Truly an American family tradition, OW Lee Company was established in Pasadena, California, by Oddist W. Lee in 1947 as a wrought-iron gate manufacturer for the luxurious estates of Southern California. Due to increased requests from local patio furniture store owners, Oddist began to design and sell high-end patio furniture directly. In 1954, he incorporated under the name OW Lee Company.
Oddist’s son, Bob, joined his father after high school and continued in the business after Oddist retired. Throughout the 1970’s, 80’s, and early 90’s, Bob Lee and his wife, Beverly, established OW Lee Company as a well-known and reputable manufacturer in the ever-growing casual furniture industry. In 2008 Bob and Beverly received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association in recognition of their exemplary contributions to the casual-furniture industry and to their communities.
The third generation of the Lee family maintains Oddist’s commitment to quality more than 65 years later. Bob’s son Brian, daughter Terri, and son-in-law Chris are continuing to build OW Lee into the premier name in casual furnishings. The OW Lee name stands for quality, and as a family-owned business, they have pledged to continue the tradition started in 1947.
OW Lee furniture is available only from authorized dealers throughout North America and Europe. Through three generations, OW Lee has maintained its commitment to quality, and it will continue to produce the finest handcrafted casual furniture available. OW Lee, an American family tradition since 1947.
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OW Lee Company uses only the highest-quality materials in the production of their furniture. Carbon steel, galvanized steel, and 6061 alloy aluminum are meticulously chosen for superior strength as well as rust and corrosion resistance.
Materials are individually measured and precision-cut to ensure a smooth and accurate fit. Steel and aluminum pieces are bent into exact shapes and then hand-forged with a hammer and anvil, a process unchanged since blacksmiths in the Middle Ages.
A full circumference weld is applied wherever metal components intersect. This eliminates the possibility of moisture entering the interior of tubing or in a crevice, a process that guards against rust and corrosion. All welds are then ground and sanded to create a seamless transition from one component to another.
The frames are blasted with tiny steel particles to remove dirt and oil from the manufacturing process, which is then followed by a five-step wash and chemical treatment to create the optimum surface for the final finish.
A hand-applied, zinc-rich epoxy primer is used to create a protective undercoat against oxidation. This prevents rust from spreading and helps to protect the final finish. The top coating of durable polyurethane powder is also hand-applied and then oven-cured to ensure a long-lasting finish.
Along with the handcrafted frames, the highest-quality outdoor fabrics are used to create custom-tailored cushions that follow the lines of the collection and fit each piece of furniture perfectly.
Since 1947 OW Lee has gained an award winning reputation not only for beautiful handcrafted casual furniture but also for the durable quality of its products. This provides a significant contribution to sustainability and the protection of our environment.
OW Lee has always been respectful of the natural resources used in handcrafting outdoor furniture. The quality of the product, in and of itself, makes it highly sustainable as it can be refinished and used for generations
Steel – Steel frames are made from 87.3% recycled steel. All scrap steel is recycled.
Aluminum – All aluminum scrap and frames are recycled.
Cartons – All cartons are cut to computerized specifications using an EM5-50 Right-Sized Packaging On Demand machine that reduces waste and excessive or obsolete inventories of cartons. All cardboard waste is compressed and bundled using a Harmony M-60 machine and brought to the local paper recycling company.
Foam/Dacron – Foam cores are cut to precise specifications with a Mach 1 Model M45 Automatic CNC Contour Cutting Machine, which allows precise cuts, reducing waste and obsolete inventories of pre-cut foam. Recycled Dacron is used in stuffing cushions, when available. Foam and Dacron scrap is donated to local sew shops.
Fabric – O.W Lee has invested in a state of the art fabric cutting machine that increases fabric yields and thereby reduces scrap material by more than 20%. All Sunbrella® Fabrics (60% of stocking fabrics) has a GREENGUARD Certification and the GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification as a low chemical emitting product. Sunbrella also offers a recycling program directly to consumers.
Finishing/Powder Coating – Zero VOC Emissions at time of manufacturing and for the life of the product. Non-adherent primer coatings are reclaimed and re-used.
The “well to wheel” analysis applied by sustainable critics states that the cost of transportation of the product and materials used to manufacture the produce directly impacts the environment – for example, fuel consumption (fuel is non-renewable). OW Lee is a domestically produced product which makes it a desirable choice for domestic installations. Imported products from China and Asia are not as desirable insofar as the cost of transporting the product to the US.
OW Lee has formed a “Green” Committee of employees that solicits ideas from co-workers, creates and documents methods for employees to recycle items such as paper, plastic bags, plastic bottles and electronic waste (computers, ink cartridges, etc.).
All office paper products are shredded and taken to the local paper recycler. All personal trash containers are sorted to remove glass, plastic and aluminum cans and/or containers. Used printer cartridges and batteries are donated to a local school for recycling.
OW Lee partners with like minded suppliers to help preserve resources for future generations. Together we strive to develop processes that have less impact on the environment, offer greater sustainability, and are recyclable.