January 15, 2017
Buying furniture for a home comes with it's own sticker shock. Add in a custom-made couch and the price alone could make your heart stop. Well, one founder decided that he was done with the outrageous cost of nice furniture and cut out the middlemen. Rob Royer is the founder and CEO of Interior Define, a startup that builds furniture on demand and will customize everything, including the size, shape, color, fabric, filling, and frame.
Rob was one of the early employees at Bonobos and took much of what he learned over to Interior Define, which he launched in 2014. Through Interior Define, shoppers can buy a hand-crafted, custom-made couch with the fabric they like for a lot less that regular retail showrooms. The challenge Royer had to get over was convincing someone to spend thousands of dollars on a sofa they haven't seen in person.
In this episode of Tech in Chicago, we talk about how Royer got involved with Bonobos, how he entered the furniture industry, the importance of partnerships in the lifestyle space, using PR in their early days, building out a guide shop as an online brand, marketing strategy, and how to attract a big hire away from a larger company to work for their startup. We actually recorded this episode sitting on one of their sofas in their Lincoln Park guide shop.
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