Owning physical items — especially bulky ones like furniture — can weigh down young people who aren't yet ready to put down roots in one place.
Indeed, the average American changes residences more than 11 times over the course of their life, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And with each move comes the burden of furnishing a new temporary home with a different layout or roommates than the previous one.
And so Feather, a membership-based furniture company, provides consumers with furniture that evolves in tandem with their lives and tastes.
Feather gives customers in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County, California, the ability to, including dressers, sofas, bed frames, mattresses, lighting systems and more. Delivery and assembly are included. Customers who fall in love with pieces they try can buy them outright.
"Sometimes it does make sense to own things if you are going to stick around in a place for a long period of time or if you know this is an item you want to carry with you place to place," feather founder and CEO Jay Reno told CBSN.
All payments go toward ownership. "You can pay monthly — you can build up equity in your item," he added.
Owning furniture is a bit like starting a company, Reno said. Both need to be tried and tested.
"If you focus on one particular path and you aren't flexible to change that path, you'll often end up going down a route that isn't right," Reno said. "That's partly why we built this company. Life is changing constantly and it's really hard to commit to owning things or commit to a very specific direction in your life. So why commit on day one to your furniture?"
The company's mission is to make living and changing residences easier on residents as well as the planet. The business model helps reduce waste by providing an alternative to purchasing cheap, disposable home furnishings known as "fast furniture."
"What we are trying to do with Feather is create a fully circular system so that you can return an item to us. And at the end of that product's life, instead of it ending up in a landfill, you can recycle or reuse each of the parts of that piece of furniture to then either be turned into new furniture and other things at the end of the day," Reno said.
The company depends on a proprietary software product that streamlines and manages regular deliveries, pickups and re-deliveries. "It wouldn't be possible without technology. It's mission critical," Reno said.
Feather curates a selection of its own furniture and pieces from well-known brands like West Elm and Casper.
Its offerings are varied, but not unlimited. "People actually don't want to have unlimited choice. They want to have a nice, curated selection of things to chose from from a company they trust," Reno said.