Online outdoor furniture retailer moves headquarters to Houston

SunHaven, an online outdoor furniture company, has moved its headquarters to Houston from Los Angeles.

Houston’s business-friendly climate, central location, proximity to a port, and large workforce factored into the move.

“I love the ethnic and cultural diversity of the city,” said founder Michael Hillel. “It’s a great hub for us to get in and out of (our products) very easily. It’s where we need to be as we grow our business.”

SunHaven sells fully assembled modular furniture. Hillel said his most popular line, the Kensington Collection, consists of nine pieces including a 10-foot sofa, two club chairs, two natural gray wicker ottomans with navy or gray cushions and a coffee table, for 2 $499. It is designed to complement a variety of home styles, from ranch home to farmhouse.

The company, which opened in 2017, is on track to hit $20 million in sales this year. Sales have exploded since COVID as outdoor living has taken on greater importance as families have spent more time at home.

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“People have realized that their outdoor space is a room that can be used like any other space in the house,” Hillel said.

SunHaven, which has manufacturing suppliers in China, grew sales nearly 400% last year and will roughly double this year, Hillel said. The best places for sales are California, Texas, New York and Florida.

The platform is completely digital, from customers browsing and ordering online to purchase and delivery. Distribution is handled by a third-party warehouse in Los Angeles.

COVID disrupted the process as outbreaks at ports and distribution centers delayed shipments.

“From a supply chain and logistics perspective, it’s been very challenging,” Hillel said. “Meeting the demand has been difficult.”

SunHaven responded by staying in touch with customers and trying to provide realistic timelines on delivery status.

SunHaven, which has five employees and is growing, plans to open its own distribution center in Houston to have more control over the process, Hillel said. New jobs at the Houston office will include customer service and order processing.

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