Monthly Archives: March 2014

All the Stress Just Seeps Out…My Couch Life

Take a peek into the couch life Keith Rinzler of Atlanta, Georgia, including all of the stress that comes along with being a serial entrepreneur and single dad. I was recently travelling through Atlanta and I had the chance to sit down with my good friend Keith in his own home. Keith  knows all about  all of the stress and pressures of an entrepreneur growing a business, and a single father raising three teenage kids. I love hearing from successful and totally unique people like Keith because it just reaffirms my belief that we all have a life on a couch—and we are all more alike than we are different. Some of our best memories in life happen on or around our silent sofas. See how Keith relies on his couch life to de-stress and bring his family together.

“My Couch Life” Interview with Keith Rinzler, of Atlanta Georgia. Read the full transcript.

 

The Stress of a Tech Startup Entrepreneur

Keith is currently living with all the stress that comes from building an amazing technology company called 1Q. Check out 1Q.com…it will blow your mind. You can actually sign up to receive text-based questions (or download their app: for iOS or Android) and get paid $1 dollar for every single question you respond to from a company interested in asking you survey questions. When was the last time you were paid by a company talking at you? Think about it.  I think 1Q is going to be a big deal—and I’ll be like a proud papa when I can someday say, “Hey, I know that guy—and he’s got Sactionals.”

Lovesac Hookah Lounge featuring Sactionals

Keith’s in-home hookah lounged powered by Lovesac

The ultra stress-free hookah lounge sectional sofa

I didn’t mention that Keith also has this crazy Moroccan themed hookah lounge, complete with an audio-sensitive LED light show embedded in the walls behind the draped fabric panel tent that envelopes the entire room. Talk about a stress relieving environment! The seating for this hookah room is, of course, all Sactionals by Lovesac and a Pillowsac too. When asked, “What is the craziest thing that’s ever happened in this hookah room?” Let’s just say, Keith declined to comment.

—  Shawny

 

My Couch Life Keith Rinzler Interview Video transcript:

Shawny: What was your early memory of your life on a couch?

 Keith: It was itchy—it was kind of a wool, itchy material I remember, it was kind of a white-beige color. You know, its in the living room, and every once in a while we would just get in a mood and start building. And I’ve carried that forward to my kids, and we’ve built couch castles in the basement. And my kids have slept in them—they’ve taken it to the next level, they’ve built couch castles and then they cover them with blankets so its totally dark on the inside.

Shawny: What about your everyday couch life, today?

Keith: On this particular couch, which is in front of the television, I like to get right in the middle, and my sinks in right in between these two pillows—all the stress seeps out…

 Shawny: What is your craziest memory involving a couch?

Keith: This guy had a couch, it had a steering wheel, it was motorized—you sat on it—and its driving all over the desert at Burning Man and going to see things and people would jump on and jump off. It was like taking the best of a couch and making it mobile. It was awesome—it was awesome 

Shawny: What does “life a couch” mean to you

 Keith: As my kids get older and they want to spend a little less time with their parents and they want to go do other things—those times when we sit together and all watch something together and kind of comment on it and just have that time—that’s what I think of.

 This is life on a couch – and it is interesting, because you are.

Insider’s Guide to Blanket Forts

There is something just so timeless about blanket forts. I think blanket forts are actually really, really important to our lives—but are often dismissed as just another day in a kid’s life. A blanket fort is like a right of passage. I feel like a blanket fort is somehow one of those “truly American things” but its not….it is even bigger than America. Just like our LifeOnACouch, the blanket fort is an international phenomenon. The blanket fort knows no boundaries—not geographic, not demographic, not political, race, or religious. Kids love blanket forts. College students love blanket forts. And—admit it or not—adults love blanket forts too.

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“Ask not if your furniture can become a blanket fort, ask if your blanket fort can become furniture.”

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Its close cousin, the couch fort, is essentially the same thing, but depending on the materials at hand, some couch forts can be constructed by using couch cushions alone. A true couch fort can be as simple as two or three couch cushions balanced on one another providing shelter against threats as such as: monsters, light, darkness, dogs, or even little brothers. Using ropes, pipes, and other devices some have bastardized the art form in order to create these more sophisticated blanket forts. Call me idealistic, but this somehow violates my own childhood definition of what a blanket fort should be. I believe that a true blanket fort should be impromptu, and unplanned. The couch cushions are the bricks and the blankets the mortar.

According to Wikipedia: “A blanket fort is a construction commonly made using blankets, bed sheets, pillows, and sofa cushions. It is also known as a couch fort, pillow fort or sheet fort.” Notice, there’s no mention of ropes, stands, pipes, etc. Tools are for hacks.

The Advent of Sactionals – A New Material for Blanket Forts

Sactionals

Some may say that advancements were made with sectional couches, but I would argue that the first organic technological advancement of this decade made in the blanket-fort-building industry came part and parcel with the advent of Sactionals—a clearly superior piece of furniture for blanket fort building. I know that I’m biased on the topic, but just think about it…

  • Sactionals are solid when connected but easily reassembled,
  • Sactionals are movable,
  • Sactionals are rectangular—making them configurable in different ways,
  • Sactionals are stackable, and
  • Sactionals are beautiful sofas as their day-job, but really earn their money as a 2-for-the-price-of-one blanket fort builder.

While I may be a purist as to the construction of blanket forts, I am a liberal in terms of what can happen within.

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Kids will do strange things in there….mostly, they just like to take things in there. Its kind of like their first-first apartment. They get to “decorate it” themselves. They get to choose their own appliances, and amenities. Like mini interior designers, they delve into lighting, flooring, wall hangings, the whole composition becomes their domain.

College students do all kinds of things inside a blanket fort—typically taking it to a whole new level. The TV, the X-Box, the Wii, the PS2, they all go in. There’s evidence online of some upper-classmen living in blanket forts for weeks on nothing but pizza and beer. And who knows what else goes on in there? I will say that the Blanket Fort episode of NBC’s Community, will likely never be outdone in terms of capturing the soul of blanket forting for the adult age group. Epic.

We Secretely Want Our Own Fort

Finally, we have the parents—like myself. Are we really building these forts for our children with blankets, with couches, with sectional sofas, or with Sactionals? Aren’t we just waiting “by the phone” for our sons and daughters to ask us? Don’t we secretly all just want to crawl in and cuddle up in there with random items that we love? Based on some of the blanket fort masterpieces I’ve seen on on other blogs, for the non-purist, that is, he who can accept a blanket fort using more permanent materials, it is possible for the best of them to withstand a minor hurricane. But as for me in my house—we shall only use Sactionals bases, cushions and blankets. This discipline in blanket fort construction certainly limits the size and stability of the fort, but in the end—were blanket forts really meant to last?

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Maybe like our fleeting childhood blanket forts were just never meant to last. In the immortal words of Robert Frost, “Nothing gold can stay.”

— Shawny

Founder, Lovesac

SHOW ME YOUR BLANKETFORT. TAG IT WITH #LIFEONACOUCH IN ANY SOCIAL MEDIA!

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