Passion, Real Life, & the Couch

An email sent to all Lovesac employees (my weekly “Thursday Thought”):

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! Has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
— Calvin Coolidge 
One of our “permission to play” values at Lovesac is: Passion. I think that most of the time when people think of “passion,” they conjure up images of excitement, energy, and action. Enthusiasm is powerful, but can be short-lived, and is more of a symptom or a result, than it is a deep-rooted disposition. Passion is deep. Passion is persistent. Good days…bad days…everyday is conquered again and again by those who are truly passionate. Those who can just dig it out. Lovesac people are passionate. Lovesac people are persistent. Lovesac people are persistent.
RESPONSE FROM OUR VALLEY FAIR STORE LEADER:
Love this message. I asked my team to really read this and share with me something about their career at Lovesac they are passionate about. This really hit home for me yesterday. I just got to my house in Maine yesterday for a week of PTO and I was sitting on my sactional and really had an amazing moment. Before I moved to California I had this amazing 8/10 in my home. I took a 2/4 with me to California and it is now in my living room out there in my new home. I fly across the country and am sitting on this 6/6 in my “old home” and realize my sactional is on this crazy freakin journey with me. What was once a big part of my home is now a part of two homes, it will ALWAYS FIT in my life. When I sell these sactionals a piece of me is in all these people’s homes. I played a part in them finding a couch that will be forever new to them and will always fit in their lives. They will enjoy each other’s company, they will raise their kids, they will watch breaking news, they will laugh they will cry they will be given sorrowing news and take comfort in someone’s arms on this couch; and not even realize how much of life their couch has seen. I remember being told that the man I called my best friend, my mentor, and most importantly my grandfather  passed away and falling into my dads arms. That couch held my tears and my screams and I didn’t even know it. A lot of life happens on a couch. I don’t know about you Shawn but that’s some powerful stuff. Thank you for the permission to play and be a part of people’s lives without them even knowing it! Enough sappiness, in a long winded way, THANK YOU!  — Ry
Maine Sactionals:
Maine Sactionals Setup

With all my pieces together, I can build this monster…

California Sactionals:
California Sactionals Setup

…But when it came time to move and keep it light, I kept it light

Love this. One #LovesacFamily…one couch for life.
— Shawn

Win a Free Lovesac!? #SacAcrossAmerica

Where is the craziest place you’ve taken your Lovesac? Post a photo of your Lovesac in action and win one! Check out the  contest here, via Lovesac’s Facebook. Or just use #SacAcrossAmerica on Instagram.

Even though Lovesac is an up-and-coming trendsetter in American home décor, our roots are not really in the home. When I invented the very first Lovesac, I conceived it while sitting on my parent’s couch and chopped up the foam to put inside of it in the basement. But it spent almost no time in front of the TV in those days.

Lovesac Camping

First Sac Ever Made, Camping in Moab, Utah

We immediately tossed the massive Sac in the back of a pickup truck, or between the roll-bars of my roofless 1976 classic Bronco and dragged it to the drive-in movies or even the sidelines of the soccer game. We took it up the nearby canyons in Utah and cuddled 4 or 6 at once next to the fire, and even slept on it next to the shores of my favorite place on the planet: Lake Powell. Whatever the case, between the ages of 18 and 23, when Lovesac was just me and my friends making Lovesacs by hand for neighbors and their friends, we had no homes of our own, and these giant orbs of comfort lived the nomadic life of a college student-turned-entrepreneur.

Lovesac at the Lake

One of the earliest ever Lovesacs dragged down to Lake Powell to sleep on

Fast-forward to today. We are now grateful to be selling thousands of Lovesac each month, most of which find their way into the living rooms, movie rooms, and bedrooms of real people all over the country. But if there is one thing I know—I know they don’t always stay there. I come across photos all the time of Lovesac fans around the country leaping off of roofs, staircases, trucks, and trees into their Lovesacs in all kinds of unlikely locations. I know I’m not the only one who’s had the pleasure of stuffing a Lovesac into the back seat of a car that is probably smaller than the Sac is. Yes—a Lovesac will fit into the back seat of a car—any car, if you shove hard enough. Of course, Lovesac now has the Cinch Cover to make moving your Lovesac a lot easier. (Where’s the fun in that though!?)

Sac in Subaru

Cram a Lovesac into the back of any car!

One of our former employees and good friends had to leave Lovesac HQ in Stamford, CT a while back for a new life on the west coast. He loaded up his car, taking his Lovesac and Cinch Cover, along with his girlfriend and all his possessions on a coat-to-coast road trip to end all road trips. Check out the whole adventure on Lovesac’s Tumbler page. Its worth the look.

Sac across America! #Lovesac

What is the coolest trip you’ve ever attempted with your Lovesac?

Post your own photos on Instagram #SacAcrossAmerica, or post here and have your friends vote to WIN A FREE LOVESAC.

— Shawn

Designed For Life, a Book in Process: Excerpt 1

I aspire to write my first book, working title: Designed for Life. It is an expansion on our Design Philosophy, as its been discovered through our work at Lovesac, and embodied by our star product: Sactionals. I believe that Sactionals might be the first (and hopefully not last) Designed for Life product. My hope is that countless entrepreneurs someday adopt this philosophy and a revolution in (durable goods) product design comes to fruition. Below is a small excerpt from the preface of my book–still a work in progress. I plan to share more previews on this blog as it continues to unfold. It will appear as our standard to live up to, on the walls of Lovesac stores everywhere.

Designed For Life

The Designed for Life philosophy, official text – visit Lovesac.com to see it in action

EXCERPT: DESIGNED FOR LIFE  (preface) …

DESIGNED FOR LIFE: The Oncoming Revolution in the Product Economy

PREDICTION: Durable product-based companies will no longer lead our economic growth. The days of Apple being “the biggest company in the world,” and its growth story are over…but the economy will be just fine.

The industrial revolution of the 19th century was originally fueled by innovation in one industry. In fact, the word “industry” before 1880 meant one thing: cotton. The systems, processes, management theory, and machinery that came along with the modernization of the textile industry in America paved the way for ongoing innovation and business practices in every “industry” since from automobiles to electronics. It would be impossible to stand in 1850 and imagine massive economic growth without cotton driving it…let alone child labor, slavery, and the many other “critical,” and consequential components of the burgeoning economy at that time. How could unfettered growth be expected to continue without these things?

Yet we wake up today, well into the new millennium, having witnessed unceasing, exponential, even monumental economic growth in the United States…and where is cotton? We somehow have done just fine without it as the zenith of our economic engine. At some point it faded into the background or went offshore, yet our economy marched on without it. We will continue to see the economy expand and evolve even as the industrial revolution becomes a chapter in history, the technological revolution, some might argue, is nearly complete, and this new “Knowledge Worker Economy,” as coined by author Steven Covey, comes to fruition.

It is no longer necessary for products to be the driving force of our economy—certainly not durable goods. This economic revolution we are living through right now will allow a new paradigm to emerge—where companies like Apple, who are rooted in the preceding paradigm, are absolutely caught in the Innovator’s Dilemma that Clayton Christensen thoughtfully exposes in his book of the same name. What’s more, most large companies are so entangled in the realities of our finance industries’ “Capitalists Dilemma” that Mr. Christensen has since exposed, that there is no likely trajectory change for them. Companies like mine still have a choice. Consumers like you and me will likewise have a choice…and for many reasons, in this new economy we will choose Designed for Life products. The time is ripe for the small to eat the big.

EXCERPT END

 

One of my big inspirations for this philosophy, and the book, is the work of William McDonough and Michael Braungart. At this moment, I am just finishing their amazing work, The Upcycle. It, by my estimation, the most well-informed and up-to-date long-form work in the area of sustainability and I encourage everyone on the planet to read it….especially policy makers and entrepreneurs. Please check it out.

The Upcycle

The Upcycle. Read it!

Thank you!

— Shawn

Lovesacs For Kids With Sensory Issues

My favorite unintended consequence of inventing Lovesac has been to find out from hundreds of parents that it can be majorly therapeutic for kids with Autism, Muscular Dystrophy, and a host of other sensory issues. But don’t take it from me…

Thank you Suzanne!

— Shawn

People Line Up Overnight for Sactionals

Lovesac celebrated its 59th Store opening on Saturday with a Grand Opening event unlike any other. The first 50 people in line would receive a Sactionals “Starter Couch” (aka 2 Seats + 2 Sides) and we were hoping that the word would spread. It did.

Checkout this quick clip of some of the madness that I got to face myself at 7am as the line stretched through the mall courtyard…

So make sure you get on Lovesac’s mailing list (bottom right of page) to find out about the next ridiculous store opening party we throw so you can, at the very least, tell your friends to go wait in line for you!

People camped outside of Lovesac

7 am and the line for Baybrook Lovesac’s Grand Opening stretches through the courtyard

Bay brook Grand Opening

Helping as many people as fast as I can as the Grand Opening crowds file in

Thanks for all of your support. I’m grateful for our #LovesacFamily.

— Shawn

Thursday Thought: New Years Eeeeeeeeeve

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
— Carl Bard
[ An excerpt from an internal email sent to all Lovesac employees 12/31/2015 ]
As cliché as it may be, I am a strong believer in finding a quiet corner—maybe just in your car or closet—to clear your mind, reflect on what you achieved in 2015, and make not more than three crystal clear and achievable new year’s resolutions with a simple action plan to stick to them. Do it! Make time for it!! Our Lovesac Family is not a thing—it is a collection of 350+ individual human beings, and we are only as great as each individual is. We all rely on each other.
Shawn Nelson

Its time for big things

But besides it being a time for resolutions, New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate—and we have a lot to celebrate! Together, we have made great things happen this year. As tired as you may feel, or as “not pretty” as it sometimes is around here, YOU are absolutely responsible for Lovesac’s turning some major corners in 2015 and setting this company on a path to achieve growth and success at a rate that will make the past few years feel slow.
It may or may not feel like it to you, but we are in a good and stable position as a company, and is your fault that we are there. We certainly have endless work left to do, a hundred shortcomings, and a thousand things to improve upon…but we should all feel good about what we have achieved this year. I am really proud of what we have done and I’m also proud of the chance we have to influence this world going forward—filling it with product that has been designed-for-life, growing the overall economy and providing opportunities for more people to work and share in our spoils along the way. We should all be proud of that. We are not just selling stuff—we are building a company—together.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO US!!!
— Shawn

Thursday Thought: OUR Holiday

Internal email sent to all Lovesac employees: Dec 23, 2015

No one has ever become poor by giving. 
— Anne Frank
 
To my Lovesac Family,
I am so grateful for retail. For some people, “the Holidays” is really just a couple of days each year….a mad rush to squeeze in some shopping and wrapping and cooking to prepare for all of the craziness of holiday dinners, visits to and from extended family, and everything else that comes along with it.
Our Holiday is more-than-a-month-long event. We are subjected to all of the frenetic energy, timeless music, and that extra little bit of goodwill that comes (or should come) with the Holiday Season for a stretch of many weeks. After 15 Lovesac Christmases, I still absolutely love it, and I would encourage all of us not to “wish it away.” Just like many of the best things in life, the Holidays will come with all of its accompanying high stress, low funds, and limited time…but the Holidays will also go, and then we’re just left with winter.
Thanks to ALL OF OUR collective hard work, we have put ourselves in a position where we can, and should just relax and enjoy it. SO PLEASE—MAKE THE EFFORT TO ENJOY IT! Why don’t you go ahead and TAKE FRIDAY OFF…all of you! I know—its generous.  🙂  But seriously, TAKE IT COMPLETELY OFF and be totally PRESENT with the ones you love.
Find every opportunity to give. Take the time over the next few days to open more doors, illicit more smiles, tip a little larger, anger a little slower, share more Holiday well-wishes, and generally SPREAD THE LOVE. Nothing matters more than love, and we get to be its namesake—in furniture form.
Please enjoy this fantastic video that reminds us that there are many ways to give, and of the power behind our smallest of actions. Its worth the watch:

I love you. I appreciate what you do to keep us all mutually employed and feeling successful this year. We are all in this together, and we all owe each other for our collective success.
Merry Christmas, Happy belated Hanukkah, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO US ALL!
Feel good. We’ve earned it.
— Shawn

Thursday Thought: How You Make Me Feel

Internal email sent to all Lovesac employees: Dec 10, 2015

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
—Maya Angelou
I’m sure that I am the most guilty of often behaving ignorantly to this undeniable and often-quoted truth that is so aptly captured by Maya Angelou above. Nevertheless, at this time of year in particular, may we all try to keep this thought in our hearts. We are LOVEsac…and we should live up to that.
Every time I get the chance to help people to sit in a Lovesac for their first time, the expression on their face—the wide-eyed smile, the gasp, the laugh, the comments—I am reminded that: in the end, people don’t pay $800 for a beanbag from us because of good foam or good fabric. Somewhere in their subconscious mind they just want to take that feeling back to their home, and somehow let it bring the same joy to their life everyday.
Joy

This is what Lovesac is

Whether at HQ as we interact with each other, on the phone with our customers, on chat, or in-store, may we all focus on spreading the love this holiday season. It is the right thing to do. And we have an outsized opportunity to do it! We practically have a duty to do it. And speaking truthfully, it has been demonstrated to me over and over again through the years that when we do focus on just spreading that Lovesac vibe in an honest, energetic, and sincere way, the universe has a way of making it happen for us—our business grows—which is good for all of us and the world.
Spread the love. Happy Holidays!
Love you. My #LovesacFamily.
— Shawn

Couch = Lovesac. A Stake in the Ground.

Friends, followers, and members of the #LovesacFamily,

It was my mentor, Richard Branson, who once told me (while stargazing atop the roof of the main house of Necker Island), “I believe that we make our own luck.” I neither understood nor agreed with that comment at the time. I get it now, and 10 years later, I write this post to firmly plant a stake in the ground and to allow all of you (and the universe) to hold us accountable: Within 5 years, when people think “couch,” the first brand they’ll think of is “Lovesac.” If you want to know more about why I’m making this audacious claim and how its going to happen read more in this fantastic article published recently in Furniture Today.

WE’RE ALSO IN FORBES!  I say this in caps because not only was it a great article about innovative marketing techniques, but the very publication of this article is exciting to me, and evidence of our finally taking outward, and deliberate steps toward making our own luck a reality. Check out the full Forbes article!

Sactionals--change your life

Showing a little #MovingDayLove, giving Sactionals to one couple in Boston

Lovesac has been laying low for nearly a decade—rebuilding over the legacy of a not-beanbag franchise that needed a reboot. Sactionals, with all of its 4 patents, is that reboot—and it has taken us years to retool our brand DNA and our company infrastructure in a way that would warrant us finally shouting from the rooftops: “There is a better way to couch!”

Finally, in the spirit of making noise: I’LL BE ON TV THIS WEEK! Wednesday, September 9, at 10pm EST, I get to appear on a CNBC show called “Make Me a Millionaire Inventor.” Check it out!

This is a show that is originally from England that is like the “Shark Tank,” but exclusively for inventors. I’m like the “Shark.” The invention I get to consider investing in is called The Wake Wing. Picture being dragged behind a boat at high-speed, standing on an airplane wing meant to fly. If you know me well, you know this was the perfect opportunity for me. But will I invest? Or will it crash and burn like most of my wake boarding attempts….find out live, tomorrow.

Shawn Wakeboarding

If I’m not designing couches, I’m on the boat

As a personal favor: please tweet, share, and continue to help us build the #LovesacFamily, as we do our best to make your life on a couch just a little richer—a little more stress free.

Thanks so much for your support!

— Shawn

 

Sactionals and Chelsie Hightower: The Full Dance

Lovesac partnered with Emmy nominated professional dancer, choreographer and seven-time Dancing with the Stars star Chelsie Hightower at Dwell On Design in LA where Chelsie and her team of dancers performed a dance with Lovesac Sactionals, the world’s first and only modular, infinitely changeable couch system. Through dance, we told the story of Sactionals growing with a man through his life, love, and family as it evolves—with Sactionals not as a prop—but as a co-star.