Furniture and fashion are more like cousins than sisters, but two women are aiming to bridge the gap with their furniture startup, The Inside. Christine Lemieux and Britt Bunn have created an affordable and entirely customizable interior design company whose tagline is, quite fittingly, “fashion your home.”
Lemieux believes that millennials are the future and that they are treating their homes more like closets.
“In the past, there was this sense that you would decorate your home and be done. But to the modern consumer, the home is never finished: it’s always a work in progress. We are constantly changing the way it looks, rearranging the furniture, bringing in new pieces, changing the colors of our walls.”
The Inside gives consumers the freedom to do just that: their direct-to-consumer business strategy saves customers money without sacrificing individuality. All of the products are customizable and made on demand. Consumers no longer need to hunt around for specific upholstery fabrics to match a certain room — they can pick the exact color or pattern they want, no hassle whatsoever. High quality furniture brands produce beautiful pieces but can be costly; with The Inside, every piece will be constructed and delivered within two to three weeks (they have factories in North Carolina, Illinois, and Pennsylvania). Since all the products are made to order, they have no wasted inventory or need for expensive storage facilities; this allows them to significantly reduce the price of each item, making them affordable to the average consumer.
“There’s been this shift in the market, with brands like Target and Wayfair democratizing interior decorating,” Lemieux says. “I’m all for it. We spend so much of our time in our homes, and it shouldn’t be a luxury to create spaces you really love living in.”
Lemieux and Bunn couldn’t have picked a better market; furniture sales are expected to reach $122 billion by the year 2020, potentially due to Millennials’ propensity to change quality furniture like they change scarves. They may not sell commercial furniture, but their high quality furniture brand certainly has the potential to dominate the home market.