02/08/05 — Boling back in operation under new management

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Boling back in operation under new management

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 8, 2005 2:17 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Boling Furniture Co. has reopened, with 16 people currently at work at the plant.

Doug Wiggins, who recently bought Boling, said he plans to have 50 employees at work by April.

Boling shut down before Christmas, putting 40 out of work. The plant makes office and school furniture.

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News-Argus/Bonnie Edwards

Doug Wiggins has put 16 people back to work at the Boling Furniture Co., which closed in December.

Although Wiggins is part owner of Red Hill Distributors, along with his parents, Red Hill is not involved in Boling. Red Hill, which refinishes school furniture, operates at several locations near Mount Olive and in Duplin County.

"A lot of people think of Red Hill and I as one," Wiggins said. "But Red Hill didn't buy Boling."

Wiggins said he will lease some space at Boling to Red Hill, which he owns with his mother, Judy, and father, Douglas Sr. The Boling building is big enough, Doug Wiggins said, for both companies to operate there.

A fire destroyed one of Red Hill's facilities last year, leading Wiggins to look at other facilities in order to keep work going. He contacted Boling to see if the company could help him finish a job. That led to his eventually buying the plant.

Wiggins said that in the back of his mind, he had wanted to build furniture again. But the opportunity hadn't materialized.

"I'd never have had the opportunity to purchase this business if that fire had not have happened," he said. "I would have kept on doing what I was doing."

Red Hill has been in operation since 1956, when his Wiggins' grandfather, Wiggins, closed his cabinet shop in Richmond, Va., and returned to his native Duplin County. The company was named after the Red Hill community, where the family lived.

Wiggins said he believes he will be able to hire even more employees later this year.