AMORY – While an expansion of Behold Home was already in the works, customer demand for its brand of furniture accelerated the process. A new facility for the company alongside Glenn Drive will soon play host to upwards of 70 new jobs.
“Our plan is to accommodate up to four lines of production, along with warehouse space. They’re nice-paying jobs, and we’ll be a good corporate citizen,” said company chief executive officer Lyle Harris.
Behold Home received an ACE grant from the State of Mississippi for assistance with necessary building improvements.
Improvements to the facility include new plumbing fixtures, new air lines and lighting.
“It’s over a million dollar investment in the building and equipment. I really want to thank Monroe County. They’ve been a great home and incubator for our company, and it’s nice to be able to continue to grow,” Harris said.
Harris gave thanks to local and state officials for assisting in the expansion process.
“We are pleased to share the announcement of Behold Homes acquisition of additional space in Amory to accommodate their growing needs from their facility in Smithville. There is no greater encouragement this year than to see our existing industries continuing to grow and invest in Monroe County. They have established their presence here and are choosing to stay in Monroe County,” said Monroe County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chelsea T. Baulch.
The expansion represents close to an additional 80 to 100 employees throughout the whole business.
“We’re going to take some of our existing production people from the Smithville location and relocate the ones who desire to be in Amory to go to that location and hire employees on top of that. I feel like we can probably get 60 to 70 employees pretty quickly there. Then we’ll have to backfill in Smithville for the positions transferred there.
Hiring efforts have already begun, and applications are available at the Smithville facility and at the WIN Job Center in Amory. Applications will ultimately be accepted at the Glenn Drive facility after more improvements are made to the building.
Positions include warehouse and upholstery employees, in addition to those in support areas such as bringing in raw materials.
At the Amory facility, stationary upholstery such as sofas and sectionals will be manufactured. The company’s product development department will be relocated to the building also.
Like many other companies, Behold Home was shut down earlier this spring following the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the pandemic was kicking in, we didn’t know what to expect. Shortly after business started being conducted, after a six- to eight-week shutdown, we quickly saw there was a huge demand for our products. I’d say in early May, we saw a dramatic increase. We’ve always been mindful that we wanted to expand and want to do it intelligently. This really pushed it to the forefront to help service and backlog and give our customers the best experience we can as a provider of furniture for them,” Harris said. “People are spending more time at home and are allocated resources to improving the comfort and overall look of our homes, so that’s a really interesting bi-product of the pandemic.”
In 2018, Behold Home acquired Washington Furniture in Pontotoc, and there are approximately 450 employees between the Smithville and Pontotoc locations. Harris said the company is 20 percent above pre-pandemic production levels in Pontotoc.
“As Behold Home grows, all three locations are expanding – Pontotoc, Smithville and Amory. Across our brand, we’re experiencing growth.
“We founded the business in Monroe County back in March of 2014 and have been able to grow the business nicely in our Smithville location. We’ve got a really nice employment base there. Our employees do a great job and they provide us the opportunity to take on more business,” Harris said. “The trend recently is United States retailers are wanting to buy from domestically-manufactured producers. We’re committed to that business model.”