D2C Rug Seller Ernesta Expands eCommerce Offering


Direct-to-consumer (D2C) custom rug company Ernesta has opened its eCommerce site to more customers.

The company’s beta program, announced last week, follows an earlier invite-only phase, said Ernesta CEO John Foley, who founded the business with two of his former Peloton colleagues, Hisao Kushi and Yony Feng.

“The success of this program confirmed that consumers are eager for more elevated rug designs, and they truly value the impact of a custom-sized, well-tailored rug,” Foley said in a news release. “We’re excited to help consumers and designers transform any room with a stylish foundation for which they will be proud.”

While the company’s online store was initially open to 3,700 ZIP codes in Chicago, Dallas, Miami and New York, the beta program expanded its reach to 30,000 ZIP codes.

Customers can shop a “curated collection of rugs” designed to be custom sized to their rooms. The beta program lets them choose up to five samples to get an idea of how the rugs’ materials and textures look and feel in their home before making a purchase.

The beta launch follows last year’s news that Ernesta had raised $25 million in a Series A funding round. Foley said at the time that he saw a “white space in the market” when he thought about how confusing rug shopping could be.

“With Ernesta, our goal is to bring high-quality, custom rugs to a wide audience through a community-driven, curated and personal buying experience,” he said.

And while that buying experience is happening online for Ernesta, most retail sales in the U.S. still occur in physical stores, forcing D2C brands to rethink their online dominant strategy, as PYMNTS wrote earlier this month.

That report looked at the efforts of brands like Warby Parker and Hims and Hers Health to expand into the brick-and-mortar retail space.

“Retailers are seeking to enhance their interactive displays to entice more consumers, while brands are striving to establish an in-store presence to boost sales and attract fresh customers,” PYMNTS wrote. “These customers prefer getting products immediately after purchase, bypassing shipping wait times and surging shipping prices and returns.”

On the flip side, Adams Golf announced earlier this month it had moved fully online to become “a digitally native leader in direct-to-consumer golf equipment.”

The company said its relaunch and shift to D2C sales was driven by the rise of new and returning golfers who have boosted the number of rounds played around the country by 14% since 2020 and who have a different vision of the game than traditional golfers.

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