Co-Founder and CPO of Burrow, Kabeer Chopra explains how an idea sprouted in business school turned into the new way to buy furniture and why the people involved are so important.
Explain how the idea came about for Burrow and how you managed to start a company while still in school.
My co-founder, Stephen, and I founded Burrow out of personal frustration while at business school. One of us bought a cheap sofa that took forever to put together, and the other bought an expensive sofa that took 12 weeks to ship. We had totally different experiences but both realized there had to be a better way to buy furniture. We developed the idea in our entrepreneurship class and started enlisting the help of other MBA students to help us iterate. Soon after, we started working with angel investors and venture capitalists and eventually got accepted into Y Combinator. Luckily, Wharton Business School was great enough to let us pursue Burrow as an independent study project which counted towards graduation. And a few years later, the rest is history.
If you could do anything differently at the early stages of Burrow, would you?
People are the secret sauce behind any business. I wouldn't change much about the early stages, because we learned a ton, but we could have focused more on a better hiring process. Great talent is invaluable. Employees make the brand what it is, and bring knowledge and a variety of skillsets to the table. Attracting and retaining employees has definitely become a priority.
How has your partnership strengthened?
As Burrow has evolved, Stephen and I have fallen into roles that correspond with our strengths. Stephen is more of a business, analytical mind whereas my expertise lies in digital and physical product. The natural progression has allowed us to become experts in our own domains, and we're comfortable challenging one another, which produces iteration and innovation.
How does sleep affect your work life and productivity?
I need sleep to be productive at work. Sleeping is when I de-stress, and getting a good nights sleep is the difference between a good and bad work week. It's also the most time I get to spend with my wife during the day. I shoot for 7 hours a night.
Do you have any tips that help you sleep well?
Unplug from screen time at least an hour before bed. I try to keep a schedule as much as I can, which means going to sleep and waking up at the same time, whether it's a weekday or the weekend. For me, a good workout in the morning helps tire me out. And a nighttime routine - wash face, toner, face recovery serum - helps me unwind from the day.
What does the future of Burrow look like?
We have a lot planned. Burrow will be the obvious answer to furnishing your entire home.
What Brooklinen product can you not live without?