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Santa Monica is at the center of a tech revolution. Hundreds of startups are based in the city, part of the Westside of L.A. County that has been dubbed “Silicon Beach.”

Our Tech Tuesday feature will introduce you to some of the cutting-edge tech startups cropping up in our back yard.

This week, we chatted with Georgie Thomas, L.A.-area general manager for Move Loot, a startup trying to change the way people buy and sell used furniture. While Move Loot has a presence in cities throughout the country, its L.A. operation is based in Santa Monica.

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We decided to have our L.A. office in Santa Monica because of the burgeoning tech scene in this area. We constantly find ourselves meeting other interesting startups tackling large real-world problems, and it’s an amazing feeling to be a part of such a fast-growing community.
[/pullquote]What does your company do?

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Move Loot is the first curated, full-service online marketplace for buying and selling previously owned furniture and decor. Unlike peer-to-peer services or classified ads, Move Loot takes the burden off sellers by picking up their goods and selling them on their behalf. Our service includes professional photography, storage and next-day delivery to the buyer. We aim to not only make buying high-quality, stylish used goods easier, but also to reduce the amount of furniture that goes into U.S. landfills — currently, 10.8 million tons annually.

How did you come up with the idea?

Move Loot was started two years ago when four friends came together in San Francisco to come up with a better way to buy and sell used furniture. All of the four founders had lived elsewhere and moved to San Francisco recently. Each had gone through similar struggles in trying to sell their furniture from the respective cities they left as well as buy used furniture once they got to San Francisco. The company was started to solve the problems typically faced while buying and selling used furniture, including price transparency, quality of items, and logistics regarding pick-up and delivery. (Note: I am not a founder but I was hired in May 2015 to launch and run the L.A. market as its General Manager)

Why did your company locate to Santa Monica?[pullquote align=right]
The city of Santa Monica could continue to promote inclusiveness and awareness for startups in the area. They already do a great job of this, however it would be great to expand the ability of new startups to get out in front of the community and interact with Santa Monica citizens.
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We decided to have our L.A. office in Santa Monica because of the burgeoning tech scene in this area. We constantly find ourselves meeting other interesting startups tackling large real-world problems, and it’s an amazing feeling to be a part of such a fast-growing community. Relatedly, Santa Monica also lends itself to being the host of many startup-focused events. Just this past Saturday, Move Loot was one of several startups that exhibited at the Proof of Concept Innovation fair that took place on the Santa Monica Promenade.

What’s the biggest challenge your company is facing?

The biggest challenge the company faces in L.A. is raising brand awareness about our company. Anyone we meet always has the same response when they hear about the company: “Why didn’t this exist 6 months ago when I was moving?” Everyone really appreciates the issue we are trying to solve, so it’s a matter of making sure people know we exist!

What could the city of Santa Monica do to help your company thrive?

The city of Santa Monica could continue to promote inclusiveness and awareness for startups in the area. They already do a great job of this, however it would be great to expand the ability of new startups to get out in front of the community and interact with Santa Monica citizens.

Where do you see your company in a year?

A year from now, I hope that Move Loot has become a household name in the Santa Monica and greater L.A. community.  We want to be the first place you go online when you are thinking about either buying or selling furniture. We are currently making a big push to get the word out among students, and my hope is that establishing ourselves at places like UCLA and USC will lead to recurring customers in the coming year.