The furniture industry involves the design, manufacture, and sale of various types of furniture for household and commercial purposes. With the increase in flexible workspaces and the growth of the real estate industry, the demand of the furniture business has also boosted in recent times.
The furniture business is easy to start and does not require high investments. However, it is first important to know your niche for example office, domestic or home furniture or luxury items.
The furniture business needs a lot of preparation and prior knowledge. It is advisable to take business classes, learn about your local market, and make a solid business plan. In general, if your products are unique and one of a kind, consumers will be willing to pay a higher, including the shipping cost.
Here are some real life success stories of starting a furniture business:
1. Humphreys ($444K/year)
John Humphreys (from Austin, Texas, USA) started Humphreys over 5 years ago.
My name is John Humphreys and I started Texas Rover Company which has recently been rebranded as Humphreys. Humphreys is a lifestyle industrial design brand, which creates classically inspired leather, wood, and metal products. Another arm of the brand is Humphreys Build, which focuses on architecture and design projects.
Company sales grew and the brand has been realized. Now, in addition to these products. the company is focusing on design, build and custom furniture.
2. Branch Furniture ($6M/year)
Greg Hayes (from New York, New York, USA) started Branch Furniture almost 4 years ago.
Hi, my name is Greg Hayes. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Branch Office Furniture, but you can just call us “Branch.” We’re taking a new approach to the office furniture industry, selling our line of desks, chairs, and other essentials directly to businesses and saving them thousands of dollars along the way.
With Branch, we’ve brought together the best of both worlds. We saw an opportunity to produce high-end office furniture and sell it directly to our clients, applying D2C principles to an antiquated B2B industry littered with middlemen. The result is a series of desks, ergonomic chairs, storage products, and conference furniture sold at between one-third and one-half of the price of comparable quality products, with space design, delivery and installation included. We also offer a trade-in program, so you can add and exchange furniture as your team grows and needs change. Since launching our first products in Q1 of 2019, we’ve done over $1M in sales, including nearly $400k last month!
3. Suffolk Latch Company ($840K/year)
Carl Benson (from Clare, England, United Kingdom) started Suffolk Latch Company over 15 years ago.
I’m Carl Benson, the founder of Suffolk Latch Company. We are an online store specialising in traditional and hand forged ironmongery.
We are on an upward growth curve and, despite a turbulent economic climate, we are experiencing 20% increase on turnover compared to last year.
4. B2C Furniture ($12M/year)
Anesley Clarke (from Sydney NSW, Australia) started B2C Furniture over 8 years ago.
Hello! My name is Anesley Clarke and I am the founder and CEO of B2C Furniture - an e-commerce furniture retailer, dedicated to providing a positive alternative to ‘fast furniture’ and inspiring how the furniture industry gravitates towards the future.
Our online offering of affordable yet environmentally conscious design had a spectacular year in FY21 producing a 132% increase in revenue.
5. Deskmate ($360K/year)
Ashley ‘JP’ Lockwood (from London, England, United Kingdom) started Deskmate over 5 years ago.
My name is Ashley ‘JP’ Lockwood. I am the co-founder of Deskmate. We are a standing desk startup on a mission to make the world work better.
6. Soaring Heart Natural Beds ($3.6M/year)
Mike Schaefer (from Seattle, Washington, USA) started Soaring Heart Natural Beds over 40 years ago.
Hi, I’m Mike Schaefer, Owner and President of Soaring Heart Natural Beds located in Seattle, WA. Soaring Heart hand-crafts and retails all organic beds and bedding. We believe breathable, all natural fibers create the best sleep environment and go out of our way to source the best raw-materials we can find.
For more than 35 years, we’ve been building great beds and we believe you won’t find better products and customer service anywhere. Our team of crafts-people loves what we do. We hand-sign every mattress and offer a 20 year warranty so that you can rest assured we stand behind everything we make. Today about 25% of our business is online, with the balance coming from one of our two Seattle-area stores.
7. Brooklyn Butcher Blocks ($300K/year)
Nils Wessell (from New York, NY, USA) started Brooklyn Butcher Blocks over 12 years ago.
My name is Nils Wessell and I own and operate both Brooklyn Butcher Blocks and NilsWalker Designs.
Brooklyn Butcher Blocks typically grosses about $220K to $350K annually; NWD is very new and I see it as being a long-term project, so at the moment, it doesn’t gross more than a few thousand a years. That is how BKBB started, so I know that patience is a virtue here.
8. Timber Grove Studios ($78K/year)
Sasha Weekes (from Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Canada) started Timber Grove Studios over 5 years ago.
My name is Sasha Weekes and I’m the 25 years old owner of Timber Grove Studios. Our home-based woodshop is nestled in the hills of PEI’s countryside, and we specialize in decorative shelving and home decor with a focus on minimalist design and simplicity. Each piece is made to order with 20+ color options, meaning it will be the perfect fit for each customer's space. We ship Canada and U.S. wide.
Moving twice in two years has definitely caused organizational, financial and opportunity hiccups, but the business has grown steadily regardless so we’re very excited about where 2020 will take us. We’ve learned what to focus on during which months, as revenue can range anywhere from $2000 during slow months to $10,000 during high months. Net profit has run anywhere between 20-50% throughout the life of the business and varies month to month. It’s closer to 20% right now as we’ve been spending all we can on new tools and materials for our new larger products and our Christmas stock.
9. Mini Materials ($240K/year)
Mat Hofma & Erik Polumbo (from Maitland, Florida, USA) started Mini Materials over 7 years ago.
My name is Mat Hofma, and I created Mini Materials. We sell miniature masonry and woodworking supplies like cinder blocks, red bricks, pallets, lumber, and even molds to pour your own cinder blocks.
Since then we've expanded to different styles of mini masonry and even kits to build models.
10. IsGood Woodworks ($1.99M/year)
John Blunt (from Seattle, WA, USA) started IsGood Woodworks over 14 years ago.
John Blunt established IsGood Woodworks as a Seattle-based community woodworking shop.
Since the business was founded in 1992, he has transformed IsGood from a small, independently funded contract woodworking business into a well-known neighborhood woodworking shop that brings in about $2 million annually.
IsGood Woodworks provides the equipment, resources, education, one-on-one mentoring, and equipment as well as certifications.
Since 2008, thousands of students and independent shop workers have passed through their doors in search of professional mentoring, up-to-date tools, and priceless woodworking knowledge while saving time and money.
Read the full story on upflip.com ➜
11. Jennie and Davis ($20.4K/year)
Jennie and Davis (from Houston, TX, USA) started Jennie and Davis over 4 years ago.
Founders Jennie and Davis together own a furniture business and also run a YouTube channel where they share woodworking business tips & tricks.
They started this YouTube channel in 2018 for teaching audiences through their woodworking tutorial videos. Plus they also share knowledge, market trends, and money managing tips to help small businesses grow.
Jennie and Davis also offer paid programs and private coaching sessions for people interested in building a career in woodworking.
Listen to the full podcast on makeorbreakshop.com ➜
12. Countryside Amish Furniture ($3M/year)
Mel Stutzman (from Arthur, Illlinois) started Countryside Amish Furniture over 12 years ago.
Greetings! I am Mel Stutzman, the owner of Countryside Amish Furniture, an eCommerce retailer of authentic, wooden furniture made-to-order by Amish artisans. We partner with carefully chosen workshops that employ traditional woodworking techniques and natural materials (like responsibly harvested North American hardwoods and full-grain leather).
We offer thousands of made-to-order furniture options to buyers across the continental US, generating millions in sales.
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