Founded in 1978, Niermann Weeks is a family owned business based outside Annapolis, MD. The Company’s designs borrow elements from the past and reinterpret them to fit current lifestyles, aesthetically relating to both traditional and contemporary interiors. All the Company’s products are handmade and finished in their Maryland studios, and almost half of their business is custom-designed to meet the special needs of professional architect and designer clients. Niermann Weeks features more than 600 standard designs with 500 finishes, available through to-the-trade designer showrooms in the United States and Canada.
Although Joe Niermann started his career in the insurance industry, he developed a passion for handmade porcelain, pottery, furnishings and other antiques. Niermann’s deep interest in the finishes on fine antiques led him to volunteer to help the restoration curators at the Wisconsin Historical Society. This, in turn, led him to start his own restoration business in 1971. Niermann soon discovered that if most furniture could be restored-while maintaining the structural integrity and preserving the original finish- antiques could be cloned and reinterpreted into fresh, new designs.
Niermann met Eleanor McKay in Madison, Wisconsin, when McKay was studying for her master’s degrees in information science and history. They married and a partnership flourished. Through McKay’s position as the manuscripts curator of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Niermann met the Wisconsin curatorial staff. To ground Niermann’s furniture designs in historical reality, McKay used the library and museum resources of the University of Wisconsin.
After working with several museums and curating several historical collections, Niermann and McKay founded Niermann Weeks in 1978. In fact, both Niermann and McKay continued in their preservation work during the Company’s early years. While Niermann and McKay were restoring a 20-room mansion in Memphis, Niermann used the backyard carriage house for the business. The ground floor served as the main studio. Niermann conducted all of the sales from the mansion’s butler’s pantry and McKay contributed historical and technical research.
Niermann Weeks Today
In 1984, six years after its founding, Niermann Weeks moved to Annapolis, Maryland. Niermann Weeks Co., was incorporated in 1985. Niermann continues as the company’s principal designer, and McKay is the company’s CEO. Their daughters, Claire Niermann and Eleanor Niermann are now the company’s VP of Operations and VP of Merchandising, respectively. Niermann Weeks strives to maintain a good, safe environment at our production facility both for our employees and for our residential neighbors. The availability of new, more eco-friendly processes has allowed the company to constantly improve the quality of materials used and the resulting impact on our surroundings.