If you’ve lived in Austin for the past decade, then you’ve probably ended up walking into Austin’s Couch Potatoes furniture store. If it wasn’t the eye-catching sculpture on I-35 resembling a shrine to 3 potato deities on a plywood couch, then it was the uniquely relaxed and friendly environment that drew you in. As one of Austin’s largest locally-owned furniture stores, the brand has crafted a voice for itself through its values of loving people, bringing comfort, and trading ethically. Now, in an ever-growing city, the ever-growing Austin’s Couch Potatoes will be featuring their brand as a gallery inside another local furniture store The Furniture Mall of Texas.
Austin’s Couch Potatoes is co-owned by brothers Brian and Travis Morgan, and Dan Anthony (a college roommate and friend). The trio has had a long journey in the furniture-making business, but by 2018, the business had expanded into three locations around Austin.
Ladybird Sofa in Blush in the Austin's Couch Potatoes Gallery
Brian first became attracted to the Furniture Mall of Kansas in 2017 when they were voted one of the best furniture retail stores in America. After visiting their store, it was like something he had never seen before.
“If the Kansas store was dropped in Austin, it would’ve been the best store like that,” Brian snapped his fingers. “What they were offering was so attractive, it’s different from everybody else in the industry.”
Of course, furniture shopping has changed a lot since 2017, but Morgan is up for the challenge of the evolving market. The Furniture Mall of Texas was opened earlier this year, as a collaboration of both the co-owners of Kansas and the co-owners of Austin’s Couch Potatoes’ histories as furniture makers. Jeff and Jaime Winters, co-owners of The Furniture Mall of Kansas, possessed backgrounds in engineering. Brian and his friend Dan, have backgrounds in e-commerce from their college days. They sold everything from shock collars to Barbie dolls, and eventually went Platinum on eBay within their first year. By combining the ideas, and strengths of everyone involved, The Furniture Mall of Texas took form.
The dream of the co-owners of Austin’s Couch Potatoes, and now The Furniture Mall of Texas is to have the fastest custom furniture in the nation. Very few furniture stores build their own pieces, and Austin Couch Potatoes’ is one of those stores that takes pride in its work from conception to the finished product. Morgan hopes to eventually do custom upholstery better than any other brands included in The Furniture Mall of Texas, to make it easier for the guests.
“When there was COVID-19, we were watching a lot of brands get stronger and stronger on e-commerce. These household brands were forced to go online, that have never gone online before. I thought, we’ve got to be the leaders in that,” Morgan says.
By including Austin’s Couch Potatoes brand within the Furniture Mall of Texas—called Austin Grown—there are hopes that these dreams will be achieved. Austin Grown will be its own private label within The Furniture Mall of Texas, a brand within a mall.
The gallery model of Austin Grown is meant to prove itself to other retailers and furniture stores, so Austin’s Couch Potatoes can associate with people that have great reputations in their market, who want a fresh current look for the next generation of buyers. A gallery is better to showcase the craftsmanship and the brand’s voice, compared to marketing to other cities and retailers.
The new Ladybird wall, featuring one of Couch Potatoes' most popular pieces.
The most difficult part about assimilating one store into the other is defining The Furniture Mall of Texas’s voice amongst the other furniture stores established in Austin. Austin’s Couch Potatoes has survived and thrived in the city for 10 years, so it is daunting to seemingly overshadow one store by the inclusion of another. Growth has its benefits, though, especially if both companies are focused on the family aspect of their employees and their guests.
“It’s crazy to see how many of our guests have stayed with us, and they keep buying from us. We really are a family,” Morgan says.
This is not the end of one store and the beginning of another, it is a new start for both Austin’s Couch Potatoes and The Furniture Mall of Texas. Both stores have big aspirations but are in no rush to get there, as time will allow both brands to grow their distinct voices and show people that there are companies that sell an experience and not just a product.
Oh Yeah! It's our team member Charles serving up coffee and cookies.
Come on down to The Furniture Mall of Texas to check out the beginning of our new Austin’s Couch Potatoes gallery and browse our Austin Grown collection. While you’re here, try our homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and take a lap on one of our adult trikes.
It truly is the best of both worlds.
Written by Emily Holleran