Hable-Bodied: Manufacturer Taps Artist for Furniture Collection

Susan Hable's 2011 textile design endeavor with Hickory Chair evolves into design of custom furnishings.

Kimberley Wray
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Susan Hable Hickory Chair

When Hickory Chair hit the 100-year mark back in 2011, the high-end furniture company did something quite unexpected: It collaborated with Katharine and Susan Hable of Hable Construction to introduce a textile collection. 

“All of the textiles were inspired by Susan’s paintings, and all printed in the U.S.,” explains Laura Holland, Vice President of Marketing at Hickory Chair. “It was just a really wonderful artisanal story that we thought fit with a company still making American-made casegoods, because our industry had lost that prowess. It was a huge hit and we still bring out fabrics every year.”

A few years later in 2015, Hickory Chair expanded the relationship with the introduction of a furniture collection. “Susan is not an interior designer, she’s an artist, and she brought a really fresh, artistic approach to design,” Holland describes. “People loved her aesthetic and her way of mixing products and we felt that she brought something unique and fresh that we needed and that no one would expect. The first market, it was a huge success for our design clientele, but our retailers were scratching their heads. So, when we came back with our second iteration of products, we made sure that there were more bedroom pieces, more dining room pieces, and she dressed the products in more neutral fabrics. All of a sudden it was a hit on with the retail side as well and her collection has been on a really nice growth trend ever since.”

This High Point Market, Hickory Chair will unveil a new Hable Collection of 35 pieces with made-to-measure components, custom hardware and finish options for living room and dining. “This is the 20th anniversary of Susan and Kate’s business and we’re excited to be able to celebrate their milestone, along with our fourth year of the furniture collection and the eighth year of working with them with the textile collection. The designs that Susan has brought to us are a wonderful mix of architectural forms and positive and negative space, and occasional products in a variety of species. It’s lighter, it’s fresh, it’s artistic, and we feel that in the evolution of products that we have to brought to market, it’s absolutely the right product at the right time.” 

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