Industry Royalty Rockstar: Rod Lambeth

Rod lambeth, Tomlinson

Rod Lambeth.jpg

Although he’d be the last person to call himself High Point Royalty, there are only a handful of family names in the industry that everyone recognizes as legacies. The Tomlinsons and Lambeths are two of those names, and Rod Lambeth is a third-generation owner of what is now Tomlinson Companies, a merger of Tomlinson, Erwin-Lambeth, Directional, and Carter.

Growing up in the family business, what foundations were instilled early on that you still use today? I witnessed it everyday growing up, and in my early career. Leadership is about caring for the people that are carrying you to the finish line. You have to be there. You have to show up and be present. And share in the participation of getting to the finish line. You have to get there early, work hard, stay late and never - ever- quit.


What was your first experience with HPMKT?

True story. Mom was setting up the Erwin Lambeth showroom for market and I was in diapers. Nothing ever stopped her from getting something done, so why should a diaper change on an $8,000 sectional be any different?!

 

Who have you drawn the most inspiration from?

My Mom & Dad. Design inspiration certainly from my mom. She was a leader in our industry and the first woman that I know of to found a furniture company - Erwin Lambeth - unheard of in 1946. My Dad unknowingly taught me sensitivity. He cared about people, all people. He was instrumental in raising millions of dollars for Rotary International to eliminate polio globally by providing vaccines, and that was truly inspirational to me.

My mother was unique in that she built the business and ran it from her heart. Her dedication to the furniture industry and the consumer was always unmatched
— Rod Lambeth
 Rod’s mother, Industry legend Katharine Covington Lambeth

Rod’s mother, Industry legend Katharine Covington Lambeth

 

What do you love most about building furniture one piece at a time?

The ability to appreciate the concept of the design and the ability to see it through to reality. Every piece of furniture we build impacts someone. We are rewarded by the simple fact that we have created a piece of furniture that makes someone happy and enjoy life just a little bit more.

What are you most proud of?

Contributions to the community and all of my employees and their families. A heritage with all of our companies that goes back 118 years.

What showrooms do you always make a point to visit?

You’ll only find me in the Tomlinson Companies showroom during Markets - but in between, I make a point to see Baker, Universal, Century, Thayer Coggin and Christopher Guy. I have a great respect for these companies and their support of our industry.