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ABC News features area company

March 1, 2011

A Newton-based furniture company is getting national recognition for doing what comes naturally — buying and creating locally made products.

Lee Industries is featured on a segment of ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer during a segment called "Made in America" set to air Wednesday night.

"It's because of our long-lasting reputation as being local, family (oriented) and sustainable," said Norman Coley, president of the company that's been part of the Newton community since 1969.

"Made in America" is part of a special series promoting awareness about where people buy their goods. A Texas family agreed to take everything out of their living room, kitchen and bedroom that wasn't made in America.

Lee Industries provided a sofa, love seat and three chairs for the house.

"They called us one day, and we shipped the product four days later," Coley said.

The furniture is fitted with durable fabric, which is perfect for a family's needs, Coley said.

Bondi Coley, Lee Industries marketing manager, hopes the exposure on World News will raise awareness about the benefits of buying locally manufactured products. The company employs 450 people, and uses local products, such as fiber, frames and fabric, to make its furniture.

"It's good to say we've always been here in Newton, and we've always stuck to our guns," Bondi said.

Coley did some research and discovered that Lee Industries could hire five more associates if the company sold 16 more sofas a week. He said it's sometimes more expensive to continually purchase local materials, as opposed to those manufactured overseas. But in the long run, both the company and the community benefit.

"We have no desire, nor will we, to start importing our products," Coley said.

For more information about "Made in America," visit www.abcnews.go.com/WN/MadeinAmerica/. Go to www.leeindustries.com for more information about Lee Industries and its products.

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