Our History

History of Summer Classics outdoor furnitureFounded in 1978, today’s Summer Classics® is a far cry from its humble beginnings as a plastic umbrella base manufacturer.

When Bew White III, president and CEO of Summer Classics, graduated from Auburn University in 1970 with a degree in textile engineering, the phrase “outdoor room” had hardly been coined. A weather-worthy chair was little more than a lightweight aluminum frame colorfully, though delicately wrapped in pliable vinyl tubing.

The 80s saw the introduction of painted wooden outdoor furniture, designed specifically to endure four-season climates and retain its integrity for years, marking the first dedicated movement into creating outdoor spaces where people were meant to live, not simply visit.

In the 90s, as technology advanced and customers’ tastes grew, wrought iron became the avant-garde style. Wrought iron was the material of choice for the finest garden furniture then, and much of it still holds guard in those gardens today.

In the 2000s, Summer Classics was ahead of the game with the introduction of a type of product that was a proper match for the technological boom, and exhausted boomers of the new millennium: resin wicker. No longer did one have to worry about organic wicker material cracking and breaking after extended exposure to weather, especially after the sun’s UV rays degraded its structural integrity on a molecular level.
Combining resin wicker with wrought aluminum frames, Summer Classics began producing innovative outdoor furniture that maintained the beauty of natural wicker, but could withstand five years of outdoor exposure without the first signs of cracking or discoloration. The end product was lightweight, comfortable, fashionable and built to last.
In 2010 Summer Classics introduced, Gabby™, a new indoor furnishings company whose design style can be described as “Old World refinement with uncompromising comfort.” The pieces are inspired by European classics, featuring solid wood construction and beautiful finishes. Established by White’s son, William, Gabby is a company which appreciates the past, but is guided by a 21st century conscience, as many of the pieces are constructed from beautiful reclaimed wood.

We are now in all 50 states and Canada, offering our products through hundreds of dealers throughout the United States as well as our own retail stores here in the Southeast. No other company offers an outdoor living experience quite like we do. We are excited about the future and positioned to push the elements of design and innovation farther than we ever have before.

Summer Classics – Life’s Best Moments, Furnished.