working at Abbyson while attending college.
While Abby remains chairman of the board,
in 2008, he transferred operations to Yavar,
now president; Doddy, senior vice president
and COO; and Rodd, vice president of sales
and marketing. “[Our father] has high standards,” says Yavar. “He taught us to constantly
improve, and not be satisfied with good.
Make it great.”
The road to dot-com
In 1998, Abbyson Living was perfecting
its own furniture designs when it began selling imported Tibetan rugs and furniture at
Costco as a traveling roadshow supplier.
Proceeds of these sales also supported several
philanthropic e;orts in Tibet, including the
construction of a school.
;ree years into the partnership, Yavar
and Doddy, along with their sales team, traveled to 190 warehouses in California, Oregon,
Washington, Arizona and Utah twice a year
to sell their goods.
When they began selling their own furniture designs at the warehouses, strong sales
prompted Costco to bring Abbyson Living on
as a supplier for Costco.com in 2006.
It took three years to transition the business from a roadshow to a Costco.com vendor.
“We had to really understand the philosophy of
the e-commerce business,” says Yavar. He
explains that they had to update their packaging and photography, and expand their manufacturing and distribution to carry more
inventory for the new business model. ;ese
changes, paired with the ability to source high-quality raw materials, allow them to o;er luxurious furniture at competitive prices.
;e brothers take inspiration from current runway fashions and incorporate them in
a timeless yet contemporary way: sleek lines
and studded accents, mixed with traditional
offerings such as tufts and neutral colors.
When asked if they all have similar décor
tastes, like a true big brother, Yavar laughs and
says, “I would say so. Especially Rodd; he copies everything I do.”
An earned reputation
Since the brothers took over the business,
word has spread about their traditional, con-
temporary styles, and celebrity fans (such as
Howie Mandel and Melissa Joan Hart, among
others) have asked the brothers to personally
design their spaces. In addition to having its
products on the sets of several TV shows,
including ;e Voice and HGTV’s Design Star,
Abbyson Living is the featured business of the
premiere episode of TNT’s new reality series
Inside Job, where candidates compete in vari-
ous challenges for a top-grossing position at a
But Abbyson’s reputation rests on more
than lights and cameras. ;e brothers’ collection of high-end furniture also comes with
high-end customer service (see right), and
companies are clamoring to partner with
them. At the time of publication, 198 retailers
were on a waiting list to sell Abbyson Living
furniture. “;ere’s a six-month vetting process. We’re very selective about which retailer
carries the Abbyson Living brand. We’re all
about quality, not quantity,” says Yavar.
A culture of growth
At Abbyson, each employee is treated like
part of the Ra;eha family. Not only does the
company o;er competitive pay and bene;ts,
but its Moorpark, California, headquarters
also has a Zen room with massage chairs, ;sh
tanks, ambient lighting and calming music to
help employees relax mid-shi;. ;e company
also hosts a chef once a month to cook a feast
for employees, and recognizes its sta; through
employee-of-the-month and employee-of-the-year awards, the latter of which includes a
trip to Hawaii.
“We believe that if our employees are
happy and love their jobs, they will give better
service to our customers. We love our employees and treat them as family, and having a
peaceful work environment is important,”
Abbyson Living was honored with an Inc.
magazine’s 2013 Hire Power Award for being
among the top 100 companies for job creation,
and the brothers hope to continue the trend.
;is year, they plan to expand their designs
and furniture categories, which will create
additional hiring opportunities.
When asked if he ever expected to see
Abbyson Living where it is today, Abby Ra;eha
says, “It’s a dream to see my sons so successful.
Really, it’s a dream.” C
BUYING FURNITURE ONLINE takes a
certain leap of faith, since you are most
likely making the purchase sight unseen.
Customer service is paramount to
Abbyson Living’s success, and its
employees pull out all the stops to ensure
that Costco members always have a
pleasant experience when they buy
Abbyson Living furniture on Costco.com.
The member places his or her
Abbyson Living calls the member
within the next business day to give even
more details about the furniture to verify
it’s exactly what the member is looking
for. This may include mailing swatches,
describing the firmness of a sofa or direct-ing the member to an online room simulator to demonstrate how a piece might fit
the space. Representatives also ask for
entryway measurements to ensure that
the furniture can fit inside the home.
Once the purchase is confirmed,
employees inspect the furniture to ensure
its flawless condition prior to shipment.
Delivery takes two to four weeks, and
employees keep tabs on the shipment to
make sure it’s on track. If they notice anything abnormal, they’ll contact the shipper to make sure it’s kept moving, even
without the member inquiring about it.
Depending on where the member
resides, Abbyson Living partners with
Ace Delivery to offer a special delivery
service for Costco members only. Ace
Delivery employees put on white gloves
and booties before entering a member’s
home and assemble the furniture in the
room of the member’s choice, while
removing any cardboard, etc., and
answering any questions the member
may have. Since they are the only people
with whom the member will have in-per-son contact, Abbyson Living wants to
make sure that every minute of the delivery is a pleasant experience.
After delivery, an Abbyson Living
representative calls the member to make
sure he or she is happy with the purchase.
Employees will dispatch “Furniture
Medics” for minor repairs or ship replacement furniture if anything was damaged
in transit. In many cases, due to their topnotch communication with Ace Delivery
and other shipping partners, they are
notified of any damage before the furniture ever reaches the member’s home. In
this instance, they notify the member and
rush-deliver a replacement piece.—HM
and the Abbyson
The Calvin sectional
is currently available
Scan or click
here for a clip
on page 5.)