Mitchell Gold, Chair-man and Cofounder, along with his business partner Bob Williams, President and Cofounder, disrupted the furniture industry before the word was even fashionable. From the moment they introduced their own line, they broke barriers by offering lifetime warranties on products and delivering goods within 30 days, breaking all industry standards. They introduced beautiful cheeky fabrics on upholstered dining chairs and prewashed denim and khaki from the fashion industry on sofas, which no other company was doing. They were environmentally conscious from inception and boldly made high fashion design while keeping comfort and value top priorities. This was just the beginning for the dynamic duo.
With my older brother Richard around 4 years old. Our family had just gotten a new red white Oldsmobile!
Mitchell, originally a furniture buyer at Bloomingdales and Bob, an art director at Seventeen Magazine, came together 30+ years ago with a shared belief that comfort has the power to change lives. “We’ve never been afraid to push the boundaries and take creative risks,” said Bob Williams, President and Cofounder, “but we always make sure it’s comfortable, in every sense of the word.”
The dynamic design duo changed the furniture industry forever. Together they created more than just a company: They created a platform for doing good, from taking care of their customers, employees and their families to giving back to their local community, the communities of our Signature Stores across the country, and to the world at large.
For Ewing High School graduation year book they asked my nickname. I didn’t have one so i ridiculously said Al Capone. I was however, devoted to pleasure and fun as my mask for the angst I was going through.
Mitchell and Bob started the company in 1989 in the beautiful, rural town of Taylorsville, North Carolina, where it remains today. Thirty+ years later, the two business partners head an internationally renowned brand headquartered in a million-square-feet modern factory.
This family-friendly work environment includes an on-site, not-for-profit education-based daycare center for employees and members of the community–the first of its kind in the residential furniture industry and a leader in giving children a healthy start in life through the Shape NC program. Employees also enjoy Café Lulu, a health-conscious gourmet cafe. There is also a physical fitness center, yearly college scholarships for employees’ children, free annual health fair, free on-site health clinic, and many other programs that contribute to the company’s exceptionally low turnover and industry-leading productivity levels.
“When we were first starting the company, I was devastated to learn that the furniture manufacturing industry was one of the largest contributors to pollution, I knew right then that we were going to do something better, something different”, said Mitchell Gold. Since its inception, the company has made environmentally intelligent decisions–from its focus on creating classic, fine-quality, comfortable furniture designed to be treasured for years to the way pieces are manufactured and packaged to how the factory is run. There was always a philosophy of the importance of circularity of our products: they should not end up in a landfill but rather passed on to others or to a different home or to a charity where it can be used by people in need. The company is a Sustaining member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), and Mitchell is on the Board.
As Student Government President, I held a town hall with the President Lester Brookner.
Many consumers know the company’s philosophy of comfort from its retail stores. There are currently 25 Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Signature Stores, in cities including New York, D.C., Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Scottsdale, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Austin, and San Juan, as well as Toronto.
Mitchell Gold + Bob’s Williams also sells their entire collection online at www.mgbwhome.com. There is also a hospitality division (mgbwcpontract.com), selling to top hotel chains like Starwood, Morgans Group, Kimpton, Hyatt, and Ritz Carlton, as well as eateries such as Starbucks.
While running a multi-million-dollar company, Mitchell served on the True Faith Doesn’t Bully Committee of The Tyler Clementi Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ending online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities. He also served on the Board of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for seven years.
Several years after college, while working at Bloomingdale’s in NYC.
Today Mitchell’s advocacy focus is on motivating non-affirming religions to change their teachings and in simple words, to take ‘homosexuality off the sin list.’ It’s a tall order to move a mountain like this but as Mitchell says “if you don’t ask, you’ll never know what you can get. This is important to stop the human suffering caused by such ill-informed teachings.” https://lgbtqnotasin.com/
Mitchell is also a published author. His first book, Let’s Get Comfortable: How to Furnish and Decorate a Welcoming Home, was co-authored with Bob and published in March 2007. In honor of the company’s 20th Anniversary, he and Bob published a second decorating book in 2009, The Comfortable Home. In 2014, Who We Are was released as a 25th Anniversary coffee table/business book. Mitchell is also editor of Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know about Growing Up Gay, published in hardcover in 2008 and paperback in 2011.
Mitchell has been widely featured in the media, from CBS This Morning and CBS Sunday Morning to the Today show, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful and many other shelter publications.
In 2019, Mitchell handed over the reins of Chairperson and CEO and today says he is ‘semi-somewhat-mostly retired’ from the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Home Furnishings business. He continues as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair-man Emeritus.
Cruising in 2018. Not sure where I was going, but I was on my way.
After years of experience with great successes as well as ‘battle scars’ of mistakes, Mitchell recently formed Hindsight>Forward consulting. As with many things he’s done in his career, this will be a different kind of consulting. Acknowledging the preciousness of honest hindsight, he’ll take those lessons from himself and clients to move forward in an accelerated manner. Whether a business is in trouble or looking to go to the next level, what are the hurdles that need to be overcome but often aren’t seen by management, investors or bankers? Audit or consulting groups come in and just don’t know where to look, how to dig for root causes and find solutions with open, robust conversations.
Mitchell resides in North Carolina with his incredibly sweet Handi-Capable dog, L.C. (Mitchell Gold FB). Over the years he’s been part of fostering over 300 puppies and dogs in the “Puppy Palace.” Mitchell currently serves on the NC Daycare Commission as a Gubernatorial appointee, NC Governor Cooper’s NC Business Council and continues as an active Board of Director for the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams company as Chair-man Emeritus.