Finding a Gap in the Market to Build a Brand

Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff


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We all have an entrepreneur inside us, but how do we bring it out? For a family in British Columbia, Canada, it was their children and their search for beautiful play furniture.


In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the founders of Cushy Couch noticed that the options for Canadian customers in the children’s play couch space was very limited. Due to high US prices, lack of availability and extremely long lead times, it can make it very difficult for Canadian buyers to purchase. 


As a result, the Lindemulders turned their frustration into an opportunity to lead the charge from a manufacturing perspective. All they needed was a great product; allowing them to catch lightning in a bottle in an underserved market. 


The biggest hurdle Cushy Couch needed to overcome is one most Canadians can empathize with: shipping. They needed to figure out a way to ship full-sized kids' play couches to customers across the continent at a reasonable rate. 


The family's patriarch, whom they lovingly nicknamed ‘The Mad Scientist,’ designed and built a machine that squishes, vacuum seals, and rolls the play couches so they can fit into a box that measures 15.5” x 15.5” x 34”. This saved the team tremendously, as it allowed the package dimensions to decrease substantially which equals lower shipping costs. With logistics sorted, the team needed a way to differentiate themselves from their competition and become a leader in the market. 




Visiting the Cushy Couch site offers a glimpse into what sets them apart. Not only is it a high-end kids' play couch manufactured in Canada, it’s also aesthetically pleasing, offering neutral color palettes which make social media targeting a breeze. 


Forbes called Cushy Couch “the Restoration Hardware of play couches. Perfect for design-conscious parents.” Enough said. 


Another wayCushy Couch sets itself apart is by being handmade in Canada. All of the materials are either made in Canada or sourced from Canadian companies. There has been a flood of products imported from overseas that sell at a lower price point, but the Lindemulders found that families are willing to pay a bit more for quality and to support local businesses.


While manufacturing in your local market can seem like an expensive approach, the team at Cushy Couch proves that the payoff is worth it. This is something aspiring entrepreneurs need to take note of. 


Not only does this allow you to have better control of the manufacturing process, but it also allows you to take advantage of strict quality control, which leaves you with satisfied customers. 


Additionally, Cushy Couch discovered design prototypes that are much easier to accomplish locally. Samples can be designed and manufactured within weeks instead of waiting for product samples to arrive from overseas. This creates a speedy turnover, allowing products to be quickly released and be the first to market.


Cushy Couch serves as an inspiration for budding entrepreneurs due to their ability to do it themselves. While most start-ups outsource things like marketing, SEO and design, Cushy Couch has kept it in the family. 


Four Brothers and their partners make up the Cushy Couch team, utilizing their individual strengths to cover all of the bases. This serves as an example that everything is manageable and simple if you have the vision and determination. 


If there is one thing to take away from Cushy Couch, it's to seize opportunities when they show themselves. Take a chance, work hard, and have faith. When you see a problem; solve it. If you don’t, someone else will!