Business Overview

Part of upcycling can be simple refurbishment, and part of it is re-styling it. New covers, new coats of paint, and other new changes can make something old and worn down into something chic and modern. The business also scales nicely, letting you grow from a solo operation to a team, if necessary.

Who is this business right for?

This business is great for veterans of yard sales and thrift shops—basically, anyone with a good eye for finding surprising items at low prices. It's also good for those with an eye for style and design, so you are able to see not just what the worn down furniture is but what it could be after some modifications. Finally, it's good for those with sales experience, as the job may involve a lot of individual interaction with a variety of customers.

What happens during a typical day at a furniture upcycling business?

There are many day-to-day activities of such a business. Part of your days will be spent going to thrift shops, yard sales, and online auction sites in order to acquire old furniture at low prices. Afterward, you will spend time refurbishing and re-styling the furniture you have acquired. When you are not doing these primary activities, you may be communicating with current clients and prospective clients, updating your website and/or social media presence, and actually selling the furniture you have upcycled.

What is the target market?

Your best clients will typically be those in their mid-20's to early 30's. This is a demographic that typically needs to decorate a new space (such as a first house) but also desires the more sleek and modern aesthetic that your business provides. Additionally, being able to provide that furniture for a much lower price than brand new chic furniture will appeal to a demographic that is early in their careers.

How does a furniture upcycling business make money?

For furniture upcycling, the business model is straightforward: you buy old furniture, refurbish, and restyle it, and then sell the “new” product to clients for a fixed cost.

What is the growth potential for a furniture upcycling business?

The growth potential for this business is modest. As an industry, luxury furniture is expected to grow by four percent between 2015 and 2019, and upcycled furniture benefits from appealing to different markets: some turn to it as a kind of luxury unique item (which goes hand-in-hand with the modern mania for antiques), while others see upcycled furniture as a more affordable alternative to modern designer furniture. Through this appeal to multiple demographics, your business has great room to grow.