May 29, 2024


Barbora Samieian Remaining the UN and Started off Furniture Brand Sundays

Numerous business people will notify you that what they’re executing now is not what they originally established out to do. Generating key expert changes—even mid- to late-career—can typically direct to additional fulfilling and profitable results. That’s what our collection The Pivot is all about. Each individual month, we communicate to founders, enterprise leaders and entrepreneurs about how—and why—they improved system and observed results in an solely different marketplace. Listed here, we speak to Barbora Samieian, the co-founder of Vancouver-centered furniture manufacturer Sundays.

For three yrs, Barbora Samieian had her “dream job” as an affiliate analysis officer at the United Nations in New York Town, performing anything from conducting software assessments of world initiatives to amassing details and drafting reports. But following having her to start with boy or girl, she and her husband Moe returned to their residence of Vancouver in 2016 so they could be nearer to their families. Realizing that the city was not a hub for global businesses and NGOs (most are in Toronto or Ottawa), Samieian regarded as what she could do as an alternative.

Possessing discovered the ubiquitousness of salad bars in Manhattan, she spotted a gap in the regional marketplace: Vancouver—a health and fitness-obsessed city—didn’t yet have the same offerings. So she partnered with an outdated higher college close friend, a restaurant proprietor, to launch Field & Social, an eatery targeted on entire-sized, vibrant and sturdy salads in the downtown area. 

In just three several years of opening the very first spot, Samieian opened a handful of extra locations in the city’s economic district and Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. The experience of operating a compact small business was a mastering curve for Samieian, who suddenly experienced to come up with seasonal menus, cultivate crew tradition to increase team retention and study the ins-and-outs of marketing. Right after 4 a long time, she no for a longer time needed to be the every day operator of Industry & Social, and was hunting for a new enterprise venture. Although chatting with her spouse Moe, whose household was in the wholesale home furniture business enterprise, they arrived up with an notion: a furniture manufacturer that had a extremely narrow, superior-quality product or service supplying, equivalent to a capsule collection in manner. This idea resonated with Samieian who had usually discovered furnishings buying overwhelming. She preferred to curate items that do the job effectively together—not overwhelm shoppers with decision.  

“I experienced no shame in messaging most people on LinkedIn”

They introduced on two others—Moe’s sister Sara, who had knowledge in the field, and Noah, Samieian’s pal from substantial college who experienced a style background—and started out meeting on Sundays to converse small business, because they all experienced other complete-time positions at the time. When it came time to launch the brand, the phrase “Sundays” trapped. “It also felt like which is the day when you really feel most at household,” states Samieian. 

Moe and Sara taken care of sourcing, Noah led product progress, and Samieian experienced the generate to construct a brand from the floor up. They introduced Sundays on line in November 2019 with dwelling area furniture like sofas, sideboards and espresso tables. For the reason that they didn’t know significantly about digital promotion, advertising Sundays was completed typically by term of mouth at initially. “It was quite gritty,” says Samieian. “I experienced no shame in messaging most people on LinkedIn.”

Then Covid strike.

The pandemic introduced a lot of problems for the young enterprise, such as pricey freight charges, shut factories and offer chain issues. Initially, Sundays’ design was to offer in-stock things from its warehouse, which was a person of its competitive strengths, says Samieian. “We had to allow go of that plan really swiftly and start out accepting pre-orders in shorter timelines.” Soon after about 8 months, and with obtain to an vacant storefront from Subject & Social (it was leased as a new place but the opening was delayed due to the pandemic), they staged a Sundays pop-up store in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood. “We uncovered that when shoppers are acquiring a $5,000 couch, they respect the prospect to sit on it and see its sturdiness,” Samieian says. That’s when the founders’ way of thinking shifted they knew they could not just be an e-commerce brand name. “We delight ourselves on our excellent, and that is challenging to communicate on a website alone.”

By September 2020, right after focusing on precise markets these kinds of as Vancouver and Toronto with a “triple threat” of pop-ups, digital promoting and partnerships with area influencers to obtain brand recognition, Samieian started out to see a dependable month-over-thirty day period enhance in product sales. That growth, paired with the results of that year’s Black Friday sale, intended they could last but not least grow and hire far more workers. Sundays now has two showrooms, a person in Vancouver and one particular in Toronto, and will open up 1 in Calgary this 12 months.

There are plans to expand into the U.S., much too. Sundays staged pop-ups in New York and Los Angeles very last yr, and wishes to open a showroom in a person of people crucial marketplaces. And while the company’s eyesight is to supply parts that “are stunning, at ease and livable,” Samieian’s supreme aim is to make the home furnishings browsing expertise seamless. Delivery is totally free no make any difference how much a client spends, and for substantial objects like beds and eating tables (classes Sundays has since expanded into), the piece is assembled in the customer’s property at no more cost. “We want to make it quick and satisfying to build a space you love,” states Samieian.