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Augusta startup company markets lawn furniture made in the US

Monday, April 30, 2012 2:50 PM
Last updated 7:37 PM
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Local Patio is a new brand of outdoor furniture, but its model is far from young.

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Howard and Hallie Merry are starting Local Patio, a business reintroducing the Bunting metal glider, a steel front porch glider made from domestic materials   JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
Howard and Hallie Merry are starting Local Patio, a business reintroducing the Bunting metal glider, a steel front porch glider made from domestic materials

Augustans Howard and Hallie Merry have founded a company to make a brand of metal lawn furniture that was produced by the Bunting Glider Co., of Philadelphia, in the mid-20th century.

The idea came to them when their family sold some land. It had a farm pond, and a Bunting glider sat unprotected on the dock for more than 50 years. As they packed up the glider, they noticed that, aside from a little rust, it was still in remarkable condition. They searched for anyone still making the gliders but found that the company had gone out of business and that the only ones for sale were priced high on eBay or at antique stores.

“We couldn’t figure out why no one was making them,” Howard Merry said.

After months of research, the metal dies for producing the gliders were made and plans for manufacturing the pieces were finalized. Right now, Local Patio is waiting for enough pre-orders to begin production on the gliders.

The gliders are powder-coated stainless steel and come in six colors. Two color combinations denote Local Patio’s Augusta roots, the blue and white Harrisburg and green and white Augusta. Customers who pre-order the glider receive a 40 percent discount.

Howard Merry is currently working as president of Neba Health, a company that is developing an ADHD evaluation test. He has also founded several startups in the past, but Local Patio is more than just a good business idea to him.

“I love this furniture and have a passion for it,” he said.

He believes one of the glider’s best features is that the furniture is made in the United States from domestic steel. There is a growing demand for American products, he said, and that’s a movement he wants to support.

“I don’t think it’s a gimmick; I think it’s a legitimate trend,” he said. “I feel like it’s something that will continue.”

Hallie Merry worked in sales for years before her daughter was born, and now that she is approaching school age her mother has been looking for something to do. Local Patio is a perfect fit for her, she believes, and she’s excited about long-range potential for the company.

“This is even something we could include our daughter in eventually,” she said.

The Merrys hope the Local Patio brand will grow to contain a wide range of merchandise for the front porch or backyard. They recently sent their die cutter a metal chair and hope to begin production on those also.

“Everybody you meet who has these pieces of furniture has great stories to tell about them,” Howard Merry said. “They’re American icons.”

TO ORDER ONE

The pre-order price is $899, which is 40 percent off the regular price. Go to LocalPatio.net for more information or to order a glider. Follow them on Twitter at @LocalPatio, on Pinterest at Pinterest.com/LocalPatio and on Facebook at Facebook.com/LocalPatio.

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Just My Opinion
6238
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Just My Opinion 04/30/12 - 02:25 pm
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0
So, I looked at your website

So, I looked at your website and all I saw was the 3-seater for sale. Am I looking in the wrong place, or are y'all making the single-seat glider chairs (the article said "metal chair" but didn't specify)? Also, will they be manufactured here in the Augusta area...and if so, will that save us shipping for local pick-up? Am I asking too many questions?? Thanks!

Gracie Shepherd
6
Points
Gracie Shepherd 04/30/12 - 03:54 pm
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Just My Opinion, Local

Just My Opinion, Local Patio's website says pre-orders will receive free shipping. The gliders (three-seaters) are the only items you can pre-order right now, because Howard and Hallie just recently sent the chair in the picture up to get dies made. The furniture will be manufactured in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

kiwiinamerica
979
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kiwiinamerica 05/01/12 - 09:06 am
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Everyone in Augusta has patio
Unpublished

Everyone in Augusta has patio furniture but nobody ever sits in it.

What's up with that?

Discussionstarter
499
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Discussionstarter 05/05/12 - 05:31 pm
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$899 is high and that is

$899 is high and that is supposed to be 40% off of the future retail price. I will have to pass.

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