Mod Mom Furniture Expansion Team

Mod Mom is growing and I'm very proud to introduce you to our team that is making it happen!  I'm a big believer that things happen for a reason and our development staff is proof of that.  Below, you'll find an introductory blurb about each team member followed by their bio. 

Back in August of 2010 (after getting the news that I was a finalist for Shark Tank), I reached out on Linked In to a furniture designer I didn't know in Santa Barbara who is the VP of the American Society of Furniture Designers. Knowing virtually nothing about manufacturing outside of my garage, I asked her if she could give me some advice on figuring out where I might be able to manufacture my products and what that looked like from a cost perspective.  Much to my surprise, Katie called me almost immediately.  I still remember where I was when I heard her message because I was so shocked she called to help. I have reached out before to many design professionals but either haven't gotten no response or got the standard, "good luck but I don't see how that's possible."  From that first call,  Katie has been and continues to be an integral part of the growth of Mod Mom Furniture.  It was Katie who recognized that Amish manufacturing would be a perfect fit and she introduced me to L&J Woodworking.

- Business Development, Design, Sourcing

As the founder of Katie Hatch Design, a Division of Zumus Inc., Hatch’s extensive educational and professional experience facilitates her ability to continually develop new and innovative approaches in designing traditional, transitional, and contemporary furniture and home furnishings. 

Hatch’s designs have been sold in numerous retailers including independent stores, mass merchants, specialty stores, big box stores, and club stores.  In addition, Hatch provides consulting services to the home furnishing industry including trending predictions, market analysis and international outsourcing, delivering an aesthetic blend of economic efficiency.  http://www.katie-hatch.com/

I've known Lauren Tucker since the days of my faux Dorothy Hamil haircut in elementary school.  We've gone from spinning on the floor together as kids to developing distribution models for selling modern furniture.  And we still have the same belief in each other that we did when we were ten.  Lauren is a sought after business development professional who has put her whole heart into helping grow Mod Mom Furniture internationally as well as stateside. 

LAUREN TUCKER - Global Trade, Distribution, Logistics

Tucker has more than 15 years excellence in global business development and management.   As the managing director of RedigoGlobal, with dual office sites in the UK and United States, her company has yielded growth revenues in excess of $100 million, spanning more than 30 countries throughout Europe and the Middle East. In addition, Tucker has effectively managed the service and delivery of high visibility, mission critical projects for U.S. multinational companies such as Intel, Cisco, MBNA, Adobe, and DHL.

Tucker received her MBA from is Brunel University in Uxbridge, England, MBA, with an educational focus on entrepreneurship and management for the future.  She is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Julie Sunich came into my life when I lived in Charlotte, North Carolina.  She knew me back when I was teaching executives how to use Microsoft Word (one of my many careers.)  We lost touch for about twelve years but found each other again through Facebook.  I'm so fortunate to have such an amazingly talented woman handling the PR side of Mod Mom. 

JULIE MARTIN SUNICHPublic Relations/Communications Strategy

Sunich has over 30 years marketing communications management experience with several Fortune 500 firms including:  Apple Computer, Citicorp, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and the New York Times Magazine Group, as well as extensive account management background in the advertising and public relations industry.  Currently, Sunich is the principal owner of Full Circle Communications, working as a communications consultant and writer, and as a past professional resource for the Florida Virtual School’s journalism department.  Sunich has received recognition for her fiction writing from Western Michigan University and has been awarded several ADDY awards from by the American Advertising Federation. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism.

Lastly, there are few words to describe how thankful I am for my father's influence in my life and continued support and guidance with regards to Mod Mom Furniture.  My dad, Barry Parsons, is officially the VP of East Coast.  In addition to handling manufacturing details and sales and marketing functions, he puts his woodworking skills to use on occasion. In August of 2011,  he built the Mod Mom trade show booth by hand in his garage.

  As an experienced finish carpenter, retired educator, sales and marketing executive, football coach and athletic director in Ohio, Parsons has a keen eye for performance and perfection.  As the director of quality control for Mod Mom Furniture’s manufacturing operations in Ohio, Parsons monitors all production procedures and plays an integral role in all national and international sales and marketing events.


Updated Retailer List

Mod Mom Furniture retailer, JellyBean in Hong Kong, Japan

We are in the process of updating the retailer list on the website but wanted to post it here as well.  If you're a retailer and we've mistakenly left you off the list, please let me know and I'll get that fixed immediately!

Brick and Mortar


Soko Distribution
www.sokodistribution.com * Stay tuned for details on lots of new Canadian retailers!


Jelly Bean
Shop A 138 Queens Road East
(Corner of Ship Street)
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
2527 8600

United States


Little Artika
Biltmore Fashion Park Store:
2502 E Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016


Aldea Ninos
1017 Valencia Street
(between 21st and 22nd)
San Francisco, CA 94110

1454 Lincoln Blvd@Broadway 90401
Santa Monica, CA
Eat Your Peas and Carrots
2538 east main street
Ventura, California 93003
Juvenile Shop
13356 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 986-6214
FAX (818) 986-8314

SPROUT San Francisco
1828 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 359-9205

New York

Sprout NYC
1375 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10075
(212) 861-0670


10245 Main St Suite 103
Bellevue, WA 98004
ph: 425-502-7182
fax: 425-270-4335



United States



The Las Vegas Market - "Influential Women in the Home and Design Industry"

After two "rant-y" posts, I give you one that's not!  If you're heading to Vegas for the massive Market for the home furnishings/design industry, let me know!  I'd love to see you!

I'm really excited to have been asked to be on a panel called "Influential Women in the Home & Design Industry" on Monday, January 30, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m at the World Market Center LasVegas, Building B, 16th Floor.  The event is being put on by the Market and WithIt - Women's Leadership Development Network.

Here are the details below...

Social media, sustainability, community-building blogs and mid-stream career changes have altered the fortunes of many home furnishings professionals and brands. WithIt has invited four home industry leaders to share their successes in what promises to be an informative and spirited discussion.

Interior designer and sustainability expert Lori Dennis; celebrity interior designer and TV host Kelli Ellis; Mod Mom Furniture owner and product designer Kiersten Hathcock; and social marketing strategist Julia Rosien will engage in a timely and topical discussion, and ultimately empower attendees to become leaders in their companies.

RSVP kassie@kassiesmithlifestylegroup.com

Artist's Rights

As some of you know, I recently dealt with copyright infringement.  To the company (and owners) credit, he very kindly admitted to copying and said he wanted to do the right thing so he's stopped marketing his products.

Admittedly, when I first started out in 2007 and was figuring out if I could indeed build furniture, I made things that looked too similar to others on the market.  And I got my hand slapped and was terribly embarrassed.  I was naive to think that, like the traditional furniture market, you can build a rocker that looks like every other rocker and it's OK.  In the modern furniture world, you can't build a piece that looks like someone else's work in the least or you're ripping them off.  In my case, I built two pieces that looked too similar to other work on the market and upon realizing I messed up, took them down immediately and moved on to creating my own distinct designs like the Owyn Toy Box. I wasn't maliciously trying to rip anyone off, I was just trying to find my footing and to see if I could indeed run a furniture business from home.  I was a naive newbie and I'm not proud of that but I did immediately realize the error of my ways.  I am, after all, the woman who can't in good conscience leave the grocery cart by the car and not put it back in the cart corral. 

I'm no longer the naive newbie and now, as Mod Mom has grown and my designs have been shown on national TV,  I'm dealing with copyright infringement cases like the one I mentioned in the first paragraph.  Faith in mankind was restored after settling that case only to have a second case come to my attention and this time, I feel very disheartened because I don't believe they see anything wrong with what they're doing.  Someone created an exact copy of one of my designs back in 2011 and tried to pass it off as their own.  At that time, I sent a cease and desist.  The exact copy went away but other designs that are clearly inspired by (dimensions, function, materials, veneer, artwork concept, market segment similarities) are now up for sale.  The way I found out about it was through an international retailer who saw some of the designs and sent me an email that said, "What's wrong with these people?"  Indeed, a good question.

I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to everyone I meet.  I'm learning to trust my intuition more but I am definitely a glass half full kinda person so it's hard for me to find fault sometimes where obvious fault lies.  I'll make excuses or I'll think, "Oh, they're going through a rough time and it won't happen again. Or like I was when I started, they are just naive to the laws of the design world.  Surely, when they find out they've done wrong, they'll fix it.  They'll do the right thing." In this latest case, I find I'm asking myself the same question my retailer did, "What's wrong with them?"  Why don't they see that outright copying someone's protected artwork and then proceeding to create something so similar that it causes confusion in the marketplace is just not OK?"  It's not like I'm making nondescript pieces. Sure, I'd expect this from large manufacturers overseas but not from small shops in North America.

I know I'm not the first to deal with this type of thing and I won't be the last.  But one thing is for sure, there is just no excuse for continued copyright infringement. It's just not OK.


So Long, Etsy

Welcome to 2012!  After some much needed and appreciated time off, I'm back at it!  I wanted to let you all know about a few changes happening....


I sadly ditched my Etsy store.  Seriously, I really did.  Here's how it went down.  I started my business on Etsy in 2007 after a my friend Denise told me about it.  I think it's a fantastic concept and even after I created my own webstore on my website, I kept my Etsy store open because I wanted to support the site.  Sure, I have to pay Etsy when an order comes through but again, they helped me build Mod Mom Furniture so why not keep it open.  Over the years, my Etsy sales have waned due to MMF being carried on other web stores, in brick and mortars, and on my website. But orders still come in (or did) on my Etsy store before I received this letter...


This is XXXXX from Etsy's Marketplace Integrity Team. We're glad to see your shop on Etsy!

We're writing to ensure all of your listings meet our selling guidelines. Please answer the following questions, and feel free to include any other information you'd like.

Please send your response in the next two days so that we can update your account. If you need more time, please let us know. If we do not receive any response from you in two days, we may have to deactivate your shop until we hear from you.

1. First, how many people are involved in your shop, and what role does each person play? This includes making things, creating listings, running the shop and shipping items.

2. Where are you located? From where are your items shipped?

3. Could you tell us how your products are made? Please include information about each type of item you sell in your shop.

4. Do you have any other Etsy accounts? If so, what are they?

In addition to this information, we require that you send photos of the step-by-step creation process of your items so that we can clearly see how these items are made. Please include pictures of your raw materials and work space.

If there are any concerns, we may ask you to send more information or make changes in the shop. In some cases, we do remove listings that clearly do not meet Etsy's criteria. We're always happy to work with you to get things in order.

Here is a link to our policies in the DOs and DON'Ts of Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/policy/dosdonts

Let us know if you have any questions. We're looking forward to your response!


Etsy Marketplace Integrity


Now, please know I'm all for Etsy making sure their goods are handmade but frankly, this letter irked me.  Yes, I am no longer building every piece myself.  Yes, I was up front and honest about that in my descriptions about partnering with an Amish manufacturer who is making everything by hand in Ohio.  Yes, I do think Etsy should crack down on mass manufactured, big business products that try to pass themselves off as handmade.  But I'm not one of those said companies.  From the letter above, you'd think I was, that's for sure.  You'd even think that someone at Etsy would have maybe, oh, I don't know, CLICKED A BUTTON that shows how much MMF merchandise has been sold on Etsy since 2007.  It's more than $30,000!!  Or how many press listings (28,700) they can Google by typing "Mod Mom Furniture + Etsy."  By no means am I expecting them to know who Mod Mom Furniture is, but I was disappointed that zero due diligence was done before shooting a message like that out to a seller who's been a loyal, paying seller since 2007.

Had the letter had read, "Hi Mod Mom Furniture!  Thanks for being a seller with us since 2007.  We noticed that production has changed from your garage to an outside manufacturer and we'd love to know more about that change," the outcome would have likely been different.  I decided to shut down my store on Etsy because frankly I don't have time to go through all of the steps required in the letter...oh, and my Amish manufacturer can't use cameras because, you know, they're Amish so capturing the process on film is not going to happen unless I fly myself there.  Overall, I'm just disappointed because I think Etsy does a fantastic job of promoting handmade goods.  But seller beware.  If you grow to the point of expansion, even if your goods are handmade, you'll probably get one of those handy dandy letters. 

UPDATE:  I forgot to mention I did write back letting them know I was closing my shop and why but never received a response.

Thanks to all of you who have purchased via Etsy!  I've included the Etsy feedback I received over the years below....