At Endicott Home Furnishings, we often need to modify what factories offer. Sometimes we request a sofa to be a different length to fill out a space or fit where a regular size wouldn't. Many times it isn't due to the size, but the fit - the back height, seat height or seat depth (or maybe all three) might need to be different to offer good support.
We measured and tested several models for Martha. This one fit best, but the seat was too deep and steeply pitched back. Those two changes were made to a sofa we ordered just for Martha, and she got her sofa - built just to her specifications - and seems pretty pleased!
Other times customers have asked us to create something based on photos of something they've seen elsewhere. Maybe the quality isn't what they wanted, but the design is appealing. Having a partnership with Temple Furniture has been incredibly helpful.
Temple Furniture has always been excellent in their customer service. What many Temple dealers don't know, and don't take much advantage of, is Temple's service mentality: it extends to the level of detail needed to pull off something as simple as a different density seat cushion to a radical redesign of a standard sofa to look like something completely different.
In 2017, a Florida customer we've never met asked for about a dozen changes to this Temple sofa, which we found on the floor in a store near her. The store wasn't interested in discussing custom options with Temple, so we did! She ordered not one, but two, and used organic fabrics from Two Sisters Ecotextiles for covers on both.
To the right you see one of two, (photo courtesy ofLeslie in FL). This sofa had many departures from the standard style from Temple above. Can you enumerate a few? Bench seat cushion, nail head trim, no tufting; some changes are obvious. Changes to back height, arm height, seat height and seat depth - these are more subtle and - to the customer - very important!
Sometimes furniture dealers choose not to entertain customers' desires for customization. One local furniture store once confided inme that he is scared that customers will complain that it is too different from the in-store experience of sitting on a floor model, or that further attention and tweaking might be needed, taking commissioned salespeople away from more lucrative sales activities.
From the business perspective of a commission-driven sales process, I can understand that perspective. The few times a custom order has "gone sideways", however, is not enough to discourage us from doing whatever we can to create the best experience for the customer - in our store, and in the customer's home later, for the lifetime of the furniture.
We do not pay commissions to salespeople. It helps us stay focused on your needs, not ours. The no-commission model also supports our belief that the consumer deserves a chance to fully understand all the options and pros/cons of their choices, and then make a decision that works best for their needs.
Sometimes, that leads us to discover ways we can (with the factory's blessing) manipulate existing options to create value for our customers that would not normally be available. For instance, we enjoy favorable pricing on certain models with certain covers from Temple. Other dealers may pocket those discounts, but we pass them along. One such program is called Temple Body Builders. Within that program are a few different options for bases and legs.
Many of our couples are like my wife and me - physical opposites tall and not so tall - I'm around 6'1", and my darling is right around 5'. We definitely have diferent seating needs, as our preference for seat depth is based on not only how we would like to sit, but on the support needs of our backs, which have very different needs. For Jean and Rick, we were able to solve this with a chair for him and a sofa for her. We chose the base that would have a taller leg option, but for the sofa, we asked for the shorter leg, though we ordered the base for the taller leg. That meant a sofa with a seat deck 2-1/2" closer to the floor - ideal for her feet to be flat on the floor as she gets good lumbar support:
This example shows how we could create a lasting, customized upholstry order without extra cost. Not only was there no customization fee from the factory, we were able to offer our performance fabrics from STI called Revolution (made from recycled plastic bottles) at a great price, due to our excellent relationship with Temple Furniture.
What can we do for you today?