The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation Inc. is an industry organization founded in 1988 meant to preserve the history of the home furnishings industry, inspire generations of innovators, and celebrate leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to the U.S. home furnishings industry. This year, John Gabbert, founder of Minnesota-based Room & Board, is one the five inductees into the Hall of Fame.
According to an article in Forbes, the privately held furniture retailer ranks “No. 25 in Furniture Today’s Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores based on its $450 million-plus sales volume.” The article adds that for nearly 40 years, Room & Board has “sold only modern and contemporary-styled furnishings with 90% crafted in America using natural, sustainable materials—it was a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.” Recently, the company has been scaling up by opening the Pasadena Design Studio, with stores already in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston.
When he was 26, Gabbert left his family’s traditional retail store with a new business model: Room & Board. The brand is known for conducting its own product development of timeless modern design, quality American craftsmanship, and a commitment to environmental stewardship. Based in Minneapolis, more than 90% of the products sold are produced by small U.S. manufacturers who practice responsible wood sourcing.
Room & Board enjoys a loyal, some may say fanatical, customer base—in part for its innovation approaches, including a by-the-inch program for select products made to customer measurements, as well as a commercial furnishings program for offices, hotels, restaurants, and universities.
The other inductees who will be feted during High Point Market in October are Michael Amini, chairman and CEO of AICO/Amini Innovations Corp.; Michael K. Dugan, former president and CEO of Henredon Furniture Industries; Neil Goldberg, chairman and CEO of Raymour & Flanigan Furniture; and Stephen K. Pond, founding publisher of Furniture Today.