Feather: How Jay Reno Built the Anti-IKEA

Furniture should be an extension of our values, rather than a drag on the planet. How Jay Reno’s third swing was a home run in the sustainable start-up world.

February 2, 2021


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Lex Kiefhaber, Anthony Noto

9.8 million tons of furniture end up in landfills every year, and most of it was pretty crappy to begin with. Jay  is here to change that, and along the way, our conception of how we use, enjoy and own our stuff. 

To be clear, the CEO and founder of Feather, Jay Reno, would never claim to be the anti-anything, he's focused on creating forward looking solutions rather than dragging the Swedes (neither are we, great people). That said, the business model of furniture built out of particle boards relies on the assumption that many of us would rather trash it then schlep it when it's time to move.

In today's increasingly transient and urban lifestyle where people are moving more frequently and buying homes later in life deciding whether a couch is worth the haul happens every 2 or three years rather than decades, and if that couch wan't that great to begin with, hello curb. Feather has built a rental model that offers high-quality furniture at a monthly rate that doesn't crush your wallet, and when it's time to go, they'll gladly come collect the couch and you can start fresh in the new pad.

The furniture is built so that component parts can be exchanged or repaired instead of trashed and replaced. This makes it easier for the customer to keep their stuff in good condition and incentivizes the company to build things to last, all while lightening the burden on the planet. Win win win, our favorite. 

On a more personal note, Jay didn't saunter into this multi-million dollar VC backed hyper-success over night. Feather is his third start up, and he's learned many a lesson. We talk about the tumultuous path every entrepreneur walks, what it takes to stick it out, and advice that gets you through along the way. 


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