In 1886, Albert F. Karges, a first generation immigrant, invested $600 to begin making moderately priced, American-style furniture out of local hardwoods in Evansville, Indiana. Karges was one of more than forty furniture companies in the area at this time. After WWI, Albert’s son, Edwin Karges Sr., an artist at heart, joined the company. After traveling Europe, Mr. "K" convinced his father to try some of the unique and traditional designs of European furniture. Because of Edwin Sr.’s designs, Karges Furniture pulled away from the pack with elaborate, carved case pieces and was set on the path to becoming the company it is today.
Edwin Sr.’s son, Edwin Karges Jr., “Eddie” as he was known, graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in wood technology. Eddie developed a finishing process that was second to none. The Karges finish still sets Karges apart and is well known in the furniture industry as being unique, artistic and full of depth and dimension. In the early 1970’s Eddie’s daughter Joan Karges Rogier brought a true understanding and appreciation of craftsmanship to the company. She was committed to preserving and growing the knowledge bequeathed to her by her predecessors. Joan continues to lend guidance and knowledge to the company. Joan’s daughter, Gretchen Rogier Keith, now the 5th generation of the Karges Furniture family, inherited the experience and passion of her family business. Gretchen is an integral part of the company today and oversees the Karges brand for Kindel Grand Rapids.
In 2014 Karges joined the Kindel Grand Rapids family. All operations were moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the practices of bench made furniture continue. The partnership brought together two family owned companies, each with over a century of experience, shared values in hand craftsmanship and superior execution. Karges is meticulously hand crafted by the skilled, passionate artisans of Grand Rapids who remain dedicated to the mission upon which Karges Furniture was founded.
Grand Rapids has been the home of the Kindel Furniture Company since 1912 when Charles J. Kindel located one of his many furniture factories to The Furniture City, as Grand Rapids was known in the early 20th century. The legacy of the Kindel family transferred ownership in 1964 when Kindel was purchased by John Fisher of Muncie, Indiana. The Fisher family has maintained family ownership for over 50 years with a dedication and commitment to 100% American-made furniture. While other companies have sought lower cost methods and offshore production, Kindel held a standard for domestic work, and today handcrafts 100% of their furniture in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In 2015, just one year after Karges joined Kindel, Councill Furniture became available for sale. Founded on the same made-to-order principles as Kindel and Karges, adding Councill seemed another perfect fit. The acquisitions have positioned Kindel, Karges, Councill and Councill Contract uniquely as the preeminent, luxury furniture brands made in the United States that are committed to bench-made methods and superior craftsmanship.
The four brands collectively are known today as Kindel Grand Rapids. Kindel Grand Rapids is enormously proud to build our furniture every day, using time-honored techniques reflecting a passion for the finest furniture in the world. A commitment to the details: bench assembly, hand-selected veneers, hand carving, hand-painted decoration, and hand finishing defines Kindel Grand Rapids as a true, American, luxury brand.