Interview with: 

Edgar Blazona

Founder, BenchMade Modern

Words by
Ash Read

“I just didn't understand why it took six to eight weeks to make a sofa,” explains Edgar Blazona reflecting on why he started BenchMade Modern, a direct-to-consumer furniture brand that crafts custom sofas on demand.

Its sofas are made in five inch increments to seamlessly fit into your life. Each piece is expertly handcrafted in Dallas and Los Angeles, and production times typically range between 10 and 21 days.

The brand offers a range 14 collections with 100+ performance fabrics and leather upholstery options. It will also ship free fabric swatches and full-size paper printouts so you can see how a new sofa will fit in your space.

“The reason we exist is we want to provide a great quality product at a good price that is custom fit to your room,” says Blazona.

BenchMade Modern sofas are custom made for your home.

‘You can pretty much make a sofa start to finish in a week or so’

Blazona sold his first piece of handmade furniture in the early 90’s. “I got $400, and it felt like the best thing ever,” he recalls during our conversation.

In the decades following, Blazona built a career in the furniture industry — working as a designer for Pottery Barn, before placing furniture collections in stores like Target and Walmart, and founding Modernist furniture brand, TrueModern, in 2005.

And it was during the 2008 financial crisis — whilst running True Modern — that the idea for BenchMade Modern first started floating around. “The sales stopped, yet the warehouse bills kept coming,” he recalls. “So I started to look at other business models, and I found sofas.”

“Sofas were pretty much custom,” he explains, so there was no need for large warehouses holding stock. 

But the real opportunity he saw was to innovate on the manufacturing process.  

“I just didn't understand why it took six, eight weeks to make a sofa,” he explains. “You can pretty much make a sofa start to finish in a week or so once you have all the materials. Once you know that, you question, ‘Why does it take six to eight weeks to make a sofa? Why am I quoted that?’”

“I just didn't understand why it took six, eight weeks to make a sofa. You can pretty much make a sofa start to finish in a week or so once you have all the materials."

So with BenchMade Modern, Blazona set out to create a brand that could custom pieces delivered to their door faster.

Each sofa is handmade in just three weeks.

‘We try to give you tools to make tough decisions really easy’

Choosing a new sofa is hard. It’s a big investment and there are a lot of factors to consider. 

To make this process as simple as possible, BenchMade Modern aims to give consumers everything they need to easily find the perfect sofa for their home, and feel confident they are making the right choice.. 

“We try to give you tools to make tough decisions really easy,” says Blazona.

If you want to check how one of its sofas will fit in your home, the company will send you a full scale paper print true to the size of your exact sofa. 

“You can see whether or not the sofa fits the space in your room,” says Blazona. “Does your family fit on it? Can you lay down on it in between the arms? Those things that are so important.”

BenchMade Modern also offers a wide range of free swatches so customers can see the fabrics and leathers it offers in person before purchasing. 

“I always tell people: ‘Take the swatch into the room with the natural light, look at the swatch with the other colors in the room, with your floor color and all that’,” explains Blazona. “Because how a fabric will look can be totally different from one room to the other."

‘You get what you pay for’

BenchMade Modern serves customers who want high-quality sofas that will last. And when it comes to making a sofa that will stand the test of time, Blazona believes the materials are what matters the most. 

Whether you’re spending $1,000 or $4,000 on a sofa, Blazona explains that “they are all sewn at the same speed and the frames are all made at the same speed. But the difference is materials.”

“You get what you pay for,” says Blazona. “Better materials last longer. And that's really the difference between a $1,000 sofa and a $4,000 sofa.”

“Better materials last longer. And that's really the difference between a $1,000 sofa and a $4,000 sofa.”

Each BenchMade Modern frame is handcrafted with precision using an engineered 7-ply wood framing or solid kiln-dried alder wood framing and comes with a lifetime warranty. 

“We want to provide a custom piece of furniture just for you and make it in a reasonable time,” Blazona says.

Benchmade Modern

Custom furniture handcrafted in the USA

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