FLOYD

KYLE HOFF

Kyle Hoff’s design for a modular table for serial movers and renters in cramped apartments -- easy to take part and reassemble, but still durable -- took off when he and Floyd cofounder Alex O’Dell launched a Kickstarter for the Floyd leg. They raised six times more than they’d asked for in the crowdfunding campaign. 

They moved into Ponyride a few months later in 2014. In the following two years, they’ve focused on building one great product idea into a mission-driven, sustainable furniture company. 

On drawing inspiration from other Ponyride tenants:
We have gained a lot from being at Ponyride, for sure. The other companies, we look up to a lot of them, so that’s a big part of how we operate. 

It’s been pretty impactful in how we think about making things, how we think about social impact and environmental impact and a lot of other things that. You know, if we were surrounded by a lot of tech startups that were purely driven by the bottom line ... we have the benefit of being in such a powerful, energized space that’s contributed to how we think. 

Why a furniture company compares notes with a coffee roaster:
Ponyride could have the potential to be only very much a makerspace, or only garment companies, but I think there’s something really powerful about the diversity. It’s really refreshing.

There are garment companies, but there’s also a coffee company, all these different things that are very different from our company. Manufacturing coffee beans may be very different than steel legs but they deal with similar problems. 

On tapping into the local economy and Detroit’s manufacturing legacy:
Something that is powerful to us, as we launched and started this company, was really thinking about how we’re leveraging and using this really amazing supply chain that exists in the Great Lakes region that’s sort of unmatched anywhere else in the world. 

We’re working with companies that are third or fourth generation, that really have the knowledge to build the things we make. It allows us to remain nimble,  and I think it’s something we’re pretty passionate about.

The value of having a partner, and the fight that sparked a best-selling product:
You can keep each other on track and really rein each other back into the big vision, because there have been really difficult times, without a doubt. There isn’t a lot of conflict between us, and when there is, it always kind of helps us come up with something better. 

The bed was always like a moving target that we saw on the horizon. Being the designer, and I’m managing the supply chain, I was like, yeah, it’s going to be hard to do. Alex and I got into a little bit of a fight -- he pushed harder to be like, can’t we figure out a way? It pushed me to come up with a concept, and then it lead to a really significant project for us.