Luxury Home Staging Firm Vesta Acquires Two Furniture Rental Startups

Vesta, the luxury interior design and staging firm know for preparing multi-million dollar homes for sale, is going after the broader furniture rental market with the acquisition of rental startups Fernish and Feather.

The three companies now will operate as separate brands under the banner of a new holding company, Showroom. The acquisitions will enable Vesta and Showroom to provide a full life-cycle solution for customers, from someone furnishing their first apartment, to someone looking to decorate a primary home or vacation home, Julian Buckner, a founder of Vesta and founder and CEO of Showroom, said in an interview.

The companies declined to reveal the terms of the acquisition deals. The creation of Showroom was announced today.

The website for the new parent company Showroom also was unveiled today.

Feather and Fernish were launched six years ago with the goal of providing e-commerce furniture rental solutions for young apartment dwellers who wanted nice furniture without the commitment, or wastefulness, of buying something they might not need a year later. Both companies promoted themselves as a more sustainable, earth-friendly option than buying disposable furniture destined for a landfill.

The acquisition of Feather and Fernish allows Vesta to expand behind the ultra-high-end niche, and serve the higher volume, mass-premium market without diluting the Vesta brand, Buckner said.

“Feather and Fernish, for the mass-affluent, young professional, mobile customer, had built the two best brands,” he said.

Vesta acquired Feather in the middle of last year and Fernish this year.

Vesta, which designs over 3,000 homes a year, has been showcased on luxury real estate reality shows, such as Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing and Netflix’s
NFLX
Selling Sunset.

Founded by Buckner and Brett Baer in 2017, Vesta has since moved beyond high-end home staging and into interior design and sales and rentals of the custom furniture displayed in the staged homes.

“Vesta’s a full-service design studio that offers everything from staging and furniture rental, to full, ground-up interior design projects,” Buckner said.

The vision for the company, with the acquisitions, he said, “is creating a flywheel around the home.”

“Everyone in this space is spending money to acquire and re-acquire the same consumer over and over and over again at different points in their life cycle,” Buckner said.

Those points can range from someone who just moved to New York City for their first job, to a celebrity athlete who needs furnish a rental home for a year, to someone who wants to design their dream home.

“All of those customers require a furniture and design solution but they want flexibility around that solution,” Buckner said.

Showroom, he said, was created to be able to meet needs “from starter projects, where Fernish comes into play, at that more mass-premium entry level market, all the way to the ultra high-end with Vesta,” he said.

“Now we can come in and say ‘Where are you in your life-cycle? What are your needs client?’ And between Vesta, Feather and Fernish we can scratch all of those itches,” Buckner said.

For Feather and Fernish, joining Vesta gave them the ability to scale quickly, Buckner said.

Michael Barlow, founder of Fernish, is joining the Showroom board as a vice-chairman. He will be focused on business development, raising investment capital, and finding the right partners for the newly merged companies.

“We’ve gotten to a size and scale and operational excellence now where we see an opportunity to hit hyper-growth, both through our organic growth strategies but also through continued M&A,” Buckner said.

Barlow, in an interview, said he decided to join Fernish with Vesta because he felt the companies were closely aligned in their vision of the furniture and design markets. He called partnering with Vesta “a strategic move that combines our strengths and significantly enhances our market reach.”

Jay Reno, the founder of Feather, said in a statement released today that “this move is more than a merger – it’s two like-minded companies joining forces to push the furniture industry in a more responsible direction.”

The three companies together expect to have revenues in the nine figures for the first full year of combined operations, Buckner said.

Barlow and Buckner describe the mission of the newly formed Showroom as “changing the way people experience design and furniture,”

“It’s purchase, it’s rental, it’s interior design service, it’s self-serve, it’s white glove, it’s the one place you can go to where a person with a $30 million house can solve all of their needs, and we can help their kids out when then graduate from college,” Buckner said.

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