Gardner White in Shelby Township has introduced the exclusive American Life Collection, a curated assemblage of Americana-inspired home furnishings, accent pieces, and one-of-a-kind, authenticated collector items.
The American Life Collection was created from concept to implementation in partnership with the Michigan design team of Lori and Lou Mettler, owners of Mettlers American Mercantile in Petosky.
“Every piece in the American Life Collection at Gardner White has been meticulously curated to elevate the décor in any home by paying homage to iconic Americana and Michigan lifestyles,” says Rachel Stewart, president of Gardner White.
“People will be enveloped in history touring the truly unique vintage finds and classic pieces, many exclusive to our American Life Collection. Gardner White worked hand in hand with Lori and Lou Mettler to bring our vision to life as we continue to innovate and collaborate with local partners to create an interesting, relevant guest experience.”
The collection features luxury furniture by designers Dovetail Design, Four Hands, Case & Canvas, and Sagebrook Home in suede, velvet, and top grain leather textiles. There are one-of-a-kind equestrian, nautical, automotive, and military antiques in the collection, such as a 1946 World War II Cushman Scooter, restored leather-bound English military trunks circa 1915 used by British soldiers during World War I, and a World War II bomber pilot course indicator ILS (Instrument Landing System) gauge.
Original art, photographs, and unique handmade décor items, such as a 17-foot, handmade, hand-painted Wisconsin canoe and paddles, adorn the 3,000-square-foot design space. Vintage American flags with certificates of authenticity include a 48-star U.S. flag from between 1940-1945 printed on cotton with sewn edges, and an antique 13-star Centennial flag made of starched gauze and stenciled by hand.
It also features animal hides and mounted wildlife, such as an Alaskan Yukon moose, a Yellowstone bison, and South African zebra, stunning designer rugs and pillows, and chandeliers, scones, and lamps by Regina Andrew Detroit.
Gardner White and Mettler design duo joined forces for a full year to develop this new retail concept. Lou Mettler worked for iconic American brands including Ralph Lauren and Tommy Bahama.
In 2006, he and his wife, Lori, who had previously worked with Herman Miller in office design, traveled across America procuring American-made goods and opened Mettlers American Mercantile in 2009, a popular destination for Northern Michigan tourists and residents.
Gardner White will continue to update the American Life Collection with unique, Americana-themed inventory. The Shelby Township store is located at 14055 Hall Rd.
In related news, Gardner White has been honored as a 2022 Best Place to Work in Furniture in a national competition organized by Furniture Today.
“This extraordinary recognition belongs to each of Gardner White’s 1,000 team members,” says Stewart. “It is an achievement we all share in, one that has been made possible by every person’s hard work, dedication, commitment, and passion.
“We’ve been family owned and operated for four generations, making a personal and professional investment in our team members, who are like family to us. We are so humbled to receive this tremendous honor from Furniture Today for the second straight year.”
Companies underwent an evaluation of their organization to qualify for consideration. There were 10 winners selected.
“Companies selected for recognition in Furniture Today’s Best Places to Work program undergo a rigorous vetting process that evaluates a wide range of employee benefit and engagement programs, including detailed surveys of employees themselves,” says Bill McLoughlin, editor in chief of Furniture Today.
Gardner White was also named a 2021 Best Places to Work winner in the same competition open exclusively to companies whose primary business is furniture throughout the U.S.
“It is not easy to achieve this recognition. For a company like Gardner White to earn it twice in its first two years participating in the program speaks to the high value the company places on its most important asset — its people,” he says.