How This Mama-to-Be CEO Launched the Custom Furniture Startup of Her Dreams
Photos: Maiden Home
When newlywed Nidhi Kapur couldn't find affordable and fashionable furniture for her new NYC abode, she did what anyone working in the startup world would do: create a company to solve her problem. Kapur decided to fill a void in the market by launching Maiden Home, a new direct-to-consumer brand of custom furniture that time-pressed, interior design-minded mamas will love.
"I found myself searching for a furniture brand that ‘got’ me — one delivering high-quality products with an honest message, modern convenience, and great value. I couldn’t find it, so I decided to build it — and that’s how Maiden Home first came to be," she tells us. "From the very beginning, we were on a mission to build a better way in furniture, to rethink the way these products have always been bought and sold and create a better customer experience."
The online company simplifies the process of personalizing high-quality seating, allowing shoppers to choose their own fabrics, fit, and size. Since Maiden Home ditches the typical retail model and the goods are made by skilled craftspeople in America, customers will get their stylish pieces directly to their front door faster than through traditional custom furniture retailers. Pricing starts at $950 for chairs and $1,850 for sofas, and every order includes free white glove delivery.
We sat down with Kapur to learn more about what she's learned from her career journey so far, her favorite beauty and fashion maternity products, her best advice for budding female entrepreneurs, and more. Read on below, then shop Maiden Home's stylish seating online here.
What has been your career journey thus far?
I found my way to entrepreneurship pretty organically, starting my career at very large companies and then following my heart into the startup world. My first job was a consultant at McKinsey & Co, where I worked on teams advising Fortune 500 companies on important strategic issues. It was a crash course in the corporate world right out of college, and really helped me build a great foundation in business out of the gate.
From there, I worked in a similar business strategy role at Google in California. [It] was and still is one of the most inspiring companies in the world — with an amazing talent pool and collaborative, innovative culture. I loved my experience there, but the excitement of the startup world drew me to New York to work at Birchbox, then an emerging concept in beauty retail.
I worked for three years as the head of [Birchbox's] Business Development, and worked on the company’s most exciting marketing partnerships with brands like JetBlue, Madewell, and the Gap. [The company] shaped my career aspirations more than any other time in my life — nurtured by an ambitious and creative culture, I really came into my own. Being a part of that entrepreneurial journey gave me the confidence to do it on my own, this time in a space I have always personally loved, interiors and home.
What inspired you to launch your brand?
Maiden Home was inspired by my own personal experience shopping for furniture — and all the frustration that came with! It began three years ago, when I was newly married and settling into my first home in NYC. My husband and I were ready to design our first “real” home, and fill it with pieces we’d love living with for years. Quality was more important to us than ever before, but we also wanted pieces that reflected our personal style.
We hit the market and were immediately disappointed by the quality of furniture offered by big box brands, particularly for the price. Designs were generic; it seemed like everyone had the same sofa [and] materials felt cheap. And when I asked, even salespeople couldn’t tell me where or how the products were made. I vented to friends about spending my weekends in showrooms or trying to navigate never-ending options online.
How has your business evolved since the idea first sparked?
The core business model for Maiden Home has stayed true to the original vision — it’s really very simple, we’re offering a higher quality, better designed product at a lower price. Now that we’re live, we’re constantly tweaking our offering to offer even more in the areas that matter most to customers. For example, our lead times are the fastest in the industry, and this is already one of our most powerful differentiators but we know we can do even better — we are already working on ways to cut our delivery times and offer customers an even better experience.
What is your current favorite Maiden Home piece, and what is your bestseller?
My forever favorite is the Carmine sofa ($2,500 and up) — this piece was such a labor of love to perfect, from the silhouette and comfort to all the pretty details, and I am so proud of the result. It’s a fresh take on a classic style, a really elegant look that works in a variety of settings.
Our current best-seller, however, is our Sullivan sofa ($1,975 and up) . It was really designed for casual comfort with its extra-deep seat, high shelter arms, and fluffy down-filled cushions. While big on comfort for the whole family, it also has a graceful profile — so it’s become a go-to for stylish moms who don’t want to trade off aesthetics and comfort.
What is a typical workday like for you, from the moment you wake up?
No two days are the same — [that's] what I love most about my job. I might start my day in our NYC showroom, helping customers explore our collection and choose the perfect piece for their homes. Though most of our experience lives online, I love when I have a chance to see customers in real life and understand their purchase process. Spending lots of time with customers early in Maiden Home’s lifecycle has really helped us refine our offering to better suit their needs.
The other place you’ll find me is our team office in Soho — where we might be reviewing our customer operations, brainstorming marketing campaigns or planning for upcoming product introductions. My goal is to create a really collaborative culture for us from day one, where every team member feels they have a voice, even outside of their day-to-day workflow. We all sit together in a communal desk space, and spend a lot of time talking out issues and problem-solving live. I love the energy.
What are your favorite organizational tools or apps that help you balance life?
This is not an ‘organizational’ tool but important one for balance: I absolutely love our new Peloton bike and I think it’s an amazing product for busy moms! Being able to squeeze in a quick workout without leaving home is such a win — and the social aspect of the group rides makes it so fun and energizing. Exercise has always been my go-to to keep life in balance and I know I’ll appreciate the Peloton even more when I become a busy new mom!
What are your current favorite maternity products for beauty and style?
For beauty, I’ve made a modest shift towards natural beauty products and discovered Herbivore early in my pregnancy. My skin has been really dry since I got pregnant, so I’ve been soaking in their Lapis Facial oil, hydrating face mist and Jasmine body oil. Every product feels light and clean but moisturizes wonderfully!
As far as style, I am all about stylish sneaks right now — perfect for running around the city with my extra load (and feet that have suddenly grown a size!) I love these from M. Gemi, simple and classic but the leather elevates the style. They’re currently sold out but hopefully will be back soon!
Are there any working mothers in your industry that you look up to?
Katia Beauchamp, CEO of Birchbox, is a super mama of two (going on three!) and has been an incredible mentor to me over the last five years. While I was working for her at Birchbox, Katia had adorable twin boys and set a great example for all of us, prioritizing family while continuing to serve as an inspirational leader at the company.
The amount of Katia could dedicate to work naturally shifted after she became a mother — but she fully embraced her new priorities and most importantly, never apologized for it. I think Katia was keenly aware that in any organization, work-life balance flows from the top so made it a point to set a good example — a great learning lesson for me as I think about the next phase of my life as a first-time mother and start-up leader.
What are your most looking forward to about being a mother?
I am so excited to raise my son in New York City, and watch him experience all the amazing things the city has to offer for the first time. I grew up in a small suburb in California , and while I had a wonderful childhood I think my son is going to grow up with a really diverse set of experiences and broader world view. I can’t wait to see the city for the first time again through his eyes, and watch him develop his own set of passions and interests from what he sees in the world around him.
Best advice for budding female entrepreneurs?
First off: just start! Taking the leap into entrepreneurship can be daunting, but there are always baby steps to get your started and you just have to get the ball rolling. Don’t be scared to put an idea out there to friends and family, even if it’s not fully formed — gathering market feedback will help you evolve your idea and build the confidence you need to jump in with both feet.
Second: there is no ‘perfect time’ to start a company. If you have an idea you’re excited about, but are waiting for life to just calm down a bit, you may never get your chance! When inspiration strikes and you feel ready to get after it, don’t worry if the timing is right. With personal passion and the support of your friends and family, you can really do anything.