First Look: Yardbird Furniture Debuts its St. Louis Park Showroom
text & photos by Jahna Peloquin
If you’ve ever shopped for outdoor furniture, you know first-hand how expensive and inconvenient the process can be. One Minnesota business is seeking to change that. Yardbird Furniture specializes in high-quality outdoor furniture at an affordable price, selling its own designs out of its new St. Louis Park showroom. Yardbird was founded by Bob and Jay Dillon, a father-son team that blends Bob’s decades of years of experience as a manufacturer’s rep—for his company, the Dillon Group—to mass U.S. retailers and importer of high-end European home goods with Jay’s background in product development and sourcing. Eight years ago, Bob began to source outdoor furniture, and realized he stumbled upon an untapped market. Last fall, the duo decided to try their hand at designing their own outdoor furniture via Craigslist, which they promptly sold out.
“We started to realize that everybody really liked the Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware look,” says Jay. “But for five grand, it wasn't that realistic for most buyers.”
Because the company focuses on selling direct to custom, both online and through its showroom, it’s able to keep prices low, passing along the savings to the consumer. Jay says Yardbird’s pieces are better quality than their Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware counterparts, but ranging at $1,299 to $2,999 for a set, about half their price.
“The furniture industry artificially marks up their goods, and then offers sales constantly,” says Bob. “Our everyday low prices are still roughly half of what our competitors’ sale prices are.”
Thanks to its showroom, Yardbird Furniture is as easy to shop as it is affordable and high-quality. Showroom visitors are encouraged to bring their floor plans in to find the right set for their patio, and shop a selection of indoor-outdoor rugs and patio accessories. The sectional furniture is all modular, so customers can create the shape they need. And unlike most outdoor furniture which takes three to six weeks for delivery, customers can receive their set the same or next day of purchase.
Available in eight different collections—each named after a neighborhood in Minneapolis—each piece of Yardbird Furniture features cushions covered with Sunbrella® fabric (the standard-bearer of high-end furniture textiles) or olefin, which are both mildew- and stain-resistant upholstery.
Best of all, Yardbird Furniture is made from handwoven resin wicker—the most popular option for high-end outdoor furniture due to its durability—and either rust-resistant steel or aluminum frames. “It’s built to withstand a Minnesota winter,” says Jay.
Yardbird debuts its showroom with special promotional pricing both this weekend, Friday, April 7 to Sunday, April 9, and next weekend, April 14 to 16.
Yardbird Furniture: 6501 Cambridge St., St Louis Park, 612-309-7465, yardbirdfurniture.com