Orphaned at 13, John Bernhardt jumped a box-car to Oregon hoping to become a government surveyor. He returned home three years later to pursue a career as a timber cutter. After buying a sawmill he saw the opportunity to use timber to make solid oak bedroom furniture. Pretty soon folks in Chicago and New York City started buying this furniture for their homes. And so in 1889 the Bernhardt Furniture Company was born in North Carolina. Berhardt’s skill was in leveraging the area’s plentiful supply of beautiful timbers, and local woodworking skills. Never one to do things by halves, he opened his factory with 25 employees. Over the ensuing decades Bernhardt expanded into all aspects of furniture for the home and office, building a stellar reputation for quality and integrity and becoming one of the premier furniture companies of the 20th century. In 1980 Bernhardt introduced a contemporary furniture brand, Bernhardt Design and began collaborating with some of the world’s great designers. These have included Arik Levy, Ross Lovegrove, Yves Behar, Suzanne Trocme, and Jaime Hayon. Bernhardt Furniture Company is now a global furniture company renowned throughout the design and architectural community for the craftsmanship of its products and its environmental credentials. And although it has grown beyond even John M. Bernhardt’s towering ambitions, it remains a proud 4th generation family business celebrating its 125th anniversary.