When it comes to furniture stores, Couch Potatoes has had some unglamorous beginnings. Co-founders, Brian Morgan, Travis Morgan, and Dan Anthony, lived out of a warehouse (with no running water) and paid their bills with nothing, but hopes and dreams. Well, a little more than that. The Couch Potatoes furniture stores that exist today, are the direct result of hard work, determination, and a little bit of luck. However, no matter how far we've come, we can't forget our potato roots.
There's a company that Couch Potatoes has become acquainted with recently, that has a background very similar to our own. They also possess a name for their company that (like our own) is both silly and very appropriate.
Square Cow Moovers is a household goods moving company that helps residential and commercial clients get furniture and boxes moved from one place to another. Co-founder, Wade Lombard, along with his father, Wayne Lombard, and brother-in-law, Derek Mills, know a thing or two about the struggles of starting a company. They launched the business on March 1, 2008, to results akin to the slow plodding of a cow in a pasture (to keep with the theme). With a little bit of faith, family, and some old-fashioned hard work, the Square Cow Moovers has become an excellent furniture moving company. Their exemplary customer service has made them well-known in the city of Austin, and beyond.
I asked Lombard some questions about Square Cow Moovers, how they got started, how they struggled, and how their "herd" has followed them to form the moving company that exists today.
How did you meet our co-owner, Brian Morgan?
Brian and I just recently got to know each other. We serve alongside each other in a non-profit called The Foundry. The Foundry takes 10 small businesses that need help; they need help because of a lack of structure, limited financial literacy, meandering marketing prowess, etc. Brian and I march with these companies. We tell them our story, we gain their trust, we encourage, we advise, and we instruct.
How did Square Cow Movers get started?
Imagine the worst recession since the Great Depression is about to land…and then…you get fired from your non-profit job…you have a 14-month-old and your wife is 8 months pregnant with your second. This was our reality in 2007. The answer? Move to Austin, TX, a city we’d never been to, invest every dollar into an industry we have no experience in and start a business on a hope and a dream. We launched on March 1st, 2008. For the next 3 years, we were either on a truck or begging people to let us move them.
What are some trials and triumphs of owning a moving company?
For trials I would say:
- It wasn’t uncommon to finish moves in Houston at 11 pm, drive back to Austin, get in bed at 2 am then back at it at 6 am the next day.
- New employees wouldn’t show up, as a result, we’d start moves at 8 pm and work through the night.
- I would often leave mid-move, change into a Square Cow polo shirt, attend a networking meeting, and head back to help finish the move.
- We perfectly loaded a truck, high and tight, only for the truck to break down 200 yards away from the load site…a new truck arrived and we had to transfer everything from one truck to another, in reverse. It was tedious and frustrating and terrible.
- After years we grew. We expanding into Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Denver.
- We won some awards: The BBB Torch Award.
- We landed on Austin’s Fast 50, twice!
- We built a 40,000 sq. foot warehouse in Austin, we use this space for storage.
What is something you would tell yourself in the past before you started the company?
Don’t worry so much. I would often be so overwhelmingly concerned about the moves the next day, the bills owed, the crews to hire, and the trucks to buy. It’s all going to work out. After a very physical day in the truck, I would be in bed, late at night, staring at the ceiling worrying about the next day, and failing to celebrate the day we just had.
What does the future look like for Square Cow Movers and Couch Potatoes working together?
Good question. We just went through all the effort and expense of franchising. We’re currently soliciting our first franchisee. This feels like the next obvious step. How do we get this wonderful brand, this galvanizing culture, out into the world? We franchise. That’s the plan…and we’re committed to seeing it through.
What the Future Holds
When starting a business, especially during a recession, things can look bleak. Wade Lombard, and his family at Square Cow Movers proved that it is possible to succeed, no matter the circumstances. We at Couch Potatoes are inspired by Square Cow Moovers' journey as we find ourselves similarly adapting to the rise and fall of the ever-changing furniture industry.
In the future, Couch Potatoes hopes to collaborate with Square Cow Moovers to create a moving service that is unparalleled. Our companies have similar backgrounds, and we believe that by working together, we can create something more than either of us could have done separately. We are excited about what the future has in store!
Check out Square Cow Moovers, no matter if you're doing a local move, a commercial move, or a long-distance move. They also offer labor-only services, packing services, and packing materials. Then, once you get settled into your new space, consider Couch Potatoes as a furniture store to find furniture that's custom made, and locally built.