South LA may just be the new beating heart of
Made in America Custom Furniture Manufacturing
South LA is a hotbed for Made in America Custom Furniture Manufacturing. The area has seen hundreds of wholesale furniture manufacturers move in and now houses some of the most cutting-edge furniture companies, like Buildlane!
But Buildlane doesn’t simply produce furniture. Rather, we partner with the best manufacturers that South LA–and the nation–have to offer and then we provide an incredibly convenient interface for busy designers like you to organize your custom furniture experience.
Access to unique custom furniture design is a calling card for a certain caliber of Interior Designer. But the advantages of true custom–to place more unique solutions for the discerning client–is not something that came about recently. In fact, custom bench-made furniture is as old as America itself and has been a part of our history since we began settling into this great country over 200 years ago!
From sofas and beds to dining room tables and metal etageres–you name it and there’s probably a handmade version somewhere, available at wholesale price…but only if you know where to look.
As it turns out, South LA is most likely where it is being made.
The heart of the furniture and decorative arts district of Los Angeles lies in Vernon, CA. Bordered by the 10 freeway to the north and running the vein of Slauson Avenue. The neighborhood, which spans 5 square miles, is surrounded by LA Mart to the northwest, Central Avenue to the east, and Florence Avenue to the south. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, see our handy map below. It is a newly designated neighborhood dedicated to the furniture sector and there are hundreds of furniture manufacturers who usually sell wholesale.
While more of the world’s furniture (39%) is made in China than anywhere else, USA is the number two spot with 12% of the globe’s furniture manufactured in the states.
How much of that furniture is made in South Los Angeles? Well, the region appears to be coming in hot just behind the top manufacturing region of North Carolina.
Is South LA poised to take the number one spot?
At the top of the district lies the LA MART. With over 400 showrooms within three buildings, it spans an entire city block at the corner of Broadway and Washington Blvd.
The nationally renowned LA Mart is now celebrating its 64th year as the West Coast’s premier wholesale mart encompassing the Western states’ most comprehensive collection of world-class, regional, and national showrooms available to the trade-buying community.
The district is establishing itself as a national player with several well-attended design shows held every year. Though most of these events are open only to trade professionals, the public is offered access on select weekends when goods can be had for a steal.
Have you been? The directory boasts a bevy of industry brands found in other parts of the nation that are more widely regarded; ahem, High Point.
The companies that call the furniture district home are quite diverse and range from internationally renowned brands to mom and pop shops.
If you’re looking for a custom table, a local craftsman will help you out–but will expect at least $100 per linear foot. Discerning clients know there is nothing wrong with spending thousands on custom furnishings…you just have to know where it comes from!
What is the big secret?
One of the biggest revelations that I had as a young designer, aching to know the secrets of the industry, is that there are no major revelations to be witnessed when it comes to custom.
Manufacturers in South LA are busy! They work hard and long hours and do their best to keep up with the increasing demands for custom furniture. They don’t put a big sign on the door and welcome designers off the street; that’s not the model for these manufacturing leaders to gain business.
Buildlane’s humble beginnings include knocking on workroom door after workroom door and getting to know these makers at a personal level.
Now we’ve been sourcing furniture in South LA for more than five years, and the quality that we have uncovered has ignited a wildfire of appreciation for the products we deliver to our customers every week!
The district is home to some of the best craftsmen you can find anywhere, all proudly declaring that their products are American-made. They may not welcome a random passerby into their factory, but if you get an opportunity to visit or learn more about where your favorite sofa comes from, don’t pass on such an incredible learning experience!