The pandemic caused nearly everyone in the home furnishings industry to get creative, and Ohio-based hospitality outdoor furniture brand MG Blair is no exception.
Last summer, the manufacturer realized that because some of the major trade shows weren’t happening, they needed to fill in the gap and show sales reps their furniture.
So Dan Roberts, VP of sales fo of MG Blair, loaded up a bright yellow truck with a dozen pieces of furniture and drove it to the company’s rep territories in Atlanta and New England.
“The first meeting I had in Boston, we went to a designer’s driveway,” Roberts says. “And it was so awesome. I kind of cut my teeth in the world of guerilla marketing.”
A big challenge with MG Blair’s barrier entry, according to Roberts, is that as a new, young company, not many people know how its furniture feels and looks in person.
“We have 45 years of manufacturing pedigree behind us you know, we’re a family-owned business and they’re multi-generational, so we’ve done our due diligence and our homework there,” he says. “But until you can put your hands on an actual piece of furniture, it’s kind of just lip service. So realizing that, we kind of attacked from that perspective of the more people that can see it and interact with it, the more likely they are to be comfortable giving us a shot.”
The company plans to bring this project on the road again this year, likely in the fall, and hit the Carolinas this time.
MG Blair is the creation of Michael Blair, who, as a young design student, spent the summer as a furniture mover learning firsthand that there was a need for quality knock-down furniture.
Blair devoted his time to designing durable furniture that could easily be taken apart without tools, transported in a car, and moved into the tightest of spaces. He eventually earned a patent, which spawned a furniture company called SLIM Furniture.
Now that company has been expanded from design and manufacturing to modernization and procurement of furniture from around the globe, with a focus on hospitality items for the outdoors.