When it came time for Menlo School and Stanford grad Christopher Sun and his partner, Karin Shieh, to start looking for warehouse space for their business, Crane & Canopy, which went live Monday, San Carlos was at the top of a short list.
"It just seemed like a good fit," said Sun, who grew up in the area and worked at a company based in San Carlos. "There's good food, and the combination of offices and warehouse space made it easy. San Carlos was hands down the best. You can't beat it."
After seven months of planning, preparation, and putting together a catalog, Sun and Shieh were ready to put their new concept into action.
The idea is to bring quality, innovation and style to home decorators without the high price tag.
"We cut out most of the supply chain," Sun said. "We work directly with factories and with our own designs. We have a full-time designer who continually looks for exciting designs. We want to give the customer a variety of products at competitive prices."
Crane & Canopy focused on bedding products to begin with, though expansion could come at a rapid pace. They are betting that they can change the way consumers shop for home décor with a direct-to-consumer-only model.
"When I purchased my first home, I wanted to decorate it with superior quality and beautiful designs at a price point that didn't make purchasing home goods seem like an investment," said Shieh, who serves as head of marketing. "I talked with many of my friends who were also decorating their homes, and almost all of them were frustrated by the same things – expensive price tags and limited selection of affordable styles. That was my 'aha!' moment for creating Crane & Canopy."
The bedding market represents an eight billlion dollar industry dominated by department stores, specialty stores and large home goods megabrands. By operating online, and designing its own products, Crane & Canopy hopes to pass savings on to the customer.
Sun didn't have to look far for help and inspiration. His family has a long background in clothing and manufacturing and in particular his stepmother, Rosina Sun.
"She's been a huge help and inspiration," Sun said. "I learned a lot about it and talked with her a lot. When Karen and I talked about businesses we wanted to start, she was frustrated with home goods. I brought the idea to my stepmom, who knew exactly how the process works and what to cut out. She's retired now and doesn't want to work but I'm pulling her in."
With a space close to the downtown area, Sun and Shieh hopes to start pulling in the customers.
Further details on individual products can be found by visiting the website.
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