Begley Upholstering Brings in More Made-in-America Goods

Jenny Rogers

One hundred and thirty-three: That's the combined years of experience between furniture company Fortner and Begley Upholstering (the former was founded on the south side of town in 1929, the latter in Clintonville in 1968). Though it'd be safe to assume two different family-owned companies would be rivals, there's nothing but love between the businesses. In fact, when Fortner acquired Begley two years ago, both companies benefited.

Since then, they've been trying to determine how to best grow Begley's existing strengths, says Fortner president Justin McAllister. The answer? Work with Begley's talented crew while diversifying the services to appeal to a younger customer.

"It's similar to the brand diversity we have under the Fortner umbrella," McAllister says. Begley will remain in its North High Street location and will offer traditional upholstering services, plus a new brand of custom furniture called North High Furnishings.

"For years we've discussed building the furniture line, and it's been a passion of ours, but we never marketed it," owner Rod Begley says. "To bring it all under Begley's roof, we're thrilled about it."

As for the North High Furnishings showroom, everything you'll see is domestic, from the sustainable wood to the Ohio sheepskin sourced through a partnership with the Mid-Ohio Wool Growers Co-Op. "It's a fantastic line," Begley says.

Adds McAllister, "We feel like we're filling in a gap for all those folks moving to the area that want a step up from IKEA, but still want a good value."