Floyd legs offer easy solution for moving furniture

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

If you’ve ever moved, you’ve faced the dilemma: Do you hire a moving truck and pay an exorbitant amount of money to move your furniture, or do you get rid of everything and start over at your new destination?

Alex O’Dell and Kyle Hoff created the Floyd leg, which clamps to any flat surface to create a dining table, side table, coffee table, bench or shelf.

Alex O’Dell and Kyle Hoff hope you do neither.

The two Detroit residents devised a product called the Floyd leg. Made from steel, the leg clamps to any flat surface to instantly create a dining table, side table, coffee table, bench or shelf. No tools required. When moving, the legs can be easily detached and stuck in a box.

Especially for millennials who hop from city to city, the invention has the potential to save a lot of money on furniture.

“If you’re living in an apartment and moving around, you can pack up the legs and bring them with you,” says O’Dell, 26.

O’Dell and Hoff conjured the concept while neighbors in a Corktown apartment building two years ago. The idea has since turned into a product made in the Great Lakes region and shipped from New York to San Francisco and 40 countries worldwide.

“Our goal is to be the go-to for furniture for people living in cities and, in a way, building what would be the next generation of IKEA here in Detroit,” Hoff says.

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The Floyd leg was inspired by a table in Hoff’s apartment.

Before he met O’Dell, Hoff lived in Chicago, San Francisco and small apartments in Ann Arbor, where he attended graduate school for architecture. With each move, he disassembled and assembled one too many pieces of IKEA furniture for his liking. O’Dell had also jumped from place to place, attending UM and living abroad.

While hanging out in Hoff’s apartment one night, they started spewing out their moving frustrations. Their main gripe: “Furniture needs to be more adaptable and suited for millennials living in cities,” says Hoff, 28.

They brainstormed what would eventually become the easy-to-assemble, easy-to-move Floyd leg.

Hoff leaned on his architectural expertise to design the leg named in honor of his great-grandfather, grandfather and father, who were all named Floyd and worked in the steel industry.

He worked with fabricators to devise the first prototype, and the two introduced it through a Kickstarter campaign in January 2014. The goal was to raise $18,000 for 100 leg sets. They raised $256,000.

After the Kickstarter confirmed the demand, they set out to find manufacturing factories in Akron, Ohio, Chicago and a few in Detroit.

“We see the Great Lakes region and where the Rust Belt is now, and what has been made there, as a strong asset to produce our products,” O’Dell says.

For a time, the duo bounced from an auto garage in Corktown to Hoff’s apartment. They then heard about Ponyride, where like-minded entrepreneurs could rent workspace at an affordable rate. They were granted a 6-by-12 foot space squeezed in the administrative office space in June 2014.

“They’re like, ‘Yeah, if you guys want to work behind our filing cabinets, that’s fine,’ ” O’Dell says.

Slowly, they expanded — adding five employees and taking over 600 feet on the second floor.

Floyd furniture legs that can attach to any flat material to make a table or bench.

Available in black, white, yellow and red, Floyd legs range from $179 for a coffee table to $285 for a dining table and ship for free in the U.S. Most orders come from New York City, followed by Tokyo (30 percent of orders are international). The product resonates in cities where living in smaller spaces is trendy, or necessary, Hoff says.

“There’s this ability for the product to really speak across cultures, whereas a lot of products can’t necessarily do that,” Hoff says.

While competing furniture companies have a brick-and-mortar presence, Floyd relies on the website to fulfill orders. Driving out from a city to do furniture shopping in the suburbs is “really rooted in the ’90s,” O’Dell says. Eventually, they plan to sell surfaces customers can buy instead of using their own.

Leah Moss, a 28-year-old calligrapher in Birmingham, bought the legs to create a coffee table out of a slab of marble that belonged to her great-grandmother.

“Nobody knows where it came from or what it was for. It was one of those old things that nobody had the heart to throw away,” Moss says. “And now I have a gorgeous flat coffee table.”


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Twitter: @Steph_Steinberg


Launched: 2014

Employees: 5

Founders: Alex O’Dell and Kyle Hoff

Website: floyddetroit.com