Furniture You Can Take With You

From its Detroit HQ, Floyd is rewriting the product design rulebook.

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Floyd co-founders Kyle Hoff and Alex O'Dell
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As with many a great idea before it, Detroit-based furniture maker Floyd was born from an attempt to find the solution to a common problem. "Moving from one small apartment to the next is really what spawned it," explains co-founder Kyle Hoff. "We wanted to take typically cumbersome pieces of furniture, and make them shippable and adaptable for people in cities."

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Hoff first crossed paths with fellow cofounder Alex O'Dell just two years ago, and things have moved quickly since then. It all began when Hoff got a call from a friend telling him to quit his job practicing architecture in Chicago to join him at his Detroit incubator—and Hoff did just that. The decision proved to be a fateful one, as it was there that Hoff met O'Dell, who was doing the company's branding and visuals.

The two clicked, and agreed to launch Floyd's very first product: the Floyd leg. The goal was to provide consumers with a simple, stylish way to create coffee tables from just about any slab of material by supplying them with a set of clean, simple, and detachable 16" legs. They launched the product on Kickstarter looking to secure $18,000—and ended up raising over a quarter of a million dollars.

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With that item's success came added motivation to expand the line. "Before we even launched the leg, we were thinking of the larger scope," says O'Dell. "We always had this idea that the regular leg was great for coffee tables and side tables," adds Hoff, "but, for the long-term, we wanted to create something that would work as a desk, or a small dining table." Which brings us to the Floyd Utility Set: a table-making kit with legs that stand a taller 29". Floyd has now expanded its line even further with minimalist platform-style bed frames; available now for pre-order, they are scheduled to start shipping out in early March.

While close to 30 percent of Floyd's sales are international, the company is dedicated to partnering with regional factories in Detroit, Chicago, and Akron for production, in honor of the rich manufacturing legacy of the cities in the Great Lakes region. O'Dell says the specific structure of the facilities with which Floyd works has had positive effects on both production and product design. "Since they've been around for generations, you have equipment from the '50s next to the latest advancements in technologies," he says. "It creates a really unique opportunity to create interesting products within their processes."

The company tailors its products to the equipment on offer at its partner factories, "so we aren't just sitting in our office, and then figuring out how to have it made," he explains. "Our goal is to make a better way to create furniture," adds Hoff, "that can be lasting and adaptable to the city."

Photographed by Hayden Stinebaugh.

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