Noel Harmison, proprieter
As a youth, Noel Harmison was exposed by his parents to the art of refinishing and salvaging furniture. Noel’s father would work during the day at his insurance business and then come home and work on pieces of furniture that needed basic restoration.
Noel graduated from Cedartown High School in 1976 and later married in 1979, purchasing a home that had included several pieces of old furniture. Noel worked to restore this furniture, sparking a passion for fine woodworking.
During that time, news spread that Noel restored and refinished furniture and generational heirlooms. As time progressed, so did Noel’s knowledge of the craft. He built upon the nuances of construction and joinery methods by studying fine antique crafted pieces from wood working masters such as Greene and Greene.
Some of the best years of this burgeoning career started with tools that Noel had borrowed from his dad.
Working part time on his growing woodworking business, Noel continued to maintain a full time job at a manufacturing plant in Cedartown. As the years continued, Noel began to suffer from an debilitating pain due to repetitive motion on an assembly line. The pain continued to the point that he had to walk away from his job for the sake of his health. When he did, Noel began to look to his woodworking skills as a way to provide for his family. He hand-built a 1,200 square-foot shop, purchased additional tools and officially moved his operations from his back porch to the newly constructed facility. Harmison Fine Furniture now boasts a current-day facility of 3,800 square feet.
“I was a self-study on every type of piece," Noel said. "I would not study one designer per se, but would study the type of piece and create reproductions from them.” He has never used a pre-designed set of plans in manufacturing his antique reproductions. He would take pieces found, disassemble them and put them back together and study every detail, every joint. Many times, the pieces require such precision in its craftsmanship, that the tools used to create them are powered only by his hands -- just like the craftsman of generations past. Noel recited a quote that is the backbone to his restoration mantra: “A person should not attempt to restore a piece of furniture if he cannot build it himself.”
Word-of-mouth has been the only source of advertising for Harmison Fine Furniture since day one. People have traveled from throughout the Southeast to have Noel provide custom wood furniture for their homes. Noel strives for perfection in every custom piece he manufactures. His focus over the years is a simple one. Build a relationship with every customer and do whatever it takes to make them happy.