Hand-crafting business: how Amazon helped an Arizona business grow

Newly single after his divorce, Tristan Pereida-Rice moved into a Santa Monica apartment with his brother Kalen.

Low on money, the brothers decided to build their own furniture.

He just wanted to build something,” Kalen recalled. “He wanted that kind of therapy after his divorce. And after building everything for the apartment we didn’t want to stop building.”

The brothers posted a picture of their furniture on Craigslist and sold a bed frame within a day, and by the time they finished building it two more frames had been ordered.

We were like ‘okay we’re now in a furniture business.’ And we have been backordered ever since,” Kalen said.

After selling their furniture on Etsy and Craigslist for a year, the brothers moved back to their hometown of Glendale, Arizona where they bought an industrial shop and hired on more employees, including their other siblings.

The family decided it was time to grow their business and turned to the familiar site Amazon, known for revolutionizing online shopping.

We knew that if we went on Amazon we were going to reach everybody in the country, or everybody in the world, that was really scary for us [but] they’ve been a really stable partner for us in the sales aspect,”  Kalen said. “They probably doubled our sales within the first six month.

The Pereida-Rice family owned hand-crafted furniture company is not the only small business Amazon has helped grow.

In fact Timeless Wood Furniture is just one of thousands in Arizona using the online marketplace to sell their goods.

According to Amazon, more than a million United States-based small- and medium-sized businesses are selling on the site, more than 19,000 of which are in Arizona.

“Amazon helps small- and medium-sized businesses reach hundreds of millions of customers around the world, giving the smallest of businesses the opportunity to compete next to the biggest household brands,” Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO, Jeff Wilke said. “These businesses are a vital part of Amazon’s continued growth, and we see that consumers love buying from small businesses on Amazon.”

In 2017, more than 20,000 small- and medium-sized businesses worldwide on Amazon surpassed one million dollars in sales, according to Amazon’s small business report.

“Many people don’t realize that more than half of the items sold on Amazon actually come from small- and medium-sized businesses,” Andrea Ruge, Amazon spokesperson said.

One of the appeals Amazon brings to small businesses is the built in marketing advantage.

According to NetElixir while 60.2 percent of small businesses find success selling online, 68 percent say they are not advertising on those same sites, most claiming it’s because of their limited marketing budget.

“Our marketing budget is very small,” Kalen said. “Being able to reach as many people as we’re able to reach, like thousands and thousands of people, even if it’s just scrolling past our picture, that’s definitely the best part of Amazon.”

Amazon helped Timeless Wood Furniture by profiling the company on “The Amazon Blog” and creating a video that played on Amazon’s front page for a month.

They like us,” Kalen said. “It’s obvious that we’re an asset to them and we’re treated that way. It’s just been a really fun experience to be a partner with a humongous company, like Amazon, and every time we’re with them, they’re genuine and we have an outstanding time.”

For Amazon’s full small business report, click here.

Emily Richardson

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