When it comes to international family-run furniture businesses, it’s fair to say they are few and far between, especially in today’s economy. It’s equally appropriate to say that most mid to high-priced furniture retailers don’t offer furniture and decor that’s all too indistinguishable. 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 the exception to this rule. The $100 million business offers an array of products from large pieces like sofas to smaller decorative items like pillows. Most of the products are equally chic and practical, but most importantly, not something easily found anywhere else. With lots of exclusive designs created by an experienced in-house product development team along with executives that keep it in the family, it’s easy to understand 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 British Columbia. My father always had a passion for like design and products. So he started by importing items from Asia, such as furniture and unique pieces. His store transformed into a furniture store,” says Sara Samieian, who is both the daughter of the founder and the current co-CEO of Moe’s Home Collection.
By 1999, the brand evolved, entering the wholesale market. They opened a headquarters in San Francisco, expanding their retail operations, both nationally and internationally.
Today, Moe’s has fourteen stores, outlets, and showrooms in a variety of locations including Canada, Seattle, New Jersey, Kuwait, South Dakota, and Mexico. Three of the stores are family-owned while the rest are independently owned and operated, mostly by former employees.
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In the early 2000s, Sara and Moe Samieian Junior joined the company and took over as co-CEOs in 2019. But before this position, Samieian tells me she was always involved in the family business. “From the time I was a teenager, maybe fourteen or fifteen years old, I would accompany my dad to trade shows and I would work at the store on weekends”
After graduating from college, she moved to San Francisco and began working for her father. Starting from the bottom, she worked in customer care, then logistics, making her way up the corporate ladder.
While Moe’s gives the appearance of being a direct-to-consumer brand at least on the web, the company is primarily a wholesaler. “We sell to a really 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 smaller retailers. I’d say 50 percent of the customers might white label [our products], and 50 percent will brand them.”
The Curation Process
“Moe’s is a products company first. We’ve always defined ourselves that way,” says Samieian. While Moe’s sources some of its products from manufacturers, they also have an experienced team of people involved in product development and visuals. Still, the executives are highly involved in the development process as well. “My brother and myself as co-CEOs oversee product [development]. We are involved, as is my father. We have weekly meetings about products. Every product that goes through is approved by us, whether it’s a pillow, dining table, or sofa.”
Certainly the opposite of a fast future, the collaborative process can take quite a bit of time 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 they nail a design. And then once the design is nailed, it’s presented to us to review.”
The outsourcing process is a bit different explains Samieian, “We have factories with designers in Denmark and other countries. If we are buying directly from a factory, it’s usually a design piece by the factory, and then when we select it, it becomes exclusive to us.”
A Range Of Styles
Moe’s product development team takes current styles and puts their own twist on them, elevating these items to a more sophisticated level. A great example of this is the Tower Dining Table. Made with both metal and marble, it embraces fluting in a way that’s both timeless and versatile, although it’s hard to discount the fact that fluting has been a major trend in recent years. But with an element of regality, 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 is nothing less than striking.
Moe’s also doesn’t embrace one particular style overall. There’s nothing that even can easily be identified as a Moe’s product. The styles offered range from ultra modern to modern and contemporary with styles like farmhouse and mid-century modern in the mix.
Samien shares that Moe’s is always designing and working approximately two years ahead. “As a wholesaler, we are looking at 2023 to 2024 and, 2024 is the year we are forecasting for right now.”
As for what’s next in furniture design, Samieian says, “It’s kind of a post-pandemic world now. So things are becoming a little bit different. For us as a company, I believe people will continue to put focus on their homes because there’s always that thought, what if I get stuck in my home again? I believe that this will continue. Consumers are also looking for more quality-led pieces. We’re looking at new nostalgia, more 70’s vibes, playfulness, and colors. It’s more about timeless designs with a future-heirloom quality about them that play off the senses and evoke a positive emotion.”
What’s Next For Moe’s
After the furniture boom of the past two and a half years, Moe’s is likely to continue to thrive. The brand had a 50 percent growth rate during the pandemic. While that number has leveled out to a pre-pandemic 30 percent, it’s still an impressive rate. “We are super passionate about product and design and feel our audience captures this dedicated with our assortment of steadfast, trend-forward designs,” declares Samieian.
Moe’s will also continue to integrate and improve technology to ultimately benefit the team and consumers. “Our mindset is always, how we can make it better?”