Well Made Furniture for First “Real Homes” With Akron Street
As we all know, there’s a time and a place for “grown up” furniture. For many, a rental apartment doesn’t feel like a “real home” until a nice piece of furniture that you truly love is purchased. Not a temporary piece, a piece that will travel with you from place to place, no matter your phase in life. They say on average, millennials move every two years, so a sense of home is not so permanent for this generation. Akron Street has developed a collection of home pieces that can travel with you whenever, wherever.
Akron Street shares their production process, inspiration behind the designs, and sourcing tips for millennials.
Photography by Hyll LLC
What’s Akron Street all about in 140 characters or less?
Akron Street makes simple, well made furniture for people moving into their first ‘real’ home.
How does being headquartered in NYC affect your business and relationships?
Being in NYC is a huge boon, especially for a brand-centric business like ours. From the city’s arts and culture scene, to its always-changing retail landscape, to its amazing creative community – there’s just so much to draw from. We really love being here.
Can you walk us through your production process, from idea to shelf?
Our designs often start with a story. For instance, when I was a child, I spent a lot of time drawing cartoons from Disney picture books. I would prop the books along the back of my desk while copying them. That was the idea behind the Reader Desk – a compact table with a neat little backrest to display things.
From that idea, we start sketching things on paper and CAD before making small physical models. Once we’re happy with the basic design, we take our schematics to the factory, where we make our first full-scale prototype. We spend several weeks at the factory iterating on the designs. During this time, we work out assembly, packing, and production details until the product is finalized. The whole process can take anywhere from 4-6 months.
Tell us about your inspiration behind the Mysa Bed…
The Mysa Bed is simple, comfortable, and familiar – a bit like your favorite t-shirt. It’s an expression of the current collection’s design ethos, which is to create the simplest, most essential expression a given object. Like the rest of the collection, it’s meant to be the backdrop, rather than the focus, of the space it’s in.
In your opinion, what’s the best way to source furniture for millennials?
Older millennials are entering the stage where they want to step up from the furniture they bought back in college. Instead of looking for the cheapest possible furniture, they’re starting to think of furniture as a means to express their identity. And this is not just about a ‘look’ – they’re just as interested in the story behind the objects they bring into their home.
What are some of your best-selling products?
How essential is marketing and social media to the success of your business?
Our main acquisition channels are Craigslist and organic traffic. We mainly use social media to chat with customers, and to post the occasional photo. Frankly, there’s a lot of untapped potential in using social media to reach a larger audience.
Can you name some spaces featuring Akron Street furniture that you’re particularly proud of?
We have a bunch of our furniture featured in Common Living’s co-living spaces in New York, DC, and San Francisco. We’re also quite happy with how photographer Parker Fitzgerald incorporated our furniture into his Portland home. For more pictures of our furniture taken in real spaces, check out our Pinterest board.
How do you typically work with interior designers?
We love working with interior designers, and we have a trade program which provides them with discounted rates on our furniture. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Can you offer some tips for the interior designers sourcing Akron Street furniture for a space?
Akron Street’s pared down aesthetic is designed to complement many types of furniture. As an interior designer, you have the latitude to take it many different directions. Have fun with it!
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