It was 1964 in Miami, Florida when Esteban and Carmen Grafton started their furniture business. Initially, the company started as a small re upholstery shop. Carmen was in charge of the sewing, Esteban did the upholstery. Soon, the company became a full family affair when their son, Steven, learned how to do upholstery and he joined the operation. Steven would take the company to the next level, taking furniture and showcasing it. It wasn’t long before Grafton Furniture was known for its high quality and custom designs.
From the beginning, the Grafton’s have focused on quality. They are very proud of what they have built with the help of their son and his wife, Mary. What started a tiny business venture has turned into something far more significant. They hope to continue to grow and become something better.
Grafton Furniture on The Profit
The Profit Updates Season 3 Episode 6
Since the inception of the company, the original owners had aged out of the business leaving Steven and Mary as the primary owners. Marcus arrives and introduces himself; he has a favorable impression of the business right off the bat. Steven shows Marcus around the showroom which had been created recently, hoping to get the attention of designers. Nothing in the showroom is for sale, however, which Marcus says is not a great idea. At the warehouse, Marcus meets Esteban and he gets a better idea of the business operations. There are 20 employees assembling furniture and doing that type of labor.
Through Marcus’s knowledge of the industry, he sees that the equipment that they are using at the warehouse is not sufficient. They are losing out on a huge amount of money because of it. There is more bad news when Marcus finds out that not much is known about the margins, in terms of financials, and a lot of paperwork is not complete. Workflow problems turned the whole situation into a bit of a mess.
Stevie, Steve Sr’s son, is also now involved in the company making it three generations. He is doing what he can for the company but is struggling to find what his true role is. The communication between him and Jorge on one end and his father Steve at the other is unclear.
Marcus sits down with the family at one of his favorite restaurants. He is prepared to make his offer but first, he needs to address some of his concerns with the company. He worries that Steve Sr is so flippant toward new ideas. For instance, almost anything his son Stevie suggests is shot down almost immediately. Marcus explains that this kind of thing needs to stop and that additional changes are going to have to be made. The company can’t be working in debt, they need to clear it up.
Marcus offers a huge investment, $1.5 million for 45% of the company. He is also going to cover the mortgage that is owed by Mary and Steve Sr. When Marcus reveals this information Mary is brought to tears. All of their debts had created a tremendous amount of stress in their lives. Marcus goes onto say that he wants to have full control of the finances of the business, which is agreed upon. Finally, Marcus wants to have full control over Stevie and how he progresses as a part of the company. Mary is also thrilled at this offer since Marcus will be a great mentor for her son. He is especially invested in Stevie for one particular reason. Marcus explains that generational businesses have a 60% failure rate in the second generation and a 90% failure rate in the third generation. If this business is going to succeed long-term, Stevie needs to be prepared to run it.
Marcus addresses the employees the following day to explain the deal and how things would be moving forward. Everyone is excited to get to work. Marcus assigns Steve Sr with a task to design some chairs that will be made to drive more profit to the company.
In the showroom, Marcus is critical of the quality of some of the furniture. Steve Sr explains that some orders are rushed and quality suffers; he holds himself accountable for this. A major change that Marcus decides to introduce in light of this information is that he decides that Stevie will be calling the shots in terms of quality control. It turns out to be a point of contention. Often, father and son are found arguing over quality. They both do agree to work harder to fix the problem.
The chair that Marcus had told Steve Sr to make turns out to be a bit of a disappointment, Marcus needs him to make some changes. Meanwhile, the factory is getting a complete redesign with new equipment and other upgrades. Steve Sr can mostly fix the issues with the chair which reassures Marcus.
The reassurance doesn’t last long, Marcus finds Steve Sr yelling at his son once again over quality. Sr continually argues that more furniture should be approved, Stevie stands his ground. After speaking with Esteban, Marcus decides that it is time to address Steve Sr and his attitude toward his son.
Three weeks pass and Marcus returns to the revamped factory to see that things are going far better than before. Business and quality have improved in all aspects. In an attempt to get the company linked to more retailers, Marcus can help Steve Sr and Stevie get a deal that will increase sales significantly.
At the end of the episode, Marcus presents a big mural of the family as a gift to them. He felt that the family aspect of the company and the pride associated with it was the primary factor in their success, and it would continue to be going forward.
Grafton Furniture After The Profit
The family has continued to grow their business and they have an impressive website where you can take a look at their merchandise. Their American Dream line of furniture has generated the company a lot of profit and is the primary source of their current success. Marcus also purchased a new location to work in NYC and he outfitted a lot of it with furniture made by the Grafton family.
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