HOUSTON – Following his five year career as an NFL linebacker with teams including the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears, Darryl Sharpton found a new calling with the help of his wife Jessica. Together the two have teamed up to tackle the furniture industry by building the national brands Edloe Finch and Albany Park right here in Houston.
“I started selling a lot of furniture in college, and my furniture dreams kind of got derailed from this other NFL thing I was doing for like five years,” said Darryl. “After I was done playing football, Jessica was like, ‘Hey! Why don’t you just continue doing furniture,’ so Albany Park and Edloe Finch came to life.”
Not only did Darryl’s dream become a reality, it also flourished. After a pandemic pivot in which the Sharptons changed their business plan to be a direct-to-consumer model, the brands more than quadrupled their sales, going from $3.9 million in revenue in 2019 to nearly $20 million in 2020. Edloe Finch offers high end furniture pieces for the whole home, while Albany Park focuses solely on sofas.
“I personally designed and engineered the pieces myself, and Jessica makes sure that all the pieces get there in pristine condition, on time,” said Darryl.
The dynamic husband and wife duo are also a business partner match made in heaven, finding a good balance between their personal strengths to help their business thrive. As a Rice University graduate with a background in business, Jessica enjoys taking care of operations.
“He loves marketing, product design and things like that, where as I’m more on the business side of it making sure the finances and logistics side is taken care of,” said Jessica.
The two do sometimes find it challenging to find a work-life balance with their three young children. Though, they say their kids have been very helpful in providing product testing for the furniture. Luckily, they find joy in the work they’re doing together, which is a true mark of success.
“Most date nights are like company retreats,” said Darryl. “But we love it, so we just go with what feels right.”