Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
When I recently went to a meeting in the old Salt Lake Hardware Company building, I didn't know I was walking straight into "The Love Shack," an office where love culminates into one thing -- "The LoveSac." As you might have guessed, The LoveSac Corporation is no ordinary office. It's full of "SuperSacs," "TonOLoveSacs" and well, "LittleLoveSacs." Now that's a lot o' love.
You may have heard of this comfortable, gigantic bag ideal for watching TV or reading a book, but I'm willing to bet that you've never heard its story. When Salt Lake City's Shawn Nelson was in high school, he decided he wanted to make a 7-foot "huge bean-bag thing," just because he was bored. So, he bought some fabric and proceeded to stuff the bag he'd made on his mom's sewing machine with old camping mattresses and anything else he could find. It took him three weeks to complete and he named it the LoveSac.
Well, while Shawn was later working on a Chinese degree at the University of Utah he made LoveSacs for his friends. When Shawn returned from an internship in Shanghai, China, he was surprised to see that his friends had kept the LoveSac dream alive, from his basement. Shawn instantly acted on impulse and flew to a Chicago trade show. Limited Corporation discovered LoveSac and wanted 12,000 made out of fury fabric. To Shawn's dismay, his fabric manufacturer sold the fabric for twice as much as he'd planned. He was about to abort, when he noticed the fabric boxes marked in Chinese. So Shawn flew to China, bought the fury fabric at a fair price, and with the help of his volunteer friends and a leaky factory, filled the order.
Shawn was happy to find success with one client, but he realized he had no clients for the future. Furniture stores and malls continually denied LoveSac. Finally, The Gateway let LoveSac occupy space for the Olympics during which the business generated $125,000 revenue in the first five weeks and sold its first franchise one month later.
Now LoveSac is found in 29 states and will generate $10 million in revenue this year.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.