What if heir­loom fur­ni­ture came in a box smaller than a flatscreen TV?

Bloomberg Businessweek (Asia) - - TEST DRIVE - By Bob Parks Pho­to­graphs by Caro­line Tomp­kins

The FedEx box on the door­mat is a wel­come hit of dopamine, but its lim­its are strict: Length plus girth (a line mea­sured around the cen­ter) can’t add up to more than 165 inches, which rules out most home fur­nish­ings. A startup called Cam­paign took this as its cen­tral chal­lenge: Could it cram a full four-cush­ion sofa in just two such slen­der boxes? Cu­ri­ously, the en­tre­pre­neur who took this on wasn’t a fur­ni­ture de­signer. Brad Sewell is a skinny, 29-year-old left-brain-type auto en­gi­neer from Ohio.

Sewell started Cam­paign in June 2014 with a crew of en­gi­neers with back­grounds in ev­ery­thing from kayaks to con­sumer gad­gets. They quickly set­tled on Cal­i­for­nia-milled steel as the best ma­te­rial by weight and price, in­stead of the fiber­board used in typ­i­cal “knock­down fur­ni­ture.” The skele­ton of the couch is fas­tened with a clever wingnut with fold­ing flanges that give the as­sem­bler ex­tra torque when hand-tight­en­ing. Then they em­ployed their moms as prod­uct testers.

The first three pieces—a chair, a love seat, and the sofa—will be avail­able on­line in June at $495, $745, and $1,000, re­spec­tively. A YouTube video re­veals how, with no tools and a lit­tle el­bow grease, a cus­tomer can whip to­gether the flop-friendly mid­cen­tury mod­ern couch. Bloomberg Busi­ness­week

staffers tried the sin­gle-seater. <BW>

● Our art de­part­ment built this chair in 3 min­utes and12 sec­onds

Brad Sewell is a me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer who left Honda for Ap­ple, where he looked af­ter the al­loy cases for iPads and iPhones, be­fore en­rolling at Har­vard for an MBA. The flaws of mod­ern dorm fur­ni­ture gave him an idea that couldn’t wait for grad­u­a­tion, so he quit to found Cam­paign.

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