Joybird Furniture — 9 reasons to pay attention to this new ‘manutailer’

New manufacturer+retailer of mid-century modern furniture —
made to order

midcentury modern sofa joybirdmid century modern style desk joybirdmid century modern wall unit joybird
Several weeks ago I started noticing ads for Joybird Furniture appearing on the blog… the ads looked intriguing… so I finally took a look at Joybird’s products. I liked what I saw and read, and a few minutes later I was on the phone talking with one of the company’s four co-founders. I was impressed — I count nine reasons why:

joybird furniture fitzgerald sova(1) The furniture is good-looking. For example, my favorite sofa (this week) is the Worthy design, shown in orange at the top of this page. I love the Dick van Dyke Show lines and ooooh, that tufting. I bet a lot of folks will also like the atomic-looking Fitzgerald sofa (in aqua, above). There are sleek lined-desks… and wall units that look to be channeling Cado and Royal Systems and Barzilay….

midcentury modern style sofa hughes by joybird furniture(2) Prices seem fair. “My” Worthy sofa — which was on sale recently — came in at under $1,500 (on sale). Yes: You may be able to find vintage furniture at better prices. But re: sofas particularly, while the frames can be amazing, reupholstering a vintage sofa can get very expensive, very fast — if you can even find someone to do a quality job.

Related to pricing, I learned a term that I had never heard before: Joybird Furniture is among a new breed of ‘manutailers’. That is: They are both the manufacturer and the retailer. Sounds like this eliminates the middleman markup, allowing for lower prices. And, this business model should help Joybird stay very close to needs and wants of today’s customers.

(3) Shipping is free.

(4) Two-pound foam — I asked about the quality of the sofas, worried that a relatively inexpensive price point would mean… lesser quality. The company said that it uses kiln-dried hardwoods for the frames, which sounds like it is pretty standard in the industry. What really sets their sofas apart versus some other similar competitors today, they claimed, is that that Joybird uses two-pound foam for their cushions — which is not so common industry-wide, he said. I googled the foam-weight issue a bit, and sure enough, it seems that foam quality can make a significant difference in how sofa cushions wear. I checked with another company that I’ve featured before — Younger Furniture, which has lovely mid-century style designs and is Made in the USA story, and Marilyn Spell told me, “Our standard is 2.0 high resiliency and our ‘Y Lux’ [an upgrade] is 2.5 high resiliency.”

Note, however: I am not an expert on how to assess sofa quality and certainly not company-vs.-company; we are not Consumer Reports here. I put this foam-weight issue on the list because the company called it out; sounds like this is definitely a factor to further research and add to your checklist if you are in the market comparison shopping and want to assess ‘value’ issues. To be sure, I’ve heard complaints about failing cushions on inexpensive sofas before….

joybird furniture fitzgerald chair(5) 8/6/2017 Update on this one: Not so sure it’s available any more. Made-to-order sizing; check with Joybird — Joybird told me that they Furniture carry no inventory. It makes all its products to order. The company also offers customers the option to adjust their furniture sizes up, down, sideways — whatever. Want a sofa that’s six inches longer… or three inches shorter… or 2 inches deeper or how about different legs? Joybird can do it for you. They will also let you send your own upholstery fabric. I was told that lead times are four weeks for all orders, but that timing can vary depending on volume.

(6) Made in North America — Update Sept. 2015: The mass of the company’s production is in Tijuana, Mexico; they told me they also do some framing about five miles away in San Diego. They are also looking at starting up a manufacturing location in Canada. I have eliminated any text in this story that previously suggested “Made in the USA” since the mass of their production is in Mexico.

(7) Clever customer service — Joybird will email you a photo of your furniture piece at each key step during its manufacturing progress. For a sofa, for example, there is a seven-stage manufacturing process — so you’ll get seven photos along the way.

(8) Great website — Nice website, easy to navigate. Nicely done, Joybird tech team, I like it!

(9) Efficient communication — Well, this is very anecdotal, but when I first contacted Joybird — via their online chat — the service was surprise-and-delight excellent. Chat-box Hank was right there… Hank found me the right person to talk to right away… and they picked up their phone. In today’s phone-tree-push-a-button-get-disconnected-frustrating world, this certainly made a nice impression on me. A repeat interaction was equally efficient.

I like the look of these products and the ‘manu-tailer’ business model. I will keep my fingers crossed that it’s all a big success — good for Joybird, and good for we mid-century modern and -modest enthusiasts and decorators, too!

Link love:

Note, just to be clear, this is NOT a Sponsored Post — nobody be paying me to write this. If and when you ever see a sponsored post here, it will hit you across the head, okay? FYI, how we make money here.

Update: In late fall 2015, Joybird began advertising directly on this site. This is an advertising deal only, does not include product placements or links in stories, etc.

  1. Zach Forster says:

    Joybird definitely does not allow any customization of size. According to the last 3 representatives I’ve spoken to, you can only customize the fabric and finish.

  2. Charles Hypes says:

    Love your furniture but won’t be buying until you can say Made in the USA. I’m willing to pay more for that privilege.

  3. Beverly Prevatt says:

    Did you change your site? I have to have a half round couch that I saw on you site in dark turquoise or that beautiful light shell pink. the one I was on your site, I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind and Ive been to every yard sale and thrift store and cannot find what I want. please help me!!!!! it was small and tall and I would love to find it again.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Beverly, we have so many stories I cannot guess which one you are thinking about. All our stories about sofas should be in the Decorate/Furniture category…

  4. Jeremy says:

    Hi. Their sofas look great. Do they use high resiliency foam or just high density? I hear the former is more desirable.

  5. Josh Stone says:

    I was shopping some furniture and asked Joybird where their factory is located at. They said it’s in Tijuana – which while close to San Diego, is not in the USA.

  6. Melissa says:

    I just found Joybird and looked over their website and facebook page. You really should correct your article because Joybird is NOT manufactured in the USA. I just posted this question on their facebook page and this is their reply.

    Hi Melissa,

    Our upholstered and wood products are manufactured in North America by us, including in the US and our new state-of-the-art facility in Mexico. There are also plans to launch a new facility in Canada too. We’re working hard to service all of North America and hopefully soon, a global marketplace as well.

    We are an American based company with facilities and headquarters in San Diego, CA. Being an American company we do our best to source as much of our raw materials as possible from US suppliers. We do source most of our wood, fabric, foam and many other items from US companies. We’re proud to be an American company and proud to support other American companies!

    Let me know if you have any additional questions.

    Thank you for considering us, we appreciate it!

    I then asked them if they had any future plans to open a manufacturing plant here in the USA.

    This was their reply:

    Thanks for your response. At the time, we do not but we are always looking for expansion options that would benefit the brand. Our manufacturing facility in Mexico is in the North American free trade zone area.

    Thanks again for the interest and let us know if we can answer any other questions for you.

    So the reality is they are using US suppliers sometimes. They are a USA company but their labor force to manufacture their furniture is presently in Mexico with plans to expand in Canada. That is not MADE in the USA.

  7. Marisa says:

    This looks EXACTLY like Thrive Furniture. Are they doing what a lot of manufacturers do and twin-brand their furniture? The styles are identical, I cannot see how these are not the same company.

  8. Kimberly Schultz says:

    My husband and I just ordered the Hughes sectional and Hughes chair. Counting down the days to get them in. Having to sell my Kroehler vintage couch to make room though 🙁

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