Local furniture factory aids in breast cancer awareness

May 30, 2014

Originally from The Morganton News Herald

The Kellex Seating upholster furniture company in Valdese does more than just build furniture — they build connections to change lives.

Kellex recently partnered with a Susan G. Komen affiliate in Southern Nevada in a trade show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Susan G. Komen is a global breast cancer awareness and resource foundation. The Las Vegas trade show was May 14-16, and six Kellex employees traveled to attend the event in support of breast cancer awareness.

Kellex Seating Marketing Manager Angela Edwards, who worked directly with Komen representatives, said the furniture at the trade show was built specially for the event and contained different types of pink fabric as well as both Susan G. Komen and Kellex Seating labels.

The 25 pieces of furniture that were at the show will be auctioned off later this year, Edwards said.

“We really wanted to do something different,” she said. “We reached out to (Susan G. Komen), and they were really excited about the partnership. We just wanted to do something that meant something on another level, besides selling furniture.”

Edwards said not only was the Vegas trade show a success, but the partnership has benefited both companies as well.

“It really was the perfect partnership for us and for them,” she said. “Not only were we able to show our new designs and premiere those at the Vegas show, but they also had the opportunity to raise more money for their affiliate later this year by auctioning off the pieces.”

Both Kellex and Komen representatives sat in the pink and white colored booth together at the show, and Kellex Seating donated $5 to the breast cancer foundation for every person who visited them.

The booth was buzzing with people throughout the entire show, said Kellex Seating President Chris Rice.

“It wasn’t just a pink and white booth; the furniture had life to it,” he said. “It was very colorful and very inviting.”

Rice said the booth had a way of touching visitors and helping them share their stories.

“It had a therapeutic reaction from people,” he said. “We had designers coming in and really talking about their struggles with breast cancer. The furniture was almost a celebration of their journey. It represented more to them; it really became not about furniture, but about breast cancer.”

Rice said Kellex employees Lew English, Brenda Clay and Angela Edwards all majorly contributed to the partnership and the success of the show.

“It was through their hard work that we pulled (the show) off,” he said.

The partnership with Komen has brought Kellex employees closer together, Rice said.

“It gave our entire company the opportunity to work together and do something special for Susan G. Komen’s cause,” he said. “A lot of us have been touched by breast cancer. It’s furniture with a special cause.”

Edwards said the success of the Vegas trade show inspired Kellex to reach out to the North Carolina Foothills Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, which covers Burke, Catawba and Caldwell counties.

“We wanted to do something to help our local group as well,” she said. “Vegas (received) such an amazing reaction that we are starting to reach out to other affiliates.”

Edwards said Kellex is hosting an online auction through June 8 to benefit the foothills branch.

“Furniture comes easy to us, so since we can raise money for this group, why not do it?” she said. “All we’re doing is donating the furniture; 100 percent of what’s raised from this online auction does go to the foothills (Komen) affiliate.”

The foothills Komen affiliate, which is a volunteer-ran organization, donates 75 percent of their income to funding grants to local hospitals and organizations that provide breast health education, screening and treatment programs for women. The remaining 25 percent of proceeds go toward the Komen Grants Program, which funds breast cancer research, educational and scientific programs and meritorious awards.

To participate in the current online auction, visit www.kellex.com or the Kellex Seating Facebook page and click on the live link.

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