Preface: The first time Timothy Sumner Scofield came to Hickory to visit I was eager to have him meet my best friends from when I was 14 years old as well as my best friend and business partner, Bob Williams, and his husband Stephen. After dinner, my BFF Paula, who is kinda picky about people and definitely protective of me, pulled me aside and simply said “He’s a very considerate person.” That says it all about Tim.
BH – Before Hickory: Born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Tim grew up an identical twin in Milford, a suburb of Detroit, the middle of an older and younger sister….in a family that did not have pets. From an early age, as an identical twin he was a “sharer” and continues today to love to share his knowledge of how to best enjoy your pet.
After graduating high school, Tim went to University of Maryland and graduated with a major in history. A dream job at the Smithsonian Museum became reality and Tim spent his next years at the Smithsonian’s Postal Museum, eventually heading up their successful efforts to become digital.
Fast forward to a chance meeting via mutual friend and the rest is history: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/fashion/weddings/04VOWS.html.
The Dog Years: June 2016: Tim was diagnosed with an anxiety problem that resulted in occasional panic attacks. These are not funny terms to be taken lightly. I’ve had one panic attack that I can recall and it was scary. The first time I saw Tim have one I didn’t really understand, but quickly learned. Tim’s doctor recommended certain drugs or to get a service dog. Tim didn’t want to take a drug regularly that has other ramifications so we discussed getting a dog.
I said I wanted 3 things in a dog: It had to be one that would be well trained, provide protection and have a nose. I previously had the famous Lulu (MGBW company mascot) who was an English Bulldog and snored very loud. All roads led to a Doberman! And Tim found the most incredible one in Brevard, NC. Zola…..#AmazingZola.
Tim is a voracious reader and immediately set out to learn how to care for a dog. That says something about Tim. He wants to have good information to do things the right way. Zola went to a trainer for 3 weeks to become a service dog but what he did after set the foundation for our new dog training business. Tim made it fun for Zola to be trained and for himself…and for me!
For those that have never met or know Dobermans, they might seem threatening. Until I met one, I didn’t know how incredibly gentle and soulful they are. Zola was his constant companion, literally traveling all over the United States. She’s been to NYC and DC many times, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and even the Grand Canyon. She had a great time visiting her cousins in Scottsdale and attending the grand opening of the MGBW store there at Fashion Square with several hundred people. Wherever we traveled, people either loved her…but occasionally, feared her.
Zola is like a thoroughbred. She needs to run…and play. Tim would take her to dog parks and it was astonishing to see people recoil, pick up their small or larger dogs and even just say out loud to keep our sweet girl away. One day Tim was telling a friend in town how Doberman’s are discriminated against and she suggested that he go to the Humane Society and play with their dogs. Since Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams have been long time supporters of the Catawba County Humane Society and their capital campaign, Tim decided to go and ask. While this is not standard operating procedure there, I think the staff could immediately tell Tim was a gentle soul and so was Zola. They played with all kinds of dogs, had tons of fun and went back several more times.
One time the ED had a puppy with a broken leg and she asked Tim if he might take her home while she heals. A little blond lab kinda mix, Troops, had a cast on and was simply the cutest, sweetest thing imaginable. She ‘clopped’ all around the house….we always knew where she was. Tim and Zola both gave her so much love…and training. Tim posted some pictures on FB. Everyone loved her and an old friend from Delaware claimed her. The rest is history. We’ve probably fostered over 300 puppies and dogs over the years. And Tim has trained virtually all with at least the basic commands.
Tim enjoyed training so much….and was such a natural at it…developed his own techniques….that he decided to get more serious about making that his vocation as well as passion. He apprenticed for 4 months for a well-known trainer. While there Tim started to realize that he had some different ideas of how to get pets to do more than obey commands. Over the past couple of years he’s carefully thought about and tested ways to make training or educating….fun. A happy interaction vs. agonizing ones.
In July 2019 when I announced I was ‘semi or somewhat’ retiring, Tim started discussing the idea of starting a dog training business because he was getting so many requests….not just to train friend’s puppies and dogs, but ‘friends of friends.’ For over 30 years I’ve been surrounded by incredible people supporting Bob Williams and my vision. It was basically a vision “to make the world a more comfortable place…for everyone.” I’m really energized to spend the next years supporting Tim’s vision to create a whole new way of pet training that simply put, makes it fun and not work.
Tim’s Training: It’s one of those things that’s so common sense, makes it look so easy, and it is once you get the hang of it. Tim will guide you each step of the way after he’s assessed and trained your pet.
The essence of it is that he first establishes communications. Each dog is different AND he has proven your pup is never too young. Some trainers think you can’t start young but that’s because their training involves harsh language or even e-shocking. So first, he observes and learns how to best communicate.
The second stage is play because Tim does this incredible thing of playing and having fun while teaching your companion how to behave. Depending on your mobility and desires, this might even include dancing (!).
Finally, love. I’ve had many dogs and trainers and none of them ever showed me the importance of giving your dog dedicated love after play training. It’s kinda like cooling down after exercising.
Tim will work with you to find fun words like “ooops” instead of no. Because you say the word no lots of times a day and it can be confusing to a dog.
And, it’s all about diet to allow for treats to train…and healthy poops. In my wildest dreams I never thought I would hear him talk so much about a dog’s poop. But trust me, that is one of the first things he’s going to look at to ascertain how to best help you be considerate of your pet so they can be considerate of you.
Mitchell Gold, Chair-man and Cofounder, along with his business partner Bob Williams, President and Cofounder, disrupted the furniture industry before the word was even fashionable. From the moment they introduced their own line, they broke barriers by offering lifetime warranties on products and delivering goods within 30 days, breaking all industry standards. They introduced beautiful bold fabrics on upholstered dining chairs and prewashed denim and khaki from the fashion industry on sofas, which no other company was doing. They were environmentally conscious from inception and boldly made high fashion design while keeping comfort and value top priorities. This was just the beginning for the dynamic duo.
FROM THE START
Mitchell, originally a furniture buyer at Bloomingdales and Bob, an art director at Seventeen Magazine, came together 30 years ago with a shared belief that comfort has the power to change lives. “We’ve never been afraid to push the boundaries and take creative risks,” said Bob Williams, President and Cofounder, “but we always make sure it’s comfortable, in every sense of the word.”
The dynamic design duo changed the furniture industry forever. Together they created more than just a company: They created a platform for doing good, from taking care of their customers, employees and their families to giving back to their local community, the communities of our Signature Stores across the country, and to the world at large.
Mitchell and Bob started the company in 1989 in the beautiful, rural town of Taylorsville, North Carolina, where it remains today. Thirty years later, the two business partners head an internationally renowned brand headquartered in a million-square-feet modern factory.
This family-friendly work environment includes an on-site, not-for-profit education-based daycare center for employees and members of the community–the first of its kind in the residential furniture industry and a leader in giving children a healthy start in life through the Shape NC program. Employees also enjoy Café Lulu, a health-conscious gourmet cafe run by the company’s formally trained chef so they can always have healthy meals. There is also a physical fitness center, yearly college scholarships for employees’ children, free annual health fair, free on-site health clinic, and many other programs that contribute to the company’s exceptionally low turnover and industry-leading productivity levels.
“When we were first starting the company, I was devastated to learn that the furniture manufacturing industry was one of the largest contributors to pollution, I knew right then that we were going to do something better, something different”, said Mitchell Gold. Since its inception, the company has made environmentally intelligent decisions–from its focus on creating classic, fine-quality, comfortable furniture designed to be treasured for years to the way pieces are manufactured and packaged to how the factory is run. The company is a Sustaining member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), and Mitchell is on the Board.
Many consumers know the company’s philosophy of comfort from its retail stores. There are currently 25 Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Signature Stores, in cities including New York, D.C., Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Scottsdale, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Austin, and San Juan, as well as Toronto.
Mitchell Gold + Bob’s Williams also sells their entire collection online at www.mgbwhome.com. There is also a hospitality division (mgbwcpontract.com), selling to top hotel chains like Starwood, Morgans Group, Kimpton, Hyatt, and Ritz Carlton, as well as eateries such as Starbucks.
While running a multi-million-dollar company, Mitchell served on the True Faith Doesn’t Bully Committee of The Tyler Clementi Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ending online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities. He also served on the Board of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for seven years.
Today Mitchell’s advocacy focus is on motivating non-affirming religions to change their teachings and in simple words, to take ‘homosexuality off the sin list.’ It’s a tall order to move a mountain like this but as Mitchell says “if you don’t ask, you’ll never know what you can get. This is important to stop the human suffering caused by such ill-informed teachings.” https://lgbtqnotasin.com/
Mitchell is also a published author. His first book, Let’s Get Comfortable: How to Furnish and Decorate a Welcoming Home, was co-authored with Bob and published in March 2007. In honor of the company’s 20th Anniversary, he and Bob published a second decorating book in 2009, The Comfortable Home. In 2014, Who We Are was released as a 25th Anniversary coffee table/business book. Mitchell is also editor of Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know about Growing Up Gay, published in hardcover in 2008 and paperback in 2011.
Mitchell has been widely featured in the media, from CBS This Morning and CBS Sunday Morning to the Today show, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful and many other shelter publications.
In 2019, Mitchell handed over the reins of Chairperson and CEO to Allison O’Connell and today says he is ‘semi-somewhat-mostly retired’ from the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Home Furnishings business. He continues as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair-man Emeritus.
Mitchell’s husband Tim Gold has a significant social media following of his innovative ‘dancing with puppies and dogs’ to train them. In January 2020, they founded Tim Gold Dog Training that offers programs at their unique facility featured in Elle Décor (https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/room-ideas/a30646900/mitchell-gold-sustainable-puppy-palace/) that replicates a home, home sessions and other innovative programs. With Mitchell’s marketing prowess combined with Tim’s force free dog dialog techniques, in short order they became the talk of the town where they reside in Hickory, NC. As well, Tim’s become well known for super effective Virtual Training programs that save time and money and are COVID safe with clients from the Hamptons to Beverly Hills to Montreal and in-between. www.TimGoldDogTraining.com
Mitchell resides in North Carolina with his husband, Tim Gold, and their incredibly sweet Doberman, Zola and Handi-Capable dog, L.C. (Follow Zola and L.C. on Instagram at @AmazingZola or on Tim Gold FB). Over the years they have fostered over 300 puppies and dogs in their “Puppy Palace.” Mitchell currently serves on the NC Daycare Commission as a Gubernatorial appointee and Governor Cooper’s NC Business Council.