When Jake Metzger moved to D.C. in 2013 for a consulting job out of college, his moving process was a bit rough. That is to say, he remembers it clearly to this day.
Back in the summer of 2013, he’ll happily tell you, he moved on July 1 and started work on July 3. And in that one interim day he needed to outfit his new apartment. It wasn’t easy, he’ll tell you, renting a car and driving from store to store and trying to find all the things he needed at a good price.
There has to be a better way, Metzger thought at the time.
And with those magic entrepreneurial words, Metzger started down a path that led to the launch, in mid-January, of HousePouch. HousePouch, simply put, is a better way — a one-stop shop for all your furnishing needs. “Our goal is to personalize and simplify the home furnishing process,” Metzger said.
Visitors to the site put what kind of room they’re trying to furnish and answer a couple of simple questions about style (Do you like modern? Or “farmhouse”?) and are then matched with a range of curated, popular products from major retailers. HousePouch has partnerships with retailers like Target and The Container Store and Macy’s, but only lists items that “we like” and that have at least a four-star rating. Also, because a main target demographic is recent college grads and other young professionals, HousePouch tends to list items that aren’t too pricey. Forget the days of searching through pages and pages of nightstands you don’t really like (and many you can’t afford either).
For the customer, the value proposition is simple — convenience and simplicity. And for the retailers what the startup offers is affiliate marketing — “we’re kinda repurposing” the traditional, blog-based take on affiliate marketing, Metzger told Technical.ly. And the company gets paid for those marketing services, which enables them to keep the site free for users.
Sounds great, but how does HousePouch get the word out to millennials who are literally on the move, while they’re moving? “Yeah, that is the tough part,” Metzger admits. But it’s also early days still — the four-person company (Metzger is joined by cofounder Nick Fu, one interior design consultant and one developer) just launched a new edition of the site on May 15 and is a recent graduate of 1776’s inaugural Startup Cohort.
“The next couple of months will be all about talking to our users,” Metzger said. That should keep him busy. But hey — at least any future furniture shopping is sorted.