Mississippi chair-maker builds sixth chair for a U.S. president

Mississippi chair-maker builds sixth chair for a U.S. president

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As you’ve seen, people are shopping all over, but most items that they’re getting, aren’t made quite like they used to be. Stepping into Greg Harkins' workshop is almost like stepping back in time, and in some ways… you are.

You enter an area where quality, craftsmanship, and pride are still taken seriously, and it shows through his work.

"They ain't coming out."

Harkin’s has been building chairs for forty-six years, and he’s made them for everyone from celebrities to politicians. He even made a chair for Pope John Paul II. However, when it comes to his products, each one gets the same amount of care and attention to detail as the other.

“I worked as hard building this chair as I did building any other chair in this shop. I don’t make special chairs for special people. I make every chair to be as good a quality chair as I can possibly build.”

That being said, what he does is special.

“It was presented to Donald Trump, which is the sixth time in my 46 years that I have had the opportunity to build a chair for the president of the United States.”

It started with Jimmy Carter.

"My banker never said anything about where it was going, he just showed up one day at the shop and said he needed a chair for a birthday present."

Harkin’s didn’t know that his banker was taking the chair to President Carter in Plains, Georgia.

"I didn't know that he had taken it to Jimmy Carter for four or five years after that. Actually it was after Reagan got chairs, that is when I found out about it."

Ronald and Nancy Reagan both called wanting chairs, and it's continued with every president since then.

"It's always the same thing, well how did they find out about it? Well I don't know, they just call on the phone and order them."

After all these years of making these chairs for his customers, one thing Harkins is sure of, they were all built to still be around today.

"This is a piece of furniture that your great grandchildren will have. That was what I was taught to build."

Now, as Harkins gets older and he’s not able to do as many chairs as he used to do, he has one main goal in his shop.

“I’ve always looked for an apprentice. It’s very important for me to pass this on.”

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