Halley Grant Furniture 'stands the test of time'

By Rachel Robles, Lifestyles editor | Jul 10, 2014
Photo by: Rachel Robles CARVING OUT A NICHE — Halley Grant stands in his shop in Maggie Valley. His furniture business has been a fixture in the community since 1952.

Halley Grant, a Maggie Valley native and fixture in the community, has been making furniture for a long time. His furniture business is listed as the seventh oldest business in Haywood County, and was established by Grant’s father in 1952 because, as Grant says, “He saw a need in the community.”

Grant took over full ownership in 1999 after his father passed away and continues the tradition of making high-quality custom built furniture, crafting period pieces and restoring antiques. He also builds period pieces for log cabins and high-quality heirlooms that “can stand the test of time.”

“Fifty-two years later, it’s been a great trip,” Grant said. “I enjoy what I do.”

The business is very family oriented; his wife helps with public relations and the phones and his granddaughter helps him with office work. And up until recently, Grant never advertised; 95 percent of work is through word of mouth, a tactic that has taken his work to 39 states, including Alaska, and overseas to Germany, England and Holland.

Grant has numerous photo albums filled with pictures of finished products, before and after pictures and “in the making” pictures that show his process of crafting a piece start to finish. There is a story for every picture he has. And every picture has a story.

“People come in as clients and leave as friends,” Grant said.

His clientele extends into the second and third generations of his and his father’s original clients.

“My clients don’t leave me; they die out,” he said with a laugh.

Grant works out of a small shop behind his house. He shares his workspace with two dogs, a cat and a rooster named Gail, so named by his granddaughter who thought it was hen when he hatched.

In 2003, Grant tried to leave the business but “my customers wouldn’t let me,” he said. He then decided to return to woodworking on a small scale.

Grant says he’s stayed in the business because he truly enjoys what he does.

“When someone walks in with an heirloom piece and I restore it to its original state and they look at it … Grown men cry. I get hugs,” Grant said. “I love restoring true antiques. I get great satisfaction in preserving a good piece.”

He also enjoys working with clients to create custom pieces, often pieces that can be, and have been, passed down as heirlooms. No job is too small. For example, he once replaced the handle in an antique toy hammer.
“I don’t care who you are or what you do,” Grant said. “If you want a job done properly, I’ll do it right.”

Grant’s shop is located at 3552 Dellwood Drive, Maggie Valley. Visit www.halleygrantwoodworking.com or call 926-1299 for information.