Some engineering majors go into aerospace. Others design bridges, buildings, cars, medical devices or motherboards.
Jessie Schwartz creates beanbag chairs and couches.
Very, very cool ones.
That was not exactly her plan, of course. At Staples High School, the 2004 graduate was involved in many different activities: ski team captain, Players, Inklings newspaper.
She majored in physics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, then added a bachelor’s in engineering and master’s in engineering management, both from Dartmouth.
Schwartz spent 6 years with Accenture, doing strategy consulting. With Estee Lauder, she worked with a variety of brands.
After marriage, she wanted to cut down her brutal travel schedule. Schwartz and her husband bought a foreclosed house in Weston. She quit Accenture; they spent 3 months making the abandoned home livable.
When it was time to re-enter the workforce, she looked for project manager positions. She found LoveSac through LinkedIn. Now based in Stamford, it was launched in 1995 by Shawn D. Nelson, who hand-make beanbag chairs for fellow students at the University of Utah.
The company took off after patenting a modular furniture system called “sactionals” (ho ho). The pieces combine into couches — and, importantly, are very easy to ship.
Most of LoveSac’s business is done that way. Customers learn about the chairs and sofas online, or in over 70 mall “showrooms.” Like Apple, LoveSac sells a lot of goods using a very small retail footprint.
Last year however, they opened a stand-alone location in the Flatiron district. A second store followed last month in Greenwich.
Opening tomorrow (Friday, November 15): LoveSac in Westport. They’re next door to Restoration Hardware, on the Post Road downtown.
Schwartz can’t speak to the why and how of the beanbag company coming to her hometown. She works on the product end.
However, she says, “I’m very excited. Now all my family and friends can see our brand, and understand why I love my job.”
(The grand opening is set for today through Sunday, November 17. Included in the festivities: a chance to win a free couch.)