Stephen Culp, Founder & Chairman
When Stephen founded Smart Furniture, he set out to change an industry. Working in a Stanford professor's garage in the late 90s, Stephen designed the first patented Smart Furniture® and pioneered the now familiar "Design on Demand®" model of personalized, web-based product design. With the help of an incredible team, his goal has been to put design directly in the hands of consumers, and bring custom design to a whole new market -- everyone.
Stephen is a former Peace Corps Volunteer, U.S. Navy Reserve Officer, NCAA Division I athlete, attorney, and believer in entrepreneurism (both for-profit and non-profit). In addition to Smart Furniture (his first love) he is a co-founder of Delegator.com, PriceWaiter, the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, and Causeway, a nonprofit supporting civic entrepreneurs.
He studied at UNC-Chapel Hill, Stanford Law School, the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation, the Université de Paris VII, and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, where he produced a photo and audio journal of the revolutions in Eastern Europe as the Berlin Wall came down. In third grade, dressed as a horse, he presented what was likely the worst book report of all time.
Most importantly, Stephen is a devoted husband and father, and is working with researchers on a unique project to develop novel treatments for cystic fibrosis.
Mark Graves, CEO & President
Meet Mark Graves—a man so mysterious he doesn’t even have a LinkedIn profile picture. A self-professed starched white button down connoisseur, Mark’s career is much more dynamic than his everyday attire would suggest. His extensive background in marketing and management includes experience with car parts, scientific instruments, consulting, and now furniture. He’s worked internationally in England, Germany, and France, and he’s a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan. His impeccably shined wingtips ensure you’ll hear him walking to your office before you see him. A mean forehand on the ping pong table gives him a high-powered edge when competing in intra-office bouts of table tennis supremacy. Nobody in the company works harder than Mark, and we’re proud he’s our CEO.
Luke Golden, VP of Development
Meet Luke, one of the stalwarts of our IT/Development team and all-around nice guy. Hailing from Hot Springs, Arkansas, Luke is a 4th-degree black belt in the art of Tae Kwon Do, and was once the National Board Breaking Champion with a personal best of breaking 15 boards at one time. He's not what you call "great" at catching things, but we don't really give him a hard time about it ... for the most part. Okay, maybe a little bit. Honestly, we give him grief almost every day. Luke loves the relaxed working environment here at Smart Furniture, saying, "What's not unique about working here? I can come to work wearing shorts and flip flops and not get sent home. I have had my dog (a Great Dane, mind you) pull over my desk and not gotten fired. Yet even with all of that, everyone will buckle down and do what needs to be done to not only meet, but exceed, all expectations.
Melanie Silva, VP of Sales
Meet Melanie, a self-proclaimed "dirty hippie" and our extraordinary V.P. of Sales. When she's not on the phone talking through office chair comparisons or writing useful content to help shoppers decide which option to select, she's out and about in downtown Chattanooga teaching people how to be philanthropists and helping cats through her two nonprofit board positions at The UNFoundation and The Alice Fund. She rocks a hot mullet and judges non-recyclers and speeders in the Whole Foods parking lot alike. Despite her preference to drink copious amount of craft beer, due to the need for epic adventures coupled with old age she can no longer handle her alcohol and is typically in bed before 11 P.M. Which works out well because she's a lot nicer in the morning with more sleep. And lots of coffee. Lots. Born and raised in Hawai'i and with her masters degree in the archives, she is actually sweet and semi-smart. Her sharp wit can make you cry laughing - or just plain cry (it's a crap shoot). She brings a gun to a knife fight, will tell you if you look fat, and enjoys self-deprecating humor. Lover of travel to new places (not prison), old men's plaid shirts (the really soft ones) from thrift stores, and The Red Green Show..
Adam Litchfield, Operations Manager
Meet Adam, a rockstar when it comes to customer service, and always willing to lend a hand with absolutely anything. If you have a question about assembling your furniture, Adam will take the time to explain each step over the phone. If that doesn't work, he'll record a video to show you. If he could be there in person to assemble it for you, we're pretty sure he would. He's pretty handy.
Adam brings his mad tennis skills to the ping pong table, but is always a team player when it comes to company goals His reason for joining Smart Furniture? "It seemed like a fun place to work, one that was filled with talented people, that had a genuine business concept."
Favorite Quote: "Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." - Samuel Ullman