There’s a long lead time on furniture. Manufacturer warehouses have cut staff in half. What once took a week to receive products has now doubled.
But that doesn’t mean things have reached a standstill.
“We have had an increase in business on the design side and the store side,” Bynum said of his business, which he says is still the only African American-owned furniture showroom and design center in Atlanta.
Indeed, Bynum, who is now the full owner and lead designer of Rite At Home and Bynum Design Group, has found new customers following a pivot to e-design.
Amid the pandemic, many were uncomfortable with others inside their homes. The company moved homeowner design meetings to Zoom and FaceTime. Bynum said online sales increased 100%.
“I was shipping to places I had never even heard my own self,” he said. “It just propelled us into a different industry.”
Because of the boom, Bynum, whose staff size has doubled since 2012, had to hire personnel to handle questions at all times of the night. Customer service is key to the business’s continued growth.
“It’s been amazing, I have to say that. It pushed us into areas we wanted to go into,” he said of online sales and e-design. “We’re coming out of it and we’re pushing forward. We really are, I can honestly say that.”
With the 10th anniversary approaching in 2022, there’s one major thing that Bynum is looking forward to — expanding Rite At Home.
“We are building a brand new showroom about 150 feet away from us,” he revealed, adding it will double their space.
“We’re still gonna have that unique furniture; it’s a showroom but it’s a boutique feel. Our artwork is the unique things that you’re not going to find at Rooms To Go,” he said, emphasizing that the store will not become a big-box retailer.
The new space will have three areas for design consultants to host clients. More products and samples will be available. It will also be touch-driven.
Soon, Bynum will bring his experience to “Sell This House!” The new season, in which Bynum appears in six episodes, premieres at 10 p.m. Monday, June 7 on FYI. It will also air at 10 a.m. Saturdays on A&E.
While he hopes to branch out into more commercial and residential businesses, one thing Bynum doesn’t want to change is the accessibility — including his own. He says he has no desire to become a celebrity designer.
“Your home should hug you, your home should be welcoming,” he said. “Do you know your home is the only place you can say you don’t like the color of the walls? Your home is the only place, the only environment that you have control of. That’s why your home is so important. That’s why your home should hug you.”