Austin Monthly wrote:Austin’s Couch Potatoes Gives the Formerly Incarcerated A Seat at the TableClick Here for Full Story
At his local furniture company, Brian Morgan is building bridges and giving second chances to those that need it.
BY David Leffler
As a freshman at Liberty University in 2003, Brian Morgan was desperate to scrape together enough money to pay for his religious coursework. But rather than working at the nearby Cracker Barrel, the preacher-in-training decided to try his luck in online retail instead. Within a year, Morgan’s eBay account (which he ran alongside his best friend, Dan Anthony) had gone platinum, a feat he attributes to pedaling negligees. “I actually started out selling women’s lingerie—not what you’d expect from a preacher,” he laughs. “By the time we left college, we’d sold more than 900,000 items on eBay.”
Following a three-year stint in New York, where he opened a church and worked with people experiencing homelessness, Morgan moved back to his native Austin in 2010 and started a secondhand furniture business with his brother, Travis. The venture didn’t start off as smoothly as his prior internet company: After renting a Leander warehouse without running water or electricity, the pair unpacked their first 18-wheeler of used goods and discovered that every couch they’d purchased was severely damaged. To save costs, they embraced a spartan lifestyle, sleeping on refurbished sofas in their austere workspace, showering at 24 Hour Fitness, and relying on a nearby coffee shop’s complimentary Wi-Fi. Eventually, after honing their refinishing skills with the help of YouTube tutorials and amassing new inventory through Craigslist, they brought in a third business partner (the aftorementioned Anthony) and settled on a name to match their company’s unorthodox beginnings: Austin’s Couch Potatoes.