About The Designer
When Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams started over 25 years ago, the company was a strong advocate of modern design. Today, that love for modern continues. Cofounders Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, often referred to as the Masters of Modern home furnishings, work with their design team to create new collections each season, inspired by muses from mid-century to ‘70s modern. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams continues to define and re-define modern home furnishings through a delicate balance of updated design elements mixed with clean and classic silhouettes. Through a modern lens, they capture the comfortable side of modern that many can appreciate and few can duplicate.
In 1989, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams created a furniture company in the tiny rural town of Taylorsville, North Carolina. Today, the two business partners head an internationally renowned company headquartered in a 600,000-sq.-ft. modern factory. This family-friendly work environment includes an on-site, not-for-profit education-based daycare center (the first of its kind in the residential furniture industry and a leader in giving children a healthy start in life through the Shape NC program), as well as Café Lulu, a health-conscious gourmet cafe run by the company’s formally trained chef so that employees can always have healthy meals. There is also a physical fitness center, concierge service, yearly college scholarships for employees’ children, a free annual health fair, an on-site nurse, time-saving concierge services, and many other programs that contribute to the company’s exceptionally low turnover (lowest in Alexander County, NC) and industry-leading productivity levels. The company is considered a model corporation in its community and at the regional and national levels.
The company is also a Sustaining member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), and Mitchell is on the Board. Since its inception, the company has made environmentally intelligent decisions–from its focus on creating classic, fine-quality, comfortable furniture designed to be treasured for years to the way pieces are manufactured and packaged to how the factory is run.
Over the years, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has expanded its offerings from upholstery to case goods (industry-speak for tables and storage pieces), lighting, rugs, accessories, bed linens, and artwork. Together, Mitchell (Chair-Man) and Bob (President of Design) strategize with their team of designers to create products both unique and marketable, with the guiding principle of producing only items they’d want in their own homes. Bob then directs the execution, and Mitchell oversees marketing, sales, and production. Their goal, Bob explains, is to make the pieces inviting, with “the same warm feeling you’d get at grandma’s as a kid,” and for customers to still be in love with their pieces a decade from now.
Many consumers know the company’s philosophy of comfort from their furniture and retail stores. There are currently 26 Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Signature Stores, in cities including New York, D.C., Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Portland OR, Beverly Hills, St. Louis, Kansas City and San Juan, as well as Montreal, Toronto and Mexico City. In 2015, the company will expand with new Signature Stores in top markets including Scottsdale, AZ; Austin, TX; and Walnut Creek, CA. The company also has an e-commerce division and sells select furnishings from its collection online. There is also a hospitality division (mgbwhotel.com) selling to top hotel chains like Starwood, Morgans Group, Kimpton, Hyatt, and Ritz Carlton, as well as eateries including Starbucks and stores including J. Crew.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has boutique shops in Bloomingdale’s (including Bloomingdale’s Dubai) and Robb & Stucky International. And it shows up in the finest home furnishings specialty stores throughout the country and as far from its North Carolina headquarters as Australia and Taiwan. From an initial investment of $60,000, the company, now in its 26th year, has grown to $150M in annual sales.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is also known for having a corporate culture that respects diversity, supports education, and has been environmentally responsible since its inception. In 2013 and 2014, Mitchell was a panelist at Columbia Business School’s Social Enterprise Conferences, speaking on topics including Millennials in the workplace and sustainability strategies for businesses.
It is also a leader in philanthropic work. In 2014, its 25th Anniversary year, the company donated over $400,000 to charity, including raising over $200,000 at Silver Anniversary parties at Signature Stores across the country that benefitted local nonprofits, including the Ali Forney Center, Pine Street Inn, Chicago House, Dwell with Dignity, HomeAid OC, Over My Shoulder Foundation, Gris Montreal, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Project Angelfood, Tyler Clementi Foundation, and the Hole in the Wall Gang. They also received a 2014 Groundbreakers Award from NYC’s Housing Works, dedicated to ending AIDS and homelessness.
Mitchell and Bob are seen as a major force for gay rights by many, including The Human Rights Campaign, where Mitchell served on the board for seven years; Out magazine, which named him to 2007’s “Top 50 Most Powerful Gay People in America”; and The Advocate, which gave him a 2006 “People of the Year Award.” In 2005, Mitchell co-founded Faith In America, a non-profit organization working to end religion-based bigotry against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals (www.faithinamerica.com). In 2008, Mitchell published the book CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain & Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America, and in 2011, Magnus Books brought CRISIS out in paperback with an updated title: Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know About Growing Up Gay.
The company has received a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index each year since the start of the Index. In January 2015, Mitchell was a panelist on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, discussing LGBT equality in the workplace.
In addition to its popularity with consumers, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams furniture is a favorite of interior designers, the design press and set decorators. It has been included in the redecoration of the Obama White House. It has appeared on the sets of shows including The Good Wife, Ugly Betty, Celebrity Apprentice, The Office, Two and a Half Men, Fashion Police, The Steve Harvey Show, The Mindy Project, the visible-on-air glass-enclosed Green Room of CBS This Morning and Scream Queens (premiering Sept. 2015). The furniture has been in every shelter publication, won awards including Met Home’s Design 100, and makes frequent appearances in online magazines and design blogs.
In 2012, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams introduced a home furnishings collection inspired by CBS TV’s hit drama The Good Wife. The first furniture license in TV history, it was developed in collaboration with set decorator Beth Kushnick and inspired by the actual set decoration ideas and iconic pieces seen in the law offices and homes on the show. Pieces are named for the show’s characters. The original collection has been expanded and continues to be seen on the set of the show, which enters its 7th season in September 2015.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has been recognized for its innovative ad campaigns, including the Public Visibility Award at the first annual GLAAD Media Awards in Advertising in October 2009. Its Fall 2015 Campaign features a collection catalog entitled “Masters of Modern”; a special 36-page “fashion catalog” using models paired in moody room environments, called “A Modern Affair”; and a Holiday catalog titled “The Art of Modern Entertaining.”
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has been widely featured in the media, from CBS Sunday Morning to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Inc., which included them among “26 Entrepreneurs We Love.” Mitchell was the subject of a USA Today column on what CEOs are reading. Mitchell and Bob often appear in online magazines and blogs, including a “Friday Five” column for DesignMilk.com and a profile in Lonnymag.com. In August 2008, Mitchell and Bob were celebrity judges on HGTV’s “Summer Showdown” design contest. In 2011, Bob’s North Carolina home was featured in Traditional Home magazine, and Mitchell was featured in Elle Décor’s Unconventional Wisdom column. Mitchell’s North Carolina home was featured in the April issue of Coastal Living.
Their first book, Let’s Get Comfortable: How to Furnish and Decorate a Welcoming Home, was published by Meredith Books in March 2007, and led to two appearances on NBC’s Today show and a national satellite media tour.
In honor of the company’s 20th anniversary in 2009, a second decorating book, The Comfortable Home, was published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. In November 2009, Mitchell and Bob again appeared on the Today show to share creative ideas from the book. You can view the segment at: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/#33826055.
A new book in a unique format, a business/coffee-table book, was published by prestigious Assouline publishing house in February 2014, to mark the company’s 25th anniversary. Called Who We Are, it shares 25 of the company’s mantras for success in design, business and life and includes a tasting menu with recipes from the company’s corporate chef.
For more information, please visit the company website at www.mgbwhome.com.
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