Sharpton, a former NFL linebacker, co-founded sofa brand Albany Park alongside his wife, Jessica after the couple discovered a problem — buying a sofa sucked.
At the time of this realization, the Sharpton’s were searching for a new centerpiece sofa for their home. But after spending hours browsing through over-priced "designer" showrooms, and sifting through thousands of sofa designs, options, and configurations, they decided to start exploring how they could create a better sofa buying experience. As a result, Albany Park was founded in 2019.
“Looking at the furniture industry, I realized that pretty much all stores’ sofa offerings were redundant and confusing,” says Sharpton. “Most companies have so many sofa options just for the sake of having options.”
This hip-chic furniture brand features contemporary, high-quality sofas, sectionals, loveseats, armchairs, and ottomans at an affordable price.
Albany Park aims to change the way people shop for sofas and alleviates decision fatigue by offering just three models that Sharpton says “satisfy the style and comfort needs of everyone.” This hip-chic furniture brand features contemporary, high-quality sofas, sectionals, loveseats, armchairs, and ottomans at an affordable price.
Another issue with traditional sofas is they are huge, unwieldy, and difficult to get in and out of spaces. “These size issues cause headaches for customers looking to get their new sofa up to their fifth-floor apartment and also causes logistics and delivery headaches for carriers,” says Sharpton. “This results in long wait times and expensive freight costs that get passed on to shoppers.”
Albany Park solves these problems by shipping its sofas in space-conscious boxes that can easily be maneuvered in stairwells, tight hallways, and throughout any home. Its sofas can also be assembled in just 10 minutes.
During his research, Sharpton also found that most designer sofas need to be made-to-order and have very long lead times. “I knew there were other impatient people like me who wanted designer sofas that were in stock and ready to ship,” says Sharpton. Albany park aims to ship its sofas to your door within 3-5 days for free. (You can also return any sofa within 30 days, no questions asked.)
Though Albany Park is a fairly young company, Sharpton has been involved in the furniture business since his college days at the University of Miami.
“I started out selling inexpensive sectional sofas and I quickly realized something obvious, people needed sofas to start their home,” recalls Sharpton. “Sofas were not a luxury ‘want’, but truly a bare necessity. Sofas are the cornerstone of your home. If you had nothing else in your home, you had to have a sofa.”
Sharpton’s passion for furniture is innate and after making his first sofa sale in college he instantly knew that’s where his long-term future would be. “After the first sofa I sold, I got a rush of dopamine from the experience. I can’t really explain it,” he says. “I was instantly hooked. I loved selling that big signature piece that anchors your home.“
“I always intended on starting a furniture company after playing football. In fact, I was impatient and tried starting a furniture company while still playing the NFL."
From College, Sharpton went straight to the NFL. He was a 2010 fourth-round draft pick by the Texans and spent five seasons in the pros before retiring due to a number of injuries. But even when he was ingrained in the world of professional football, furniture was never too far from his mind. “I always intended on starting a furniture company after playing football. In fact, I was impatient and tried starting a furniture company while still playing the NFL but I eventually decided to wait,” he recalls.
After retiring from football in 2015, Sharpton launched his first furniture business Edloe Finch and Albany Park opened for business in 2019. “Albany Park was created to become the gold standard for sofas and living room upholstery,” he says.
“Our Albany Park tagline is ‘a cozy home begins here’ – that is what I truly believe and what I work for every day,” says Sharpton. “Everyone wants to anchor their home with quality, coziness, and style, our mission is to make that experience super easy from start to delivery.”
Get 12% off at Albany Park using code COZY12 at checkout.