When it comes to family-run international furniture companies, it’s fair to say that they are rare, especially in today’s economy. It’s also appropriate to say that most mid to high priced furniture retailers don’t offer too indistinguishable furniture and decor. Whether it’s a dining table or a bed frame, the average consumer can’t really tell one brand from another.
But Moe’s Home collection is an exception to this rule. The $100 million company offers a range of products from large pieces like sofas to smaller decorative items like pillows. Most of the products are equally chic and practical, but more importantly, not something easily found elsewhere. With many exclusive designs created by an experienced in-house product development team along with executives that keep it in the family, it’s easy to see what makes Moe’s different.
Moe’s was founded in 1986 by Moe Samieian Senior, as Moe’s Fine Rugs And Furniture Store in South Granville, Vancouver. “He was originally into handmade rugs and had a few stores in BC. My father always had a passion for design and similar products. So he started by importing objects from Asia, such as furniture and unique pieces. His store turned into a furniture store,” says Sara Samieian, who is both the founder’s daughter and the current co-CEO of Moe’s Home Collection.
In 1999, the brand evolved, entering the wholesale market. They opened a headquarters in San Francisco, expanding their retail operations, both domestically and internationally.
Today Moe’s has fourteen stores, outlets and showrooms in various locations including Canada, Seattle, New Jersey, Kuwait, South Dakota and Mexico. Three of the stores are family owned while the others are independently owned and operated, mostly by former employees.
In the early 2000s, Sara and Moe Samieian Junior joined the company and took over as co-CEOs in 2019. But prior to this role, Samieian tells me she has always been involved in the family business . “Since my teenage years, maybe fourteen or fifteen, I accompanied my father to trade shows and I worked in the store on weekends”
After graduating from college, she moved to San Francisco and started working for her father. Starting at the bottom, she worked in customer service and then in logistics, working her way up the corporate ladder.
While Moe’s gives the impression of being a direct-to-consumer brand, at least on the web, the company is primarily a wholesaler. “We sell to a very wide range of customers. We can sell to large-scale customers and small-scale customers [who like] Rustic, Modern and Mid-Century Modern styles. We have a really wide range. We also sell to designers and small retailers. I would say 50% of customers could be white label [our products]and 50% will score them. »
The preservation process
“Moe’s is first and foremost a product company. We have always defined ourselves that way,” says Samieian. Although Moe’s sources some of its products from manufacturers, they also have an experienced team of people involved in product development and visuals. Yet executives are also heavily involved in the development process. “My brother and I, as co-CEOs, oversee the products [development]. We are involved, as is my father. We have weekly product meetings. Every product that passes is approved by us, whether it is a pillow, a dining table or a sofa.
Certainly in contrast to the fast future, the collaborative process can take a while before a design is perfected and approved: “Our product development team will go back and forth with the designer, maybe even four or five times until he finds a conception. And then once the design is nailed down, it’s presented to us for review.
The outsourcing process is a bit different, says Samieian: “We have factories with designers in Denmark and other countries. If we buy directly from a factory, it is usually a factory design part, then when we select it, it becomes exclusive to us.
A range of styles
Moe’s product development team takes current styles and gives them their own twist, elevating these items to a more sophisticated level. A good example of this is the Tower dining table. Crafted from both metal and marble, it embraces fluting in a way that’s both timeless and versatile, though it’s hard to ignore the fact that fluting has been a major trend in recent years. But with an element of royalty, this table isn’t likely to look dated. There are two color options. The white marble top and bronze metal base have a more contemporary aesthetic, while the all-black colorway has a more modern look that’s nothing short of striking.
Nor does Moe’s adopt a particular style overall. There is nothing that can even be easily identified as a Moe’s product. Styles on offer range from ultra modern to modern and contemporary with styles like farmhouse and mid-century modern in the mix.
Samien shares that Moe’s always designs and works about two years in advance. “As a wholesaler, we are looking at 2023 to 2024 and 2024 is the year we are currently anticipating.”
As for the next step in furniture design, Samieian says, “It’s kind of a post-pandemic world now. So things get a little different. For us as a company, I believe people will continue to focus on their home because there’s always that thought, What if I’m stuck in my house again? I believe this will continue. Consumers are also looking for more quality parts. We’re looking for new nostalgia, more 70s vibes, playfulness and color. Rather, they are timeless designs with a future heirloom quality that play on the senses and evoke positive emotion.
What’s next for Moe
After the furniture boom of the past two and a half years, Moe’s should continue to thrive. The brand has seen a 50% growth rate during the pandemic. Although this number stabilized at 30% before the pandemic, it is still an impressive rate. “We’re super passionate about product and design and we believe our audience captures that passion with our assortment of unwavering, forward-thinking designs,” says Samieian.
Moe’s will also continue to integrate and improve technology for the benefit of the team and consumers. “Our mindset is always, how can we improve it?”