Revive, LLC | Hickory, NC
Q: What’s your story?
I come from a long line of furniture designers and manufacturers. Zagaroli Classics was my first venture into the furniture business. For nearly two decades, we followed the traditional business model of designing, building and selling quality furniture to wholesalers at the Furniture Market. When the economy took a downturn, sadly, we were forced to close the doors. I took a job selling quality leather, and it was in that capacity two of my former customers approached me and asked me to start building furniture for them again. That side business has become Revive Furniture. Our business model is revolutionary for the furniture industry and we have seen exponential growth because of it.
Q: Describe your business:
Revive Furniture manufactures bench made, custom furniture, built to customer specifications. Typically, a designer will approach us with a design idea and Revive turns that idea into a reality. We build the furniture and the designer puts his/her label on it. It is that private label nature of what we do that makes our model unique & highly effective. It has allowed us to virtually eliminate the marketing and advertising expense associated with a more traditional furniture business. We are able to focus on what we do well, upholstering furniture and customer service. We put our designers first and in exchange they drive our sales. Additionally, this model allows us more flexibility. We are better able to produce smaller quantities with more customization than a typical furniture manufacturer.
Q: How has the SBTDC made a difference?
The idea for the business was already in place. I had the customers and knew the industry, but the SBTDC was able to help me come up with and implement new strategies for success. Byron Hicks, my business counselor, is able to meet with me periodically. He and I look at the big picture and he is able to advise me as well as assist me in setting goals. Byron has served as a sounding board on many occasions and his diverse background has been insightful.
The SBTDC also connected me with an MBA student who has been instrumental in helping us to redesign our HR policies. She has assisted us in the development of an employee manual, outlining specific job descriptions, and implementing a new 360 degree employee evaluation system.
I was also invited to speak at the NC Entrepreneurship Summit, which was a very educational experience.
Q: How much growth have you seen since working with the SBTDC?
We have grown exponentially since working with the SBTDC. We are in the midst of doubling our manufacturing space, our revenues are up 75% over last year, and we have been able to add 14 full time employees.
Story originally featured in the SBTDC’s 2013-2014 Annual Report.
More Success Stories
A.W. Brinkley Hardware
One of the most important ways the SBTDC has influenced the business was by helping us receive a workforce development grant. We’re using it to send two of our mechanics to specialized training for standby generators. We will be the only business in 75 miles licensed to work on these types of generators.
Applying for an SBA loan was a stressful process. My counselors have given me the support, the heads up, and the understanding for why things are done this way. They have been my backbone, a support group, someone to vent to and positive reinforcement. And the thing of it is, I didn’t have to pay for anything.
Now we just accomplished one of my biggest goals, which was to open up the option for a 401K plan for the employees. I am so excited about that.