The Northern Indiana Woodcrafters Association (NIWA) is dedicated to continuous improvement and innovative design in woodcrafting. We provide value to our customers through our honest, personable service and heirloom-quality products. Members are committed to teamwork among themselves and with patrons.
- Creative Craftsmanship: As builders, we think outside the box about design and insist on top-quality construction.
- Customer Relationships: We work to develop and sustain relationships with customers from order to delivery.
- Shared Beliefs: As members of the Old Order Amish faith, we are family oriented, trustworthy, compassionate, and supportive of one another and our customers.
Northern Indiana is home to one of the largest Old Order Amish settlements in the world. Traditionally, Amish communities have relied on family farms to make a living in a way that is consistent with their values. However, one of the challenges facing the Amish in Northern Indiana has been the expanding Amish population alongside the decreasing amount of available farmland. This has led some Amish to start small businesses and others to seek employment in industry and manufacturing.
Amid this change, furniture building has become a viable option for many Amish men. The steady work ethic of the Old Order Amish fits well with furniture manufacturing, an industry that relies on quality craftsmanship. As these furniture builders become more successful, they create new jobs for other Amish workers, and they grow something—a business—that can be passed on to the next generation.
NIWA was created when regional craftsmen joined together to collaborate in their marketing. As many Amish builders moved into wholesale production, they realized that all would benefit from working together to promote their craft. Formed in 1999, NIWA currently has over 90 members and has established guidelines that define the NIWA brand. Quality is essential; the furniture must be built to last, and no particleboard or chipboard is used, not even for surfaces hidden from view. All furniture is manufactured in the United States, and most builders construct all products regionally.
Each member of the NIWA is actively involved in the association, and most participate in the annual furniture expo, an event that attracts store owners from across the country. The expo is a face-to-face way for builders and buyers to form working relationships that are rooted in mutual respect and a love for heirloom-quality furniture.