Foam Furnishing

How did two college kids from Holland, Mich., turn a frayed beanbag chair into a $1 million furniture business? By accident--at least to start with.

On New Year's Eve, 1994, Matt Jung and Chip George, then sophomores at Hope College, decided an old beanbag of Matt's needed some rehab. Lacking beans, they refilled the bag with chunks of foam from Matt's worn-out couch. Some ripping and a few jagged stitches later, the Foof chair was born. Friends loved it, and before long Foofs became the rage at colleges throughout Michigan. Today, Comfort Research sells 35,000 units a year of its patented product in 900 stores across the country at prices from $15 to $500. Among the styles: leather, tiger-print velvet, and pineapple-shaped . "All you need to do is get people to try it," says George. "Then it sells itself."

What's next? A line of Foof love seats. "We have true visions of grandeur," says Jung--which makes sense for an entrepreneur who built a business on a bag of foam.

By Naween A. Mangi

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