Subscription Sofa? Rental Startup Feather Raises $12 Million to Fight 'fast Furniture'

Today furniture subscription startup

Feather

announced their expansion into two new markets, Los Angeles and Orange County California after securing $12 million in funding. The Series A was led by Spark Capital and had participation from Kleiner Perkins, Bain Capital Ventures, Y Combinator, PJC, Fuel Capital and Scott Belsky, among others. Spark Capital has helped fund other startups in the furniture industry including Wayfair, 1stdibs, and Everything But The House.

This brings Feather's total funding to $16 million. The company plans to use this investment to become a leader in reverse logistics as well as increase headcount.

A Greener Business Model

Feather launched in 2017 in the New York City market by three-time startup founder and Y Combinator alum, Jay Reno. Renodeveloped this business model to provide a solution to the problemscaused by the rise of "fast furniture." Much like fast fashion, fast furniture has a trendy look and low cost, but it isn't designed tobe used for the long haul. While some piecesarea great way to stay within a budget, especially for occasionalfurniture like side tables and accent chairs-there is a tendency togo overboard. While cheap clothing isn't generally purchased out of necessity, everyone needs a sofa.

Then factor in the statistic that millennials

move more than twelve times

before purchasing a home. So,home furnishingsare being purchased and disposed of at a higher rate than in previous generations. It's no surprise

that

9.7 million tons of furniture

end up in landfills every year. Particularly for this demographic,

rental subscriptions

like Featherare a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to furnish a home.

Furniture Rental 2.0

New furniture subscription services, like competitor

Fernish

aren'tentirely different fromthe older rental models such as

Rent-A-Center

, albeit with farsuperiorbranding and products. Feather is targeting a different market entirely. Furniture rental has traditionallyappealed to two very different demographics-real estate professionals (for staging purposes) and low-income populations. Feather subscribers can buy furniture, but they're choosing to rent instead because it is simply a smarter option for them.

A Millenial Solution

According to Reno, Feather's subscribers are in the stage after graduating from college before they purchase their first home, between the ages of 18-35 with a 50/50 split between men and women. "Their lives are often changing-jobs, relationships, cities, and as a result change apartments every one to two years," he says. "They are drawn to customized, on-demand services that give them access to items without bearing the burden of ownership to make this more transient life possible."

Feather also sets itself apart because their inventory isfrom the stores where their customers would normally be purchasing from.They currently offer 150 different pieces from retailers West Elm and Pottery Barn, who they have exclusive partnerships with as well as other popular brandssuch as Casper, Leesa, and Joybird.

Cost Effectiveness

Feather's

subscription model has two tiers, members and non-members. Members pay $19 per month for an annual membership "Members get a significantly discounted monthly subscription price on their furniture pieces, which equates to 50% of retail after one year of their membership," explains Reno.

The startup also has a rent to own model built in, allowing subscribers to apply the amount they've already paid towards renting the itemto the cost of purchase. They can also change out theirfurniture for a charge of $99 per trip, with one free change annually for members. Delivery and assembly are also free, which is an added cost that many people forget to add on to the price of owning furniture.

But not all of Feather's subscribers are frequent movers. A portion of their business comes from people who rent out spare rooms in their home or have properties used as

short term rentals

through Home Away, VRBO, Airbnb, etc. Using Feather allows them to furnish these spaces in a more stylish and cost-effective way. However, saysReno "It's important to note that the overwhelming majority of our customers are using our furniture in their primary residence."

Looking Ahead

As for future expansion, the brand is focusing on its new markets for now, but Reno says not to count it out. "We haven't shared any public plans for additional expansion, however, we believe Feather offers a service that city dwellers across the country and world can use to furnish their homes without spending a fortune or hurting the planet in the process."

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Design Tips to Transform Bedrooms into Beautiful Calming ...
Soothing colours, open spaces and plenty of storage create an enticing bedroom.Source:SuppliedBEDROOMS are an important area of any home, especially if you are selling.Buyers want stylish, peaceful spaces where they can see themselves escaping the stresses of everyday life.Main bedrooms are particularly relevant today as most modern homes have spacious main rooms with an ensuite and walk-in robe.If you have an older home, you can work towards creating the feeling of a large main bedroom by visually opening the space with light, reflective colours and decor items such as large mirrors.When updating decor, firstly decide on a style. A bedroom should be serene and peaceful, so soothing colours and smooth textures work well.Soft blues, tan, mauve, beige or white are good choices for a bedroom. Tone upon tone rather than multiple colours are best as they are easier on the eye and therefore calming to the mind.If all muted tones are too lacklustre for you, bring life to the room with a splash of pattern or colour in non-permanent decor such as cushions.Repeat your chosen pattern elsewhere in the room in, say, curtains or drapes to create balance and interest.But beware of anything too bold or bright if you are planning on selling your home because you might exclude potential buyers if it is not to their taste.The exception to the rule is children's bedrooms which should feel happy and lively with bright, bold colours.Furniture should be simple and streamlined and belongings on display should be kept to a minimum. A few family photos in smart frames will add warmth to the room, but avoid clusters of personal objects on side tables and other surfaces as they will create a cluttered feeling.Storage is important, so if your bedroom doesn't have a wardrobe, it is worth buying a freestanding unit that co-ordinates with your existing furniture, or having a built-in one added.New side tables and substantial-sized, new lamps are a worthwhile investment when updating decor in a bedroom because they will give the room a modern appearance and make a dramatic impact for minimal outlay.I say substantial-sized lamps because small lamps tend to look cheap and create a visual imbalance next to a large bed. They will also give the room more of a designer look.If you don't have a bed head, a large artwork or canvas wrapped in a modern fabric and hung above the bed are clever ways to make the room feel finished.I like a carpeted floor in a bedroom because it is less noisy. If you have floorboards, or any other hard surface, it's best to place a large rug in the room to minimise noise and create a comfortable ambience.- Juliet Love is a stylist andinterior designer who runs her own business, Love Style
2021 07 16
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