Posted February 01, 2013 in Articles
Author: Edward Martin, Business North Carolina
Sue and Hal Brownfield’s calling was crystal clear. “Hal liked product design and was really good at it,” she says. He designed his first piece — a spiraling, stacked-glass lamp table — loaded it in the trunk of his car, went to National Bank of Detroit and got a loan. So began the couple’s sometimes-bumpy road from working in the auto industry to owning Andrew Pearson Industries Inc., a Mount Airy company that makes architectural and decorative glasswork. They started Andrew Pearson — his middle and his mother’s maiden names — in Troy, Mich., in 1989 to make glass furniture. Both had been engineers with Detroit-based General Motors Corp. She had degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Michigan, and he had one in mechanical engineering from the U.S. Military Academy.After graduating from West Point and serving three years in the Army, he worked for Ford Motor Co. before joining GM, where his design job entailed shaping glass.