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The Mitten State pulls up a chair

October 18, 2013
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The Mitten State pulls up a chair
The Michigan Fly Company is shifting its focus to making more of its Michirondack chairs due to demand. Courtesy Michigan Fly Company

The Lower Peninsula makes a great chair.

The state that’s home to Furniture City is actually becoming a piece of furniture itself, thanks to a new venture by Grand Rapids-based Michigan Fly Company and its owner Jason Nagher.

The business makes fly fishing equipment, but its newest product isn’t for fishing: it’s a handmade, cedar-wood Adirondack chair — with the back shaped like Michigan’s mitten outline.

He calls it a Michirondack.

“It’s just funny that I moved here three and a half years ago from Detroit to Furniture City, and now I’m in the furniture business,” Nagher said. “So far, so good.”

His idea for the Michigan-themed chair came after spotting an Adirondack chair with the "D" logo of the Detroit Tigers.

Early sales

Nagher designed his own chair after the shape of the Lower Peninsula and set it in his front yard — just in time to catch some June rays this summer.

That’s when the doorbell started ringing. A lot. And suddenly, Nagher had a chair business on his hands.

“People were going nuts over it,” said Nagher’s wife, Abby Nagher. “We had about three to five people ring our door every day, asking us where we got them."

Nagher spends about five hours making each chair at his home, as part of a set, with three helpers. He gets all of his wood from local wholesalers.

The chair costs $295, and Nagher’s sold about 150 chairs over the summer.

All in

The chairs are for sale online and in Grand Rapids at Ed Dunnenback & Girls and Wealthy at Charles and in Kalamazoo at Art on a Whim.

As the popularity of chair grows, Nagher said he plans to slowly phase out of the fly fishing business and focus on making more chairs.

Right now, he gets a lot of requests for other states, and he’s working on creating other designs to keep up with the demand.

On the east side of the state, Michigan native and music star Kid Rock has been seen with the Michirondack chair.

He used the chair during a peformance of his song "Flyin' High" at the DTE Energy Music Theatre this summer, Abby Nagher said.

“He always brings a lawn chair out during that song.” 

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