One summer day in '95, the highly creative, impulsive, somewhat quirky, and very determined Shawn Nelson thought, "I want to make this huge bean-bag thing." So he did. It was seven feet across, filled with everything but the kitchen sink, and took three weeks to stuff. Shawn showed off his 'sac for three years before the demand for the foam-filled anomaly convinced its creator of the product's potential. Hoping to harness the retro spirit of the 1960's and combine it with the idea of a "bag," the name "Lovesac" was born.
The company, "Lovesac" was registered on Halloween, 1998.Needless to say, the Lovesac manufacturing process needed improving. Shawn sewed the first five Sacs on his mother's home sewing machine before finally breaking it. Shawn grew his home-based Sac factory, eventually outsourcing the sewing. He went from tearing up scrap-foam by hand to using shredding machines and "slave labor" supplied by "partners," who conveniently worked for free. Lovesac first appeared exclusively at local home shows and on-campus sales.
When Shawn decided to take a consulting job in Shanghai, China, he left the company to his partners. Returning one year later, Shawn graduated from the University of Utah, and with a diploma in one hand and a credit card in the other, became a member of the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), flew to Chicago, and gained entrance into an ASI trade show. By this time, Shawn had decided to go all the way or quit for good. At the show, a large retailer discovered LoveSac, placed a call to Lovesac's corporate office (Shawn's cell phone), and ordered 12,000 units -- with one condition. The covers had to be made from a hard-to-find, expensive fuzzy purple fabric that had tiny silver specks. At least they were thoughtful enough to send Shawn a sample of the fabric.
Packing nothing, Shawn drove to the airport, flew to Highpoint, rented a car, and found the fabric by noon the following day. The problem? The fabric cost too much to meet Lovesac's budget. The vendor explained that he had an exclusive on the fabric from China and that Shawn would not get it any cheaper. As Shawn was turning to leave, he noticed boxes of fabric samples in the man's booth, most with Chinese writing. Shawn, fluent in Chinese, was on the next plane to Shanghai. He placed orders with the manufacturer for 30,000 yards of the fabric to be cut and sewn into 12,000 LoveSacs, paying for them with the deposit given him by the client. Returning home to nothing, Shawn and his partners built a factory inside of an old warehouse. The warehouse came equipped with a leaky roof and a floor so old the forklift actually fell through it. Every machine, every table, every process was built or modified using Shawn's guesstimate as to how it should be done. When the Sac covers arrived from China, the partners worked side-by-side with about 20 temp laborers and produced all 12,000 units within five weeks. It took double-shifts, 250,000 pounds of furniture foam, cold mornings, and spilt tractor fuel. Shawn personally worked more than one-hundred hours a week to complete the order.
Lovesac received a trademark on its name and "patent pending" status for its unique shrink-packaging process. But by October, Shawn had no clients and no money. He scrambled to find more orders to help pay for the factory. Shawn's cousin suggested LoveSac open a retail location. The malls, furniture stores, and investors rejected the idea. Finally, the Gateway mall, in downtown Salt Lake, was trying to fill spaces for the 2002 Olympics. They offered LoveSac its own space. The first Lovesac retail store opened in November of 2001.
During the store's first week, numerous franchising offers came in from around the country. Lovesac's combination of a "homey" atmosphere, original artwork, fun music, souvenir clothing, and edgy marketing, have helped some Lovesac locations achieve the highest sales per square foot in its shopping center. The company sold an average of one franchise every two weeks since opening its first store in 2001. Though Lovesac no longer franchises, there are more than thirty Lovesac locations currently open.
Lovesac has a strange underground following, having been featured on sets of numerous TV shows, in celebrity homes, and in movies. But having never used traditional advertising, it has grown by the merits of its products and brand, focused on delivering the ultimate in practical and unique media room and TV room furniture. Lovesac's entrepreneurial founder, Shawn D. Nelson, gained some notoriety winning $1,000,000 on national TV as the last man standing on Richard Branson's 2005 Fox reality TV hit, the Rebel Billionaire.
Lovesac is not just another furniture retailer, or brand of bland designs. Each core Lovesac product is a legitimate furniture invention, with patents to prove it. Lovesac, like its products, is a one of a kind company—destined to become a truly legendary brand someday.
Back in 2003 a couple blokes went to America unaware of what they were about to discover. It wasn't gold or oil or country music, but something much more valuable...
The increased pace and pressure of modern society forced those who yearn for comfort to accept mediocrity into their homes. Fortunately the ultimate alternative to seating furniture arrived on Australian shores; These two blokes, like many an explorer before them, brought home Lovesac.
Back in the early days, Lovesac was a one off store located at (then) Fox Studios. The product was shipped across from the U.S. in shipping containers and dumped on our doorstep with a thud . One had to be careful when releasing the doors. Waiting on the other side were a hundred anxious compressed foam inserts, weary from their journey, longing to tumble over you to freedom.
Lovesac took off like a blaze through the scrub, as the company struggled to keep up with demand. How could we respond to such a 'sac rush? Open more stores! Lovesac opened in several locations across the state and even ventured north to Bris Vegas! With the amount of containers now arriving, we considered carving a canal through the CBD and planting a couple of gantry cranes on site! Unfortunately there was some sort of commotion about removing the ducks from their Centennial Park habitat ...oh, and the 41,285 residents who would have complained...(pets excluded).
Interlude: Did you know that the world's longest continuous fence "the dingo fence" was built to keep sheep safe from Australia's native dog and runs for 5,531 kilometres through central Queensland and South Australia? That's 3,072,777 Supersacs and 1 Minisac side by side!
What followed was the sac famine. Supply issues kept the container loads of love from crossing the Pacific. Self-Professor Dr. Mark Pinkleton of the Royal Australian Fallacy Commission has revealed some frightening statistics. Between the period August 2005 and March 2007 a significant increase of domestic activity was reported. House hold chores were up by 23%. Hospitals received 80,000 patients suffering stress from a lack of comfort in their lives. The National Alcohol Strategy 2006-2011 was developed as a response to the patterns of high risk alcohol consumption. These damning figures correlate to one thing directly: the lack of 'sac in the Australian home. 'Sac lovers were calling it the great "Deflation" of our time. There seemed to be no lighthouse in sight. Sadly all of the Lovesac stores had to close...except for one.
Luckily, within the ranks there was some crazy bloke who knew a thing or two about textiles and fabrics. This mysterious figure rose from his seat said "I reckon I can do that". A few weeks later the prototypes began; several months later, he had developed a superior product to that of our predecessor. He was henceforth known as Sacman. Little is known of Sacman, save that he works for Ice Couriers - a reputable courier company affiliated with Lovesac. Together the two companies embarked on a renewed relationship. Lovesacs were now being mass produced within Australia, and the flagship store at Fox Studios (now The Entertainment Quarter) was maintaining its presence as the iconic figure of the Sac-Boom.
10 years on, the store has weathered the GFC, improved its product tenfold, created a sac culture, and now it has relocated to a newly renovated store headed by a team of 'sac enthusiasts willing to show you the way of the 'sac. This site is the product of their passion and such that they wish to share with you, all Australians, and everyone else who wants a bit of Aussie lovin'. If you've ever wondered what Love feels like; we'll not only tell you all about it, we'll show you.