A Dance to Lovesac at Dwell on Design

General / Products / May 27, 2015

Ten days out of high school, over a bowl of cereal and amid screams blasting from The Price Is Right, Shawn Nelson had an epiphany.

Not the religious kind. Or even the emotional kind.

No. His was more of the furniture kind.

“It popped in my head to make the world’s largest beanbag chair,” he says.

Ten years later, his Lovesac chair and Sactional sofas are selling like hotcakes in 60 stores from California to Maine.

“Retailers were saying it was too big, too heavy and too expensive, so we opened our own,” he says.

The rest is history.

He offers chairs and sofas covered in 300 fabrics, from chenille to velvet to leather to linen – and even fake fur. “They’re changeable, washable, moveable, durable, and very beautiful,” he says.

They’re also sustainable. Each chair is stuffed not with polystyrene beads, but with recycled foam tailings, or scrap, from the furniture industry. “It’s waste that makes its way into furniture pads and  landfills, but we buy it,” he says.

And the price is right. Lovesacs start at $300, based on size, style and upholstered covers; Sactionals start at $2,000. “The price point’s comparable to Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel,” he says.

To introduce them to his target market – he calls his typical customer a young parent wantitall who’s 25 to 45 and needs a couch and can afford it – he’s developed a unique presentation for Dwell on Design at the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend.

He’s partnering with Emmy Award–winning dancer and choreographer and seven-time Dancing with the Stars pro Chelsie Hightower, to shake the dust off the furniture industry. She’ll present a first-of-its-kind dance performance in which a Sactional couch serves as an active participant, not merely a prop.

“She’ll tell a 30 minute story of a couple with children who grow up – and the couch grows with them,” he says.

An epiphany is almost certainly guaranteed.

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Mike Welton

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