road, visiting woodshops in Amish Country and learning about the best and newest in Amish made furniture in order to offer the most authentic products online and in our Saraosota, Florida showroom.

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2 comments

  • Vicki
    October 9, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Love this write up. Amish furniture is the best. Some places want to tell you it is made by them but not.
    Want to find a standing mirror with hidden jewelry case w/ lock. I have seen one in Baron Wi but have put it out of mind. Will keep looking. As best part time traveling.
    Thank you. Vicki


  • Milca Rivera
    Milca Rivera
    October 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks for visiting, Vicki! We have a few standing jewelry mirror options to choose from. You can check them out here: https://www.dutchcrafters.com/search.aspx?searchphrase=jewelry%20mirror


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