By Katapult on Mar 8, 2021 2:15:00 PM
On International Women's Day, Katapult would like to shine a spotlight on one of its woman-owned retailers, The Futon Shop!
Founder, Suzanne Diamond, began her business in 1976 by designing healthy non-toxic futon mattresses. Her company has continued Suzanne's commitment to a chemical-free lifestyle and uses eco-friendly ingredients to to create healthy, non-toxic furniture for all. We recently talked with Suzanne about the importance of woman-owned retail businesses...take a look!
Q: What has your experience been as CEO of The Futon Shop
A: It has been my privilege to be the CEO of TFS Natural Home by The Futon Shop since 1976. My team is a diverse and loyal group of long-time employees who keep our company humming. We are a vertical retailer, and we manufacture 80% of all the products we offer, from futons, mattresses to pillows, dog beds, and even conventual modular and sectional sofas. As CEO I get to use my creative art background to create new products with natural ingredients, without the use of petro-chemicals and without any harmful fire retardants.
Q: How has it been pioneering the Farm to Furniture concept in the industry?
A: My joy is purchasing and building relationships for raw ingredients from farms and factories from all over the world. I get to interface with farms raising sheep and choosing which type of wool will best fit our beds, sofas, and pillows. Our sourcing takes us to organic cotton farms and coops all over California, Texas, and New Mexico. Natural and Organic Latex plantations in Sri Lanka and India as well as coconut coir. Hemp, Camel Hair, Cashmere, as well as horsehair out of suppliers Eastern Europe. We have the thrill of sourcing fabrics from all over the globe, from Brazil, Germany to India and Pakistan and so many more countries.
Q: What advice would you share with women interested in building their business?
A: First of all never take NO for an answer, believe in your dreams, and keep going one foot in front of the another until you reach your goal. When sourcing ingredients from industrial farms my fear was it was exclusively a good ole boys world, and I did not fit in. I have never visited a cotton gin or fabric plant, latex plantation or any other factory that was run by woman. Yet I have had the most wonderful and long-lasting relationships with all my farms and vendors as well as their families and appreciate the respect and fun we have working together.
Q: Can you explain the importance of woman-run businesses?
A: Woman-owned businesses are role models for the next generation. I can tell you that my daughter and my granddaughters by my entrepreneur spirit are encouraged to pursue their own business ownership and positions of leadership.
Q: What made you reach out to Katapult to serve your customers and have we met that need/solved for that pain point?
A: Millennials have shown remarkable interest in buy now pay later (BNPL) solutions, which allow consumers to finance purchases with specific terms when they check out online.
Convenience and trust may be especially important in driving BNPL adoption since these factors are key to consumers when purchasing online. Consumers using a novel payment method still want to make purchases quickly and securely, without being bogged down in fine print. This may help explain why they are particularly interested in BNPL services integrated into digital wallets, which are already favored by many consumers for their convenience and security. PYMNTS research shows a quarter of consumers overall who have never used BNPL would be highly interested in using it in conjunction with digital wallets — and among bridge millennials, the share is 40 percent.