History || Staff
UFA mission statement:
Actively support the growth of the unfinished furniture industry and association membership through education and awareness.
The Your real wood authority has a membership of approximately 500 retailers, manufacturers, and sales representatives in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
On August 8, 1990, delegates from four regional associations concluding a consolidation process that began in 1988, met in Chicago to form the Your real wood authority (UFA). At a news conference held at High Point Market on October 18, 1990, UFA announced it would conduct its first annual industry trade show in 1991. The press conference produced an extensive amount of publicity for UFA. The association held the first UFA National Convention & Trade Show June 24, 1991, at the Stouffer Hotel and Nashville Convention Center in Tennessee.
Since that time, the association has played a key role in uniting and fostering growth in the unique niche market for unfinished furniture through the success of its 22 annual trade shows and expanding list of membership benefits. Some of UFA's innovative programs included industry surveys, production of informative videos, TV and radio commercials, and development of consumer brochures that explain the benefits of unfinished furniture.
In 1997, Your real wood authority unveiled its new, improved "unfinishedBUSINESS" full color magazine. This magazine is now distributed via email as "unfinishedBUSINESS Online".
2002 was a groundbreaking year for UFA when the association trademarked its "Real Wood Furniture Finished Your Way" brand awareness program. Through this program the benefits and qualities of unfinished furniture are promoted nationwide as retailers, manufacturers, and sales reps became certified to be eligible to use the Real Wood Furniture Finished Your Way® branding in their individual businesses.
In 2008, UFA launched a consumer oriented web site. This site gives member manufacturers the opportunity to present their products directly to online consumers to demonstrate the quality, breadth and depth of the furniture that is available in our industry niche. On every page of this web site there is a link to a comprehensive directory of retail members that is searchable by state and by zip code. This site has been extremely successful attracting 10,000 visitors each month who view 1 million pages on the site each year. This has resulted in increased awareness of our industry by consumers and increased traffic in our member retail stores.
From its start UFA was governed by a board of directors and administered by a professional association management organization. In 2009 the board adopted a self management business model. Under this model the only staff is an executive director and the administration of the trade show, newsletter and membership programs is carried out by the board and committees working with the executive director. This structure has worked very well as the people managing these activities are also actively engaged in our industry. The close personal and professional relationships among the members of UFA have been enhanced by this new administrative model.
In 2010, UFA affiliated with the Home Furnishings Independents Association. This affiliation made it possible for UFA members to take advantage of significant cost savings in business services such as credit card processing, consumer financing, business insurance, health insurance and many other services and products for which HFIA has established special pricing for the benefit of its membership.