The idea behind Nathan James came together when I moved out of my parents' house. I was PUMPED to design my own space - *HINT IF YOU HAVE GOOD TASTE - YOU BETTER HAVE SOME CASH. I got a fast reality check on how much it was going to cost to furnish my place from start to finish. My BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, CHIC Pinterest board soon transformed into what could be snatched from my parent's basement and local garage sales.
I wasn't happy with how my place was turning out, but mainly, I didn't like the fact that the furniture I liked was not even close to my price range. Side-note I moved out when I was 22, paying for my university tuition and working a side job, but I was still willing to fork out a decent amount of money to make my place a 'home'.
So now here I am, in my empty 800 sq foot apartment, what do I buy first? A bed (well maybe a TV but.. let's say a bed). I got my old mattress from my bedroom (now my parent's gym) and headed to IKEA to buy a bed frame. I won't lie, I was happy with the price and design of my bed frame - until I had to begin the assembly. Most furniture from IKEA requires 2 people, but I didn't want to jeopardize any friendships, so I called the woman who is forced to stay by my side no matter what - my mom, Sharon. This isn't a joke about IKEA breaking up relationships, I've done the research, and the results are disturbing (search Dr. Ramani Durvasula Ikea).
My mom and I yelled, cried, then snacked, then bled (not kidding). We may just be assembly 'challenged' but it took us 8 hours to finish. I was not ok with this, I feared to buy my dresser or even my shower rack.
Anyways, I put a band-aid on and headed back to IKEA to grab a few more affordable pieces, and I noticed everything on my list was out of stock. Even though I was aggravated, I realized what I wanted, other people want too...I saw this as an opportunity.
So being a young risk-taker. I quit my job, used any savings I had left and rented a work space that I started filling my office with swatches, materials and test shipments from overseas. I know... NUTS, and luckily I found a team that was just as crazy to join me.
I started listing out what was important to me, and used this list to drive the company
Number 1. Design affordable furniture that I would put in my own home.
Number 2. Personally, I do not like assembling furniture, so we thought how can we make this as painless as possible. We work very closely with our manufacturers to ensure our assembly is clear and won't take longer than an hour.
Number 3. I want my products to last. I did a lot of research to make sure I am using high-quality but affordable materials. We have so much confidence in our products that we offered a 5-year warranty and a 30 day no questions asked return policy.
I'm not a fancy person and don't require fancy things, which is great for you - cause most furniture CEO's are. We don't spend on anything that doesn't benefit our customers, aside from our coconut water stocked fridge. (our ops lead Roy gets dehydrated fast).