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Thursday, Jun 8, 2023

Show Casts Light on Couch Maker

Furniture retailing is not the hippest businesses around, but don’t tell that to the three brothers who run Abbyson Living. The Calabasas company sells exclusively online and is well-known for celebrity endorsers such as Howie Mandel, Jenny McCarthy and Melissa Joan Hart who tweet and talk up the company’s products to their fans. Abbyson furniture also has been featured on the sets of shows such as “The Voice” and “Two and a Half Men.” So the natural next step for Yavar, Doddy and Rodd Rafieha? A reality show, of course. The company was featured this month on TNT’s new business-oriented show “Inside Job,” which is produced by All 3 Media America/Studio Lambert USA in Los Angeles, the outfit also behind “Undercover Boss.” Abbyson, which ranked No. 13 on the Business Journal’s list of fastest-growing private companies last year,was selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants. The show provides an innovative way for companies to hire new employees – in Abbyson’s case its first ecommerce brand director. Four contestants vying for the job live and work together for two weeks, and don’t learn until later that one is actually a company insider who will make the selection. “We were nervous at first, but we were excited to be a part of a new hiring experience,” President Yavar Rafieha said. The insider, Brittany Frear, is an executive manager who has worked with the company for about five years. Yavar Rafieha said Frear was able to use her institutional knowledge to select the right candidate. “We found out things that we never would have realized about the candidates,” he said. Ultimately, contestant Zakia Williams was named the winner of the show and the new hire for the furniture company. The episode, which aired March 27, has prompted changes in Abbyson’s hiring process. Traditionally, job candidates interviewed with management and took a computer skills test. Now, they must complete relevant assignments under a deadline and sit for a series of interviews. Yavar Rafieha hopes the show will further raise the company’s profile. Paul Brown’s Gallery 63 Inc. in Sandy Springs, Ga. was featured on Discovery Channel’s “Auction Kings” from 2010 to 2013. The show helped the antiques business double its gross profit. Brown said that while his business had multiple seasons, Abbyson should still see greater recognition. “I would recommend it to anybody who wants to expose their business,” he said. – Stephanie Forshee

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