When 7th Avenue co-founders Billy Shaw and Josh Stinson looked into the furniture market, they saw an industry so focused on aesthetics that function was completely ignored. “Most traditional furniture brands typically focus on design and aesthetics, ignoring the everyday experience,” Shaw said.
Shaw and Stinson saw an opportunity to combat this industry-wide issue through what the team refers to as “functional luxury,” or, marrying beautiful design with features that can withstand everyday life.
With this principle in mind, the team founded 7th Avenue in early 2022, a direct-to-consumer furniture brand and product that is not only beautiful, but functional in every sense of the word. Unlike other furniture companies, 7th Avenue only offers one product– called “The World’s Greatest Modular Sofa”– because, as Shaw says, “we want to do one thing really well rather than many things in mediocrity.”
Creating “The World’s Greatest Modular Sofa”
As sofas are typically the most important (and expensive) furniture purchase a consumer makes, the team wanted to “create a sofa with a beautiful, contemporary design that’s able to weather active lifestyles.”
To do so, Shaw and Stinson developed a sofa that prioritizes features including endless modularity, water-repellent and stain-resistant fabrics, removable and washable covers, and much more.
The duo spent ten months optimizing the sofa’s design before it hit the market last year. And the claim to have created “the world’s greatest modular sofa”? According to the company’s customer base, it does indeed appear to hold up.
The sofa is described as “a classic with a twist,” made clear by its square armrests and clean lines meant to fit in with most design aesthetics, while its four colorways (Pure White, Natural White, Charcoal Black, and Heather Grey) are neutral enough to fit in anywhere.
The sofa’s modular design means that it can be rearranged into any configuration imaginable. So, whether you’re moving to a new home or redesigning your current space, 7th Avenue’s modular sofa can be customized to fit your changing needs.
Additionally, the sofa is able to grow as your family does. Unlike traditional sofas, where an entire new piece of furniture is needed to change its shape or size, 7th Avenue’s customers are able to simply purchase a new modular seat to upgrade their sofa from 3-seater to L-shaped sectional and beyond.
This modularly extends to the color of your sofa as well. Since 7th Avenue’s covers, including those for the back and base of the sofa, are completely removable, it’s possible to order new covers in a different color instead of replacing the sofa.
What Makes 7th Avenue Unique?
According to Shaw, 7th Avenue is unique in how it prioritizes connecting with its customers. As the company knows that the sofa is a big purchase for the majority of people, it makes sense that most value seeing and touching the product in person before committing to it.
This is why 7th Avenue “aims to open as many showrooms as we can,” says Shaw, “to be as close as possible to customers.” While other furniture brands, especially those that are digitally-native, seem to shy away from the brick-and-mortar approach, 7th Avenue is “all in on the showroom model,” as “we’ve found that it delivers the best experience for our customers,” says Shaw. 7th Avenue currently has showrooms in California, Nevada, and Texas, with hopes to open more in the upcoming years.
Once customers feel comfortable placing an order, whether in-store or online, their sofa will arrive between two and six weeks. “By focusing on one product and limiting customization, we’re able to streamline our supply chain and optimize our lead times… this is in contrast to other companies, where customers are expected to wait between six and eight months for their order to arrive.”
Taking 7th Avenue into the Future
In 2023 and beyond, 7th Avenue will continue to expand both its product and showroom experience to meet its mission of “improving the lives of customers by creating products that are beautiful, yet functional.”
Additionally, 7th Avenue is passionate about ensuring that its products are good for both people and the planet. While the company’s modular sofas are designed with water-repellent and stain-resistant covers that can repel even the toughest stains (think: red wine, coffee, and even pet urine), the coatings that allow this to happen typically contain “forever chemicals,” or, a group of microplastics that include PFC, PFOA, and PFAS.
These chemicals have been proven to harm both the human body and the environment. In 2023, 7th Avenue’s DWR coating will be free from all microplastics and PFC/PFAS/PFOA chemicals because you shouldn’t have to compromise between your family’s health and an easy clean-up.