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American / Asian Trading Company Makes Nationwide News.

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In today's rocky economic times, it is all too commonplace to see furniture manufacturers in the headlines, usually accompanied by the announcement that they are shutting down operations. However, Catawissa/Baili Fine Arts & Crafts, a visionary partnership between Pennsylvania-based hardwood components maker Catawissa Lumber and Chinese furniture designer Baili Fine Arts & Crafts, recently had the rare distinction of making headlines for opening up new markets worldwide. After a local story about the startup of the Catawissa/Baili Fine Arts & Crafts partnership written by Simon Shifrin ran in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania’s Press Enterprise on March 5, the story was picked up by the Associated Press Wire Service. The next day the Catawissa/Baili story ran in 15 major newspapers nationwide as far away as California, Texas and Florida. That's an impressive achievement for a company that only made its first major debut at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, North Carolina, last October. "After our debut at the Fall Market, we were sure we had a good product. The fact that the AP wire service picked up our story, however, confirmed that we are doing something quite unique," said Bill Gittler, Jr., CEO of American hardwood furniture components manufacturer Catawissa Lumber & Specialty Company, the parent company and the American partner of Baili Fine Arts & Crafts. "We feel it is a tribute to the talents, experience and hard work of both our American and Chinese craftsmen to receive so much interest in the Catawissa/Baili Fine Arts & Crafts line so soon. It shows us that the American public is searching for craftsmanship without boundaries, which is the Catawissa/Baili hallmark." A division called the Catawissa Trading Company buys and sells lumber and wood components from Catawissa Lumber's manufacturing division, then sells them to Beijing-based Baili Fine Arts & Crafts, owned by Chinese designer John Liu. Baili's artisans handcraft the museum-quality furniture using centuries-old techniques. The finished pieces are then shipped back to Catawissa Trading Company. The trading company, in turn, markets and sells the finished pieces to interior designers, decorators, home architects and high-end furniture dealers in the United States under the Catawissa/Baili Fine Arts & Crafts brand. (Catawissa Trading Company holds exclusive rights to sell and market Baili furniture in the United States). All Catawissa/Baili furniture is handcrafted by Baili's Chinese artisans from top quality, 100 percent Appalachian hardwood components manufactured by Catawissa in America. All joints are articulated and joined through wood and adhesives alone and the look of the furniture is accentuated by all-natural finishes that bring out the wood's one-of-a-kind beauty. Since every piece is handmade, Catawissa/Baili prides itself on the limited availability of its products. No piece or collection will ever be mass-manufactured, with only 100 to 200 pieces per style produced at once. Because of this exclusivity, price points range from $400 to $6,500 per piece. When Catawissa/Baili debuted last year, its catalog offered twelve individual accent pieces from its Japanese Shinto and American Mission design collections. This spring, Catawissa/Baili will introduce three complete collections, Japanese Shinto, American Mission and Chinese Ming, at the April 2006 International Home Furnishings Market in High Point. Each collection will offer a complete range of dining room, living room and occasional furnishings at Suites At Market Square Space 1-906.

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