Our story began with three words: Als Ik Kan – "to the best of my ability." This old Flemish craftsman's phrase has been the guiding principle of Stickley. Gustav Stickley marked his product with the phrase to assure customers that Stickley furniture was of the finest quality, every piece made with honor, integrity, and pride.
The Stickley brothers burst into international prominence in the early 20th century with their Mission Oak designs. These were based on the notion that furniture should be “honest”—a reaction against the fake joinery, unnecessary gaudiness, and shoddy workmanship of many of the pieces created in the early days of industrial furniture making.
The Stickleys used solid construction, what-you-see-is-what-you-get joinery, and the highest quality woods. But even more, they showed a genius for design, creating hundreds of new forms that were at once beautiful to look upon, practical to use, exceedingly strong and long-lasting, and perfect complements to the new ways American families wanted to live.
Stickley furniture was not for shutting up in formal parlors—it was to be used and loved by young and old. Great emphasis was placed on letting the gorgeous, organic forms of quartersawn oak and other woods speak for themselves. Finishes were not thick gums, but clear dyes that allowed natural grain to sparkle.
The same devotion to design, the best workmanship, and enduring value was applied to all Stickley designs. Leopold Stickley's colonial-inspired Cherry Valley Collection, introduced in the 1920s, honored the traditions of early American craftsmen, earning Leopold the title "Revered Dean of Cabinetmakers" in the process.
L. & J.G. Stickley now thrives with dozens of distinctive furniture lines, about 1,500 skilled workers, and state-of-the-art factories in Manlius, New York; Archdale, North Carolina; and Vietnam.
At a time when most large furniture makers have outsourced the majority (or all) of their wood furniture production overseas, more than 95 percent of Stickley’s products continue to be proudly made by our own craftsmen in America.
Enduring tradition, superior craftsmanship, an unshakeable philosophy of excellence—these are the bedrock of the Stickley ethic, and the reason that Stickley produces America’s premium hardwood furniture.
We say it in many ways, and in different tongues, but the spirit goes right back to that Flemish studio: Als Ik Kan.