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
Owen helped with renewing our EXIM credit insurance policy, which has supported us for more than $2M in sales. Because our work is so specialized, marketing and finding international partners is extremely difficult, but Owen has been the most beneficial in finding programs and people that are a fit for what we do.
The location of each site has been very strategic. Before we open any office, we call Johnnie at the SBTDC and he gives me demographic information about the community. We really take advantage of his expertise, which allows us to pinpoint areas that best fit our business model. Today we have 17 offices from the coast to the mountains and currently serve more than 100,000 kids each year from 64 counties in NC. We have 152 employees and will add at least 25 or 30 this year.