A conversation with Janet Linly, owner of Marge Carson

Manufacturer continues to produce line of upholstery and wood furniture in Mexico for the U.S. market

CHICAGO — Since acquiring the Marge Carson brand last fall, Janet Linly of retail and interior design house Linly Designs has been working diligently to reestablish the luxury line for customers around the country.

Although the company did not show at the spring market, the president and CEO of both organizations — Marge Carson and Linly Designs — made it clear that things are moving forward with the product line from a development, marketing and distribution standpoint.

Recently she spoke with Editor-in-Chief Tom Russell of Home News Now to reveal where things stand with the line and also took time to answer more specific questions about what customers can expect moving forward.

Here is a summary of that discussion.

Home News Now: We understand that production has resumed in Mexico. Can you give us an update on how that process is going?

Linly: Yes, we resumed in January and spent the first month retraining our team of artisans and implementing new levels of high-quality expectations. We have established three steps of quality control to be followed by our engineers and skilled team of supervisors to ensure that each piece that comes out of our factory not only meets our new elevated standards but exceeds the expectations of our clientele. After our intense training, we began production of our entire Marge Carson catalog, which can be found on our website. Further, we have redesigned our cushions not only for comfort and quality but also for overall visual aesthetic to be second to none in the world of luxury seating.

A worker at the Mexico factory applies fabric to a sofa frame.

When you decided to resume production of the upholstery line, how did you decide which products to start with?

Linly: Our Marge Carson team studied the brand and existing pieces in the line and collaborated as to which furniture items were to currently be produced. We reviewed multiple factors: which pieces were bestsellers, which pieces represented the uniqueness of the Marge Carson brand, and which pieces encompassed our vision for the future. Our goal has been and will always be to create classic, timeless, comfortable and current designs for the most discerning clientele. We can candidly say that we don’t wish to be everything to everyone; we want to be the best to those who want the best.  

Can you say what percentage of the SKUs you are producing currently in the upholstery line and when they will start shipping?

Linly: We currently produce all items that are on our website. Since we reach a global clientele, their tastes and aesthetics may vary, but their expectations are the same: high quality and luxurious style. We have already delivered many pieces to both clients and dealers, and their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, giving our entire team the desire to set our goals even higher every day. We feel that everyone needs to experience the new and reimagined brand and the difference of Marge Carson.

What is the status of the case goods line?

A worker in Mexico hand paints a chair frame.

Linly: Our team is currently in the process of reviewing past designs and styles that were both staples of the Marge Carson brand for many years and are accessible to our production team to be reintroduced. We aim to be on the forefront of the industry and have already begun creating a new, exciting case good collection. I am thrilled to debut its name which is Loire. The Loire is a river that flows gracefully through the grounds of France, which inspired this collection’s design and aesthetic. We aim to introduce the pieces within the collection to the Marge Carson clientele later this year. Additionally, we are adding new case goods and upholstery pieces to our ever-successful Palo Alto collection.

Can you say where the case goods part of the line is being produced and what categories you are starting out with in the wood segment?

Linly: We are focusing on manufacturing in Mexico for both upholstery and case goods as we have direct control over the quality, and we can personally engage with our team on the day-to-day operations in order to continue a successful and energetic team dynamic.

Have you had to hire more people to help out with this new part of your business, either in design, customer service, quality control or marketing, that you would care to mention?

Another worker in Mexico hand paints a Marge Carson sofa frame.

Linly: Yes, we have rehired many of Marge Carson’s outstanding management and customer service team members as well as new design visionaries. Collaboratively, we were able to expeditiously begin production without compromising the quality and integrity of our brand. We are also in the process of developing a new and comprehensive website which will be completed soon. This new website will debut in one of our global marketing campaigns and will lend assistance to both our national and international clients and dealers.

What is the message that you would like to share with customers and clients about what is happening while the company makes plans to return to the High Point Market?

Linly: Our main focus now is on producing quality pieces to deliver to our clients who are excited for their beautiful new furniture. We are also in the process of designing and producing new case goods collections to make the Marge Carson brand complete once again. 

How would you describe the demand or interest you have had in the line since you first announced you purchased the brand? Have you been receiving a lot of inquiries?

Linly: We have had many curious and eager phone calls, not only from previous Marge Carson dealers wanting to place orders but also from consumers looking to place our product in their homes. Since our distribution has become more exclusive, the desire to offer or to own our product has certainly increased. Everyone is excited and pleased to know that the Marge Carson brand continues on and they will not need to sacrifice their desired style and quality. Everyone has shown excitement and great support for our brand and for the future.

Are there any final thoughts you would like to share at this time about your hopes and plans moving forward?

Linly: To me, the Marge Carson brand is not a furniture company — it is a luxury lifestyle. Although we live in a new world, the one element that has not changed is that everyone wants the best. And our team and our products deliver just that.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

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