In her recent bestselling book "Factory Man," journalist Beth Macy tells the story of John Bassett III who fought relentlessly to keep 700 workers employed at his Bassett Furniture Company in Bassett, Virginia, despite fierce competition from furniture makers in China. The tale is a story of one executive's attempt to push back against the forces of globalization.
It turns out that others in the once-proud furniture-making towns of Virginia and North Carolina are having renewed success, too, after years of being battered by cheap labor and cheaper prices deployed by overseas competitors.
Indeed, U.S.-based furniture manufacturers saw retail sales jump to $95.3 billion in 2013, according to the American Home Furnishings Alliance. And one analyst projects sales this year are up 5.5 percent.