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Hidden Gems: Meet Alex Segal of Croft House

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Segal.

Hi Alex, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Croft House started with two hands and a can of paint in a garage on Croft Ave. in West Hollywood. Armed with a sander and visions of furniture, we were only there for a short while before we moved into a modest workspace in DTLA. Growing from our first design (Railcar Dining Table), we slowly and carefully expanded our line one piece at a time. Initially, we only sold our pieces on online marketplace sites (like Etsy) and showed a few sample pieces in a small, curated corner of our workshop. Toward the tail end of 2010, with workspace at a premium, we expanded our show space beyond the corner of the workshop into our showroom on LA Brea. This move drastically increased our business and within a few months, we were forced to move to a larger workshop, about 30k sq. ft. We spent several years honing our aesthetic and our POV and have just recently taken the next step – upgrading our workshop to a 40k sq ft location in the Arts District. Apart from adding ample room for production, we plan to add a secondary showroom and photo studio to the location in early 2022.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road hasn’t always been smooth, and of course with the world as it is still isn’t. Our business is a made to order model, where we’re happy to customize our collection for customers as needed. We’ve been lucky enough to consistently grow our sales volume year over year, which can present challenges for our production side in terms of responding in real-time to increases in demand. A good problem to have as they say, but a problem none-the-less!

As you know, we’re big fans of Croft House. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
There’s a lot about our brand that makes me proud, but I think at the top of the list is our ability to keeping our manufacturing stateside and local. We’ve been approached about overseas outsourcing in the past and seen shoddy knockoffs of our pieces replicated by manufacturers in other countries and sold through vendors in the US, but have remained committed to building here. It not only allows us to be more agile with what we produce and to keep our made to order model intact but allows us to be more fully integrated into the community through job creation and support of local vendors.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
The most important lesson I’ve learned along the way is something my mom told me in the first year of the business but still hits in new ways every year. It was in the middle of one of our first big rushes – I was scheduling deliveries while handling all our sales/correspondence, all in between setting up metal bars to be cut on our bandsaw. It was busy, and it was chaotic. She told me to “find comfort in the chaos,” advising that I needed to find a way to stay level-headed in the moments that feel craziest. For a growing business, there is constantly a level of unrest and change – learning how to (and continuing to learn how to) stay calm as everything swirls around us is instrumental to both my sanity and the business.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Carley Rudd @carleyscamera

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