PH International to invest $4.5 million to expand headquarters operation
PH International LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of home decor and garden products, plans to invest $4.5 million to consolidate operations of its subsidiary, Plow and Hearth LLC, and a sister company, VivaTerra LLC, at its Madison County facility.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that the company will add 84,000 square feet and create 25 new jobs in the expansion, which will include adding warehouse storage for Plow and Hearth, as well as headquarters staff for VivaTerra.
“Growing our existing business is a key economic development strategy for the commonwealth,” Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade, said in a statement. “We are excited about PH International’s growth in Madison County and the creation of new jobs paying above the average prevailing wage for the region.”
Starting as a small store in Madison in 1980, PH International has become one of the largest employers in the county. The company’s portfolio now includes the flagship brand Plow & Hearth, plus five other brands, including Wind & Weather, HearthSong, Magic Cabin, Problem Solvers and Reuseit.
The Plow & Hearth brand has 24 retail locations located throughout the mid-Atlantic, from North Carolina New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including a store in the Short Pump area of Henrico County.
In 2010, the owners of Evergreen Enterprises, based in Richmond, purchased PH International.
Evergreen’s owners, Ting Xu and Frank Qiu, came to the U.S. from China when they were in college and made Virginia their home.
They started Evergreen in 1993 when Ting and her mother began making and selling garden flags at the Virginia State Fair. Combined, Plow and Hearth, Evergreen Enterprises, and the recently acquired VivaTerra (an eco-friendly home décor catalog and online brand) now represent a global wholesale and retail enterprise.
“In Madison we have access to a talented, dedicated workforce, beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and we have long-standing, strong ties to the community,” Ting Xu, CEO of PH International, said in a statement.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Madison County to secure the project for Virginia. Gov. McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities.