Local inventers looks to expand beyond futuristic furniture

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s called “Nugget” and it’s portable, lightweight, and a hit with college students and kids alike, but what is it?

A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate set out to make the perfect couch and came up with the idea. Thanks to some creativity and a crowdfunding website, the local business it taking off.

Nugget is a piece of futuristic furniture that its founders, David Baron and Ryan Cocca, call a hybrid between a beanbag chair and a futon.

There are only four pieces – two pillows, a mattress and a base.


Barron, the CEO of Nugget, came up with the idea in 2012 as a biology major at UNC.

“I’d see these dumpsters on campus full of futons and I said, ‘I can make something better,’” he said when he first met with CBS North Carolina back in February. “I was into material science and I said, ‘How can I make just like a couch that is 25 pounds that someone can assemble and disassemble with ease that doesn’t have to be connected with glues and screws?’”

That’s when Barron started experimenting.

The experiment was a hit – the sold 150 of their prototypes in one summer. The next summer they ran a Kickstarter campaign that raised 400 percent of their goal.

Now, almost a year after they first met with WNCN Barron says the company is doing 10x the sales. Nugget is now on Wayfair.com and Barron says they’re seeing sales from the site, but he says the biggest boost has come from social media and moms on Instagram.

“We’ve found that the community of mothers on Instagram has taken to Nugget like no other,” says Barron. “The mom blog community, especially on Instagram love nugget. It allows for their kids to be super creative and they get to tell the stories about that in the captions and allow the colors of the nugget to pop in their homes. It’s a really shareable piece.”

The Nugget is lightweight, made of microfiber and requires no assembly.

“There are no attachments and so friction holds them together…so it sticks when you lean back on a pillow you’re not sliding off, but when you want to pick it straight up, it’s as easy as picking up a two-pound pillow,” said Barron.

So what’s next for Nugget? Barron says, without giving too many details, they want to ‘Nuggetize’ other products.

“We’ve identified a number of stale products in the playroom and the bonus room that haven’t changed in 50 years,” Barron says. “And they can be a lot more fun, a lot more versatile and a lot more useable… and allow for kids and the parents, because there’s a kid in everyone, to be super creative with their furniture.”

The Nugget is selling for $229 right now on Wayfair, as well as on Nugget’s website, where it comes with a 30-day trial period.

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