MEET MITCHELL & BOB
With a background in business and a growing reputation for enviable style, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams embarked on a quest to share their vision for a more comfortable world.
Hailing from very different backgrounds, they provided the ingredients for the perfect blend of fashion, fun and functionality that we have poured in to the MGBW brand. They also work extensively with philanthropic organizations both in the US and overseas.
Please make yourself comfortable and meet our leaders.
Mitchell Gold, co–founder and Chair–man of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, is a different kind of man running a very different kind of business. In every aspect of his personal and business life, he strives to make a difference.
Everyone who knows Mitchell knows he wears his personal beliefs on his sleeve. They also know he runs his business with the same passion and commitment he brings to his work on behalf of LGBT equality.
He also served on the Board of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for 7 years. In the 2004 Presidential campaign, he was a North Carolina delegate to the Democratic Convention and fundraiser who raised over $1M for the Democratic Party.
IN THE NEWS
Mitchell has been widely featured in the media, from CBS This Morning and CBS Sunday Morning to the New York Times, Time, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Inc., which included he and Bob among "26 Entrepreneurs We Love".
Out magazine named him to 2007’s "Top 50 Most Powerful Gay People in America" and The Advocate gave him a 2006 People of the Year Award.
Mitchell was the subject of a USA Today column on what CEOs are reading. Mitchell has also been interviewed personally in a number of popular magazines and style journals, including Elle Décor.
Mitchell is also a published author. His first book, with Bob Williams, Let’s Get Comfortable: How to Furnish and Decorate a Welcoming Home, was published by Meredith Books in March 2007, and led to two appearances on NBC’s Today show, and a national satellite media tour.
In honor of the company’s 20th Anniversary in 2009, a second decorating book, The Comfortable Home was published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. In November 2009, Mitchell and Bob again appeared on the Today show to share creative ideas from the book.
A book with a unique format (a coffee-table/business book), titled Who We Are, published by prestigious Assouline book house, was released in February 2014 to mark the company’s 25th Anniversary. Based on 25 of the company’s mantras, it shares the inside story on Mitchell and Bob’s way of living, working, decorating, entertaining, and helping people to live more comfortable lives.
Mitchell is also editor of CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America. Response to the book has been incredibly gratifying: Many people have told Mitchell how it has changed their lives. The book has been hand delivered to many of our nation’s leaders in politics, religion, and education. In 2011, the book was published in paperback under the new title Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know About Growing Up Gay.
BREAKING RULES & A DRIVE FOR SUCCESS
Mitchell grew up in a suburban Trenton, NJ, home and attended Long Island University, graduating in 1974. A six-year stint with Bloomingdale’s, followed by managing The Lane Company’s national accounts and in-store gallery division, gave Mitchell the two things needed most to succeed: experience in the business and the vision to see what needed to be changed.
TODAY & TOMORROW
Today, Mitchell and Bob are known locally and nationally for creating a corporate culture that respects diversity, supports education, provides daycare, and has been environmentally responsible since its inception.
Mitchell considers the education–based, not–for–profit daycare center one of his and Bob’s highest achievements and hopes it will serve as a model to encourage other companies to provide this life–enhancing benefit to their employees and local communities.
The company has received a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index each year since the start of the Index. In January 2015, Mitchell was a panelist on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, discussing LGBT equality in the workplace.
Delivering sustainable furniture is a passion and in addition to our company being a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, Mitchell is on the Board.
Mitchell was a panelist at Columbia Business School’s 2013 and 2014 Social Enterprise Conferences, speaking on topics including Millennials in the workplace and sustainability strategies for businesses.
CONTINUING CHARITABLE WORK
Mitchell is a strong supporter of local nonprofits within our store footprint, including the Ali Forney Center, Pine Street Inn, Chicago House, Dwell with Dignity, HomeAid OC, Over My Shoulder Foundation, Gris Montreal, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Project Angelfood, Tyler Clementi Foundation, and the Hole in the Wall Gang.
Mitchell and Bob also received a 2014 Groundbreakers Award from NYC’s Housing Works, a charity dedicated to ending AIDS and homelessness.
Mitchell resides in North Carolina with his spouse, Tim Gold, who he married in Des Moines, IA, in June 2010. Their wedding was featured in the "Vows" column of The New York Times… and, in what is possibly an even bigger recognition of their same–sex marriage, in their local newspaper, the Taylorsville Times.
Bob Williams is co–founder and President of Design for Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, a company committed since its inception to operating in an environmentally intelligent manner and as a Sustaining Member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. Bob leads the award–winning design efforts, which offer a combination of style, value, and quality that has made the firm a leader in its field.
Born in Dallas, Bob moved often with his family during his father’s military career, living in Ohio, Indiana, Atlanta, and Houston. He graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1985. While working as promotions art director for Seventeen Magazine in New York, he met Mitchell.
Early in their partnership, Bob inspired Mitchell by saying he simply wanted to create the kind of company where people want to come to work. Today, that company offers a truly inspiring work environment; including an education–based not–for–profit daycare, corporate chef and health–conscious gourmet cafe, gym, walking track, annual health fairs, an on–site nurse, and college scholarships for employees’ children.
Bob and Mitchell; often referred to as Masters of Modern home furnishings, attribute their success to their strong synergy in all areas, from design to marketing to operations.
In April 2005, Mitchell insisted they change the company name from Mitchell Gold to Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams to reflect Bob’s vast contributions.
Working with their talented design team, Bob and Mitchell strategize on developing product both unique and marketable—product they’d want in their own homes. Bob then directs the execution, making pieces with classic modern style that are truly comfortable. His goal is for customers to still be in love with them a decade from now and for the pieces to be passed down in a family.
RESEARCH & DESIGN
Twice a year, Bob and Mitchell work with their team to define their design direction. Bob and team outfit the 40,000–sq. ft. MG+BW Showroom in High Point for the International Home Furnishings Market. Bob gets rave reviews for his masterful mixes of color and texture, resulting in soothing and subtle settings notable for their comfort.
To keep current on trends and consumer behavior, Bob is an avid reader of fashion, gourmet, and shelter print and online publications. He and Mitchell also travel extensively and tour stores to see shoppers in action.
One of their earliest observations transformed the furniture industry with a look they called "Relaxed Design." It came from noting consumer preferences for the prewashed broken–in cotton polos and leather motorcycle jackets at J. Crew and Banana Republic, and using those materials on furniture.
The furniture has appeared in every major shelter and lifestyle publication, and on an impressive number of TV shows and movies. It was also included in the redecoration of the Obama White House. Bob has been recognized by magazines such as Elle Decor, Better Homes & Gardens, and Metropolitan Home from whom the company received Design 100 Awards.
Along with Mitchell, he was one of Inc. magazine’s "26 Entrepreneurs We Love." In August 2008, he and Mitchell were celebrity judges on HGTV’s Summer Showdown design contest.
The company has been recognized for innovative ad campaigns, including being honored with the Public Visibility Award at the 1st annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2009. A 2015 campaign, called "A Modern Affair," was a nod to the LGBT community’s great progress, featuring relationships that speak to everyone in a beautiful and sexy way.
Bob is also known for his philanthropic work for equal rights and his commitment to the arts. He has lent his talents to many charitable causes, including table settings for Elle Décor’s Dining by Design, a benefit for DIFFA. In 2013, his alma mater, Parsons School of Design, recognized him as one of their illustrious alumni. In 2014, along with Mitchell, he received a Groundbreakers Award from NYC’s Housing Works, a charity dedicated to ending AIDS and homelessness.
Bob is co–author with Mitchell of three books. Their first book, Let’s Get Comfortable: How to Furnish and Decorate a Welcoming Home, was published by Meredith Books in March 2007. He and Mitchell completed a national TV Satellite Media Tour for the book and were guests on the Today show twice.
In honor of the company’s 20th anniversary in 2009, Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, published a second decorating book, The Comfortable Home. In November 2009, Mitchell and Bob again appeared on the Today show to share creative ideas from the book.
In February 2014, to mark the company’s 25th anniversary, a new book in a unique format, a cocktail table/ business book called Who We Are, was published by prestigious Assouline publishing company. The book was featured in Architectural Digest, Luxe Magazine, and others, including online magazine Rue. It shares 25 of the company’s mantras for success in design, business & life and includes a tasting menu with recipes.
Bob also contributed a very personal chapter to Mitchell’s book Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know About Growing Up Gay (released in paperback in 2011 by Magnus Books).
Bob is an avid gardener and fleamarket lover. Many of his finds have inspired offerings in the line and appear in the homes he has designed: two in North Carolina with Mitchell—Camp Hickory, Mitchell’s lakeside retreat, and a modern house in High Point, NC. His own beautiful Georgian–style home was also featured in Traditional Home magazine.
He and Mitchell also designed a 58th–floor condo in Manhattan with sweeping views of the city. It appeared in The New York Times, on the front page of the Home section, in 2007. In June 2014, Bob’s pied–a–terre in Washington, DC, with beautifully landscaped outdoor space, appeared in the Washington Post.
Bob lives in North Carolina with his husband, Stephen Heavner, and their two French bulldogs, Violet and Lily.