In 2003 designer/inventor/master craftsman Glenn Laughlin and furniture industry veteran Jeff Frank teamed up to solve a perplexing problem faced by thousands of consumers each year -- High quality sofas and loveseats were too big to fit through many of the narrow doors and stairways found in older homes and apartments.
Glenn and Jeff spent four years perfecting the revolutionary technology that became the world's first (and only) high end custom-built self-assembly upholstered furniture. Together they created a unique line of Made in the USA Sofas for Small Spaces and Tight Places.
In 2007 Simplicity Sofas opened a factory in High Point, NC to manufacture their new designs. Three months went by before the company made its first sale.
There was other challenges as well. RTA (Ready-To-Assemble) furniture is universally perceived as lower quality and lower priced. The primary appeal of RTA furniture worldwide was that it was cheaper than "normal" furniture.
In contrast the high quality self-assembly furniture introduced by Simplicity Sofas actually cost more to build than conventional sofas with similar quality.
From the very beginning furniture retailers completely rejected the idea. They were certain that consumers would never accept high priced sofas that required assembly. Simplicity Sofas had no other option than to sell its furniture directly to consumers.
Opening the new factory just as the Recession took hold added an additional challenge. The furniture industry was one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy. 40% of American furniture manufacturers closed down from 2007 through 2010. During that same period Simplicity Sofas grew from $0 to $750,000 annually, outgrowing the original factory and moving production to a larger facility nearby.
During those first three years every piece of Simplicity Sofas furniture was built and upholstered by Sergio Diaz. After leaving Simplicity Sofas in 2010 Mr. Diaz started his own sofa manufacturing firm, Dimarmel. In 2014 Mr. Diaz and Simplicity Sofas got back together and since then, his company his company, Dimarmel, has manufactured all Simplicity Sofas furniture.
Some of the company’s milestones include:
• The introduction of a new patented design for modular sectionals for small spaces. These small sectional sofas fit through narrow entranceways as small as 8” in width and are available in dozens of different configurations and sizes. Small sectional couch and small sofa sleeper designs were scaled for living room furniture for small spaces.
• Introduction of small sleeper sofa and small chaise sofa designs as part of the company's small apartment furniture collection. .
• Simplicity Sofas discontinues use of 1.8 density foam in seat cushions and switches exclusively to 2.5 density Ultracel High Resilience foam.
• Simplicity Sofas is named a finalist for the CX (Customer Experience) Innovation Awards presented by the 1500+ member Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.)
• The new Megan style sofa receives a "Best of Market" award at the International Home Furnishings Market.
• Simplicity Sofas is awarded a $20,000 Grand Prize in a national competition for 2012 Most Innovative American Small Business.
• The ManCave TV show features Simplicity Sofas (the first of two shows.) The show purchases a fifteen seat sectional measuring 17 ft. x 17 ft. to fit down a 24" wide curving stairway.
• A new line of patented quick-assembly sleepers is introduced. Like all Simplicity Sofas furniture the new sleepers can be assembled in 15 minutes without tools and fit through 15” wide doorways.
• The company's new sleeper design receives a "Best of Market" award at the International Home Furnishings Market.
• Actor and author William Shatner invites Simplicity Sofas’ owner to be interviewed for his new book about entrepreneurship. During the interview Mr. Shatner quips, "Simplicity Sofas boldly goes where no furniture has gone before."
• The Washington Post publishes two feature articles about Simplicity Sofas.
• Manufacturing is subcontracted to Dimarmel, Inc., a High Point, NC manufacturer owned by Sergio Diaz. Mr. Diaz had personally built every piece of Simplicity Sofas furniture during the company's first three years (2007 - 2010) and has been in charge of all manufacturing operations from December 2014 to the present time.
• Simplicity Sofas moves into a new 31,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and showroom facility.
• Simplicity Sofas receives best furniture reviews top rating of 60 best furniture companies by independent reiew site ConsumerAffairs.com
• Simplicity Sofas introduces leather and American made performance fabrics.
• Simplicity Sofas launches its new e-commerce website.
• Simplicity Sofas restructures its ownership. The company licenses its designs, patents, trademarks and other intellectual property to High Point, NC furniture manufacturer Dimarmel, Inc. owned by Sergio Diaz. Mr. Diaz had previously manufactured Simplicity Sofas furniture under subcontract from 2007 - 2010 and again from 2014 - 2017.
• Simplicity Sofas is listed as one of the top 15 companies in the international RTA (Ready to Assemble) furniture market. Other companies listed in the top 15 include IKEA, Walmart and Wayfair.