American Heirlooms - October 2018




For the Zimmerman family, custom cabinets and custom furniture isn’t just a job; it’s part of our family history. From growing up around the skills of craftsmen to spending countless hours in wood shops, we sometimes take for granted the artistry our family has. But comparing it to any other line of business we could be doing, we wouldn’t trade it for anything. In the beginning, the shop was started with Fred and Glenn Zimmerman, the sons of a building contractor in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The brothers took apart their mother’s kitchen chair. They examined the chair’s pieces and its intricacies. They then toured around different furniture shops, gathering up ideas and business approaches. Glenn and Fred took out a $5,000 loan from their father to purchase tools and lumber. Their shop was set up in a vacant farm building, where they began their furniture building career. They began

creating custom kitchen and dining furniture part time while still helping their father with his contracting business. And thus, one of the first Zimmerman furniture shops began.

Twenty-six years later, practice is making perfect for Ethan, and dialing in the skills has been of great interest to him, as he works daily to perfect the craft. It is just like target practice. When you are sighting in your gun, you shoot a group of shots, adjust your sights based on that grouping, and go at it again — getting closer to that bull’s-eye each time. A happy customer and a finely crafted piece for a home is the Zimmerman bull’s-eye. It’s what our shop strives for every day.

It’s our hope that the Zimmerman tradition will continue through future generations.

And part of that tradition continues through the pieces we create today.

Now, Fred’s son Ethan runs the shop in Delaware, an extension of that first shop.

We’re just family building furniture for other families. It’s what we’ve always done, and God willing, what we will always do.

Ethan began running around in the sawdust of his dad’s shop when he was just a child and from age 16 has been involved full time.

–Fred and Ethan Zimmerman

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