New generation furniture rental offers a neat and lasting style
When Rainier Rabanzo, 33, from San Diego, moved into his two-bedroom apartment in Mission Valley last year, he found himself in the rabbit hole looking for furniture online. You know – see a coffee table on Wayfair, then search for it on Amazon and other sites to see if he could buy it cheaper, and end up finding 10 more coffee tables, ordering one and then returning it because it doesn’t. did not work with the sofa.
âSo during the six months I was in the apartment, I probably changed the layout of the living room and dining room five or six times,â he said with a sigh. âI would buy something and then return it, because every time I bought something new, my previous purchases did not match the one I had just bought. It was endless.
When Fernish, a young home furniture rental company, appeared on Rabanzo’s Instagram feed, he was immediately interested.
âThe first thing that caught my mind was ‘If you’re not happy, turn it over’ and then I looked at their inventory and it was really cool,â he said. âIt was almost kind of a curator because every piece of furniture made sense wherever it went. And then I saw more attractive factors. I could change it when I’m bored or if I don’t like it. And then I can own it at the end of the term or return it. The fact that I have this type of freedom without owning something or having something with the aesthetic that I want is what drove me to get what I have.
Among Rabanzo’s selections were Fernish’s Microgrid Gray Tandom sofa bed ($ 64 per month), Andrea sideboard ($ 19), and Kendall bar height table ($ 32), paired with four Hugo adjustable stools in black. ($ 8 each) and two Pyramid stools in black ($ 7 each).
Fernish, which just launched in the San Diego market in early March, was founded in 2017 in Los Angeles by Michael Barlow and Lucas Dickey. Barlow is the CEO of the company, and Dickey is the chief product officer and serves as the chief technology officer. The company, which serves Southern California and the Seattle area, was born out of the frustrations Barlow in particular experienced as a young professional enduring the traveling life of frequent work trips. Barlow, who moved five times in his six years with JP Morgan, struggled to understand not only how to furnish his temporary digs, but also what to do with the furniture before heading to the next town.
âWhat he found was that it was a lot quicker for him to just throw the furniture out before moving on to the next place and the next group of roommates,â Dickey explained. “He ended up buying furniture, throwing the furniture away, moving to a new apartment, buying furniture, starting over, rinsing, rehearsing.”
Add to that the fact that the purchase of all the “adult” rooms may have been split by the roommates, and no one wanted to take possession of them because they didn’t know where it would go next and they didn’t want to pay to move it. . In addition, some parts would have to be disassembled and then reassembled in the new location. The prospect of going through this process over and over is daunting.
Renting furniture is certainly not a new concept. CORT is perhaps the biggest name of this legacy business. And Fernish is one of several entrants – with CasaOne and Fashion Furniture Rental, which are active in the San Diego market, and Feather, who are not currently – taking on the e-commerce role of “furniture rental.” upscale âto attract, mainly, a market of youngâ adult âprofessionals such as Rabanzo, in the 22 to 35 age group.
If you look at their product offerings, which range from bed frames and mattresses, dressers and bedside tables, to sofas, coffee tables, side tables, consoles and a range of office furniture, outdoor furniture , lighting, decorative pillows and televisions, you will find a similar aesthetic in the middle of the century. And, as Rabanzo observed, everything seems organized according to a mixed approach.
Fernish’s offerings come primarily from furniture companies Crate & Barrel, CB2, EQ3 and Floyd, but a company spokesperson also said they are working with a number of suppliers and are working on a range of furniture. Fernish, which they hope to introduce soon. Another reason furniture and textiles have a similar feel is that they need to be able to be cleaned and repaired in a way that allows them to pass to the next customer instead of being thrown away. In fact, one of the company’s selling points is its demand for sustainability.
According to the latest Environmental Protection Agency report, around 9.7 million tonnes of furniture and furnishings ended up in US landfills in 2018. Barlow and Dickey are looking to replace what they call âfast furnitureâ with items designed to last. Fernish’s website says that last year the company saved 247 tonnes of furniture from the landfill and 1,042 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide to the environment.
Irish customers can rent items for up to 12 months, with a minimum period of two months and a minimum payment of $ 45. Don’t like what you have? Within the first three days, customers can exchange or return items. At the end of the rental term, they have the option to extend it, exchange items for something else, or keep items by paying the difference between what has been paid to date and its full value.
Delivery and setup is free, although contactless delivery in these COVID-19 days is also available. Have you spilled, torn or chipped anything? Has your cat placed a large ball of fur on a carpet or chair? This is not a problem, they say. The company claims that with commercial grade upholstery, most stains can be removed and a furniture leg or other part can be replaced.
âWe expect wear that can be reclaimed,â said Kristin Smith, President and COO of Fernish. âIn very rare and exceptional cases, we have to ask the customer to pay for a replacement. “
Rabanzo just signed a new one-year lease for his apartment, so he’ll be going to Fernish’s website again to outfit the rooms.
âFinally, I can see myself no longer going through 10 different websites to look for something,â he said. âI’m Fernish on Instagram and as new things come through them I’ll probably continue to watch them. I am already thinking of buying some parts. And if I move, I will probably rent new things to them because of this ease. This means that I don’t need to look for movers. It’s a kind of one-stop shop.
Golden is a freelance writer and blogger from San Diego.