Black Hound is a name one would at first think was associated with a dog training business or a hunting operation. This particular moniker, however, belongs to a custom furniture design and manufacturing business called Black Hound Custom Furniture and Design. A small company with only 17 employees, Black Hound was launched in 2013 when the owners, married couple James and Kate Hixson, had the grand idea to combine their artistic abilities and James’s education and experience in sculpting to create functional, unique, handcrafted furniture pieces that would delight the eye while also outfitting homes and businesses. What started as a wood sculpture for a friend or a set piece for a university theatrical production evolved into a prosperous and growing business with clients that range from boutique hotels and high-end luxury homes to a national contract with Punch Bowl Social, a chain of popular hangouts.Black Hound’s first major client was a BBQ business in New York City who ordered several custom tables. Once the Hixson saw that their unique design capability was marketable, they went to work on creating a variety of different product designs for tables and chairs. Eventually, one sale led to another and, as word spread, referrals began contacting them with ideas and requests for furniture that exceeded their two-person workload and they had to find skilled employees to handle the unique demands associated with the design and manufacturing needs of the business.
Manufacturer's Edge is a great program. We really benefited from the fair/unbiased look at our company and the advice that followed. Sometimes we get so mired in the day-to-day running of our company that it's hard to step back and think things through objectively. This program allowed us that view.