Lorts Manufacturing was founded in 1966 by Andy Lorts who was operating a small independent furniture store in Phoenix. Seeing the success that big box stores like Levitz were having on his business, he realized quickly he needed to diversify. He bought the machinery of a small lamp manufacturer and despite Andy’s lack of experience, he was now a furniture manufacturer. Ironically, Levitz would eventually become the new company’s biggest customer and as Levitz grew, so did Lorts.
The first generation of product was Early American in style and made from alder bought from Northwest Hardwoods in the Pacific Northwest. Lorts still make it’s furniture from alder from Northwest Hardwoods and is their oldest customer.
Andy sold the company in the early ‘80’s. The new owner of Lorts was unable to continue the original Lorts success and in 1984, Andy’s son Mike bought the struggling company. Mike needed to get new customers and he needed them fast. He decided to make an entry into the waterbed market, which was growing at an incredible rate. Mike quickly built a reputation for making the highest quality bedroom furniture in the world. Lorts today still receives mail from customers who still love their Hallmark canopy bedroom set. The waterbed industry, however, had decided that trying to find how to make the least expensive furniture was the best direction to go. As a result, a lot of bad product was made and “waterbed” became associated with poor quality. The industry as a whole nose dived. Once again, Mike needed to re-invent Lorts.
He began to create new designs for southwest, english country, and french country styles. He would load his old pickup to the top with the new designs and bring them over to the local expert, Barrow’s Furniture and it’s owner Don Kauffman. With sometimes brutal honesty, Don and his staff would critique the designs or make a buying decision on the spot. From this early work sprang the Lorts Furniture of today.
Mike and his wife, Sylvia, created new designs and the company grew. Soon customers would ask if the items could be done in different finishes. After answering “no” the first several times, Lorts determined that there was a market for furniture with finish choices. And soon Lorts furniture would develop the reputation for having the finest finishes in the country.
In 2005, Mike sold the company to his son, Ty and his wife Michelle, ensuring that 3 generations of Lorts would run the company. The company has since moved to its current Goodyear, Arizona manufacturing facility. Lorts has also made a name in custom furniture, either from a rough sketch or a simple modification of an existing item. In 2010, Lorts began to sell wood exposed upholstery, allowing for its beautiful wood finishes to be combined with fine seating choices. Lorts has also earned a reputation for having some of the best customer service in the industry. The Lorts family and the more than 100 Lorts employees ensure each piece is worthy of the Lorts name and tradition: furniture passed down from generation to generation because of quality and style that transcends time, fashion and fads.