Founded by brothers Travis and Ryan, Medley knows the impact that a comfortable space can have. Medley’s mantra about home is that it’s “your cozy little nook of the universe,” where you’re “relaxed, comfortable, and wearing your soft pants.”
Originally from outside of Sacramento, California, the brothers started in the furniture industry together after college, where they witnessed a culture of disposable materials, carbon-copy craftsmanship, and a lack of thought about the connection between the individual home and our collective home (the planet).
Travis said, “we found that the furniture industry was pretty archaic in some ways, and has moved towards a disposable mindset much like fashion. The ideas of customization and eco-friendly materials were a great fit in helping to evolve a pretty stagnant industry.”
The disposable mindset that Travis mentioned is certainly real– according to the EPA, 9,680 tons of furniture in the United States alone ended up in landfills around the country, up from 2,150 in 1960.
To move the furniture industry forward, the brothers founded Medley in 2017.
Learning On The Fly
When Travis and Ryan launched their first furniture collection in 2005, they had no direct experience. According to Travis, “that outside perspective helped in taking on the lens of a consumer point of view,” something that more established furniture companies may have trouble doing, to their detriment.
The brothers were “always drawn to design and approach products in a different way. We took a look at how most furniture was made and sold and got really excited about some of the ideas we had that went against the established norm,” remarked Travis.
However, with a father who raised his sons to think about things a little differently (their family home was the only one on the block with a camper van with attached solar panels out front!), Travis and Ryan grew up thinking about how to combine regenerative resources with style.
Their upbringing, plus the learnings from those first 12 years in the furniture industry helped Travis and Ryan to launch Medley — a brand with the best of craftsmanship, customization, and eco-friendly materials.
Cutting-edge materials and a willingness to listen to customer feedback
At present, Medley sells made-to-order furniture for living, sleeping, dining, and office spaces.
All of Medley’s pieces are made from thoughtful and sustainable materials, including organic textiles like cotton, hemp, and wool, wood such as bamboo, and a 100% bio-based finish made from beeswax.
A few of the company’s best sellers include the low-rise Palder Bed, made to order from a choice of Hard White Maple or American Walnut, and the Gio Modern Sofa, made with a Walnut Base and family-friendly fabric.
Travis says that Medley is unique in that its “focus is really on things that benefit our customers instead of hollow marketing gimmicks. What Medley does well results in products that are going to last longer, be healthier for the home and planet, and are made specifically for look and comfort.”
When it comes to materials, Medley’s ability to “refine so many elements of the company based on listening to customers and how furniture is such an important part of their everyday lives” is crucial, something that the company is only able to do because of its small size.
Sourcing Eco-Friendly Materials
As one might imagine, sourcing eco-friendly materials takes as much research as it does thought. To source each piece with the values that Medley was founded on, the company has to be willing to pay more per product and perform some prototyping.
Travis says that his team is “constantly pushing to find better alternatives we can use that satisfy sustainability needs, as well as long-term durability. It’s really exciting to come across materials that we weren’t aware of before.”
To be able to ensure that each piece is made with care, the team at Medley works closely with its manufacturing team.
“We research and determine the materials that are used, and help create the workflows for production and communication,” Travis says, “since our pieces are made-to-order and not focused on cheaper pricing, a high level of care is needed to ensure people get something they are truly happy with for many years. We’re in the actual manufacturing space weekly, and are very integrated in terms of shaping the product and process.”
Reflecting on Home
To Travis, home is about reflecting his visual taste and intuitive feel.
“In the past 7 years, I’ve lived in 4 cities, so it’s been a bit of a nomadic stretch after residing in Los Angeles for most of my post college career. I realized I can feel at home in a lot of different environments, adapting to how I spend my time in each city or region. It’s actually pretty liberating because I’ve maintained close connections to friends and family along the way, which really are part of what home means to me as well.”