When Eric Church moved to Nashville seeking stardom as a country singer, he made a promise to himself that he would never, ever be involved in his dad’s business. Eric grew up in Granite Falls, North Carolina with a father who found success as an executive in the furniture industry.
As you might’ve guessed from listening to Eric’s songs about going against the grain and being an outsider, he had no interest in following everyone around him into the furniture business. Even though he had job offers lined up after college to go into the business, Eric heard a different call.
He was dead set on making it in the music industry.
Fast forward to 2016, and Eric is one of the top artists in the country format. Now that he’s proven himself as a musician, Eric has gone back to his roots and released his own line of furniture, appropriately called Highway to Home.
During a recent event associated with the furniture line, Eric played a short acoustic set. He admitted to the crowd, “I am the last person that ever thought I would be back in the furniture industry.”
Eric explained, “I swore when I graduated Appalachian State University that I would never, ever be in the furniture industry. But I got older and I realized that I’m here because of the furniture industry. I’m here because it is my DNA. It is my story. It is who I am.”
As he’s gone on to start a family of his own, Eric has come to appreciate the foundational role the furniture business played in his life. It also influenced his music in ways he is just now fully realizing.
“I grew up in Granite Falls, North Carolina, which is near Hickory, which is the furniture capitol of the world,” Eric said. “I was literally fed because of furniture. What’s interesting about it is all these songs from the albums that we have, it all comes from people who worked in these towns. They’re not there anymore, but they used to be there.”
The first song he sings during the set, “What I Almost Was,” was written about getting away from the furniture business and into music. While introducing it, Eric said with a smile, “That’s just completely bullshit now, apparently, but I’ll play it.”
The YouTube video of Eric’s one-man performance offers a rare chance to get a look at the man behind those aviator sunglasses. He even messed up the lyrics to “Talladega,” but Eric quickly laughed it off. He’s clearly comfortable with these folks.
In closing, Eric told them, “This is very near and dear to my heart, and I appreciate that we are partners, and we have a vision for it. And I appreciate you guys buying into that vision. I’m very excited about where I know this is heading.”
Get a look at Eric’s furniture line here.