LA rental furniture company looks to curb industry waste
22 November, 2022
Inside their one-bedroom apartment in West Hollywood, literally, everything is from Fernish.
Avena Savage and David Pramik say they couldn’t be happier with their rental furniture. During the pandemic, the couple moved to Hawaii, but still needed to have a place in Los Angeles since they both work in the music business.
They turned to a company called Fernish.
“We were out of state, so we weren’t here on the ground to go furniture shopping and pick stuff up. We didn’t have a car, so it was really convenient to go online and pick everything out ahead of time,” Pramik said.
The couple said the items were delivered about a week later and everything was set up and assembled for free within a couple of hours. Savage and Pramik and ended up with about11 pieces and spent around $400 per month. Customers can rent items anywhere from four to 12 months and even rent to own, so they pay nothing once they’ve paid off the item. The couple said it’s an alternative to dropping several grand on furniture they may not keep long term.
“How many people have bought a couch they thought would be perfect and then two months later were like, ‘Oh this actually sucks,’ but then what, you’re not going to return it. You’re not going to be able to sell it for anything, so you’re trapped in this situation,” Pramik said.
“Our current target segment are really apartment renters who have some degree of uncertainty, where they’re going to live, who they’re going to live with, what they’re going to let’s say 12 months from now,” said Fernish Co-Founder and CEO Michael Barlow.
He said he got the idea when he and his girlfriend at the time moved in together.
“It was a long distance move as well as a combining of stuff move, which had a lot of challenges, hassles, headaches, costs,” Barlow said.
He said the furniture comes from brands such as Crate and Barrel, as well as their own personal line.
He said 99% of customers can’t tell the difference between gently used furniture and a brand new product.
“Refurbishment, quarantine, cleaning. Sometimes we do high heat depending on the condition of the furniture and a lot of times, we’ll resurface, refinish, and even reupholster,” he said.
There’s also a sustainability component.
“Sixty percent of furniture that’s bought for apartment homes ends up in landfill within one year,” Barlow said.
He said the pandemic helped their business grow as more people moved temporarily or worked remotely and others became more comfortable shopping online.
For Pramik and Savage, it’s a matter of convenience without the waste.
“The last thing we need is more furniture just sitting on the sidewalk, trying to get picked up, so it just makes you feel a little bit better than you’re not contributing to that,” Savage said.