Lauren Russell says she was working as a freelance consultant when a client came to her home office and noticed a bathroom vanity she had designed and that her husband, Kevin, had built. That led to an order for 30 items for the client's home, and furniture company Russell & Mackenna was born. Seven years later, the company is approaching $5 million in sales despite the challenge of scaling a business with higher costs than competitors that source products overseas, Russell says. On the flip side, keeping production in the U.S. allows Russell & Mackenna to work more closely with clients whose custom orders account for 60% of sales.

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