The Carolina Mirror Building on NC Highway 268 once prospered as the largest mirror manufacturing facility in the world, but the 250,000-square-foot building eventually closed. However, Scott Nafe was intrigued by the spacious one-story structure.
The Wilkes County industrial real estate businessman and owner of Carolina Heritage Cabinetry purchased the vacant building in 2006 and spent much money on renovations. Today, the state-of-the-art facility produces some of the finest cabinetry products in the world.
“I like restoring old buildings and have always enjoyed doing business in Wilkes County,” Nafe says. “Things have been going well lately at Carolina Heritage Cabinetry. We had eight employees in early 2012 and have 75 employees today.”
Nafe credits the success of his company to employees who have decades of experience in woodworking. The state of North Carolina has enjoyed a long history in the furniture-making industry, but many jobs and businesses eventually relocated to foreign countries.
“That’s not what I’m all about. Wilkes County is a comfortable place to do business where talented people have a strong work ethic and make the best products possible,” he says. “I choose to do business the right way, or we won't do it. My employees have the same belief, which is why our cabinetry products are superior.”
Besides the manufacturing plant, Carolina Heritage Cabinetry operates an on-site 10,000-square-foot showroom called Gallery 268 to showcase its kitchen and bath design products to area builders, interior designers, architects, plumbing contractors and homeowners. The company has also expanded into a full line of plumbing products for commercial and residential customers, with several plumbing and cabinetry installers on staff.
“The showroom has been evolving here in North Wilkesboro for more than two years, and we are also in the beginning stages of opening two more showrooms in Hickory and Cornelius,” says Hope Carroll Jordan, manager of Gallery 268. “We are designed to be a one-stop shopping experience for our clients.”
Jordan says Carolina Heritage Cabinetry can be involved in a client’s project as little as just providing cabinetry, or CHC can offer a full design service for plumbing fixtures, custom closets, decorative lighting and customized cabinet knobs and pulls.
“We turn people’s bath and kitchen dreams into living, functional art for their lives,” she says. “No job is too big, no job is too small. We work with all budgets.”
Jordan adds that the company has recently hired a number of top interior designers, and she herself has 13 years of experience in the decorative plumbing and hardware industry.
“Our product line includes Amba towel warmers, Moen faucets, Blanco sinks, Jaclo showers, Icera toilets, Jeffrey Alexander kitchen islands and more,” she says. “I learned many years ago that ‘people buy from people,’ and I’m proud of the individuals who are employed here.”