About two years ago in Telford, England, I gave a keynote speech at the National Bedding Federation’s gala awards dinner. A guy by the name of Simon Spinks was sitting in the audience and he approached me later to tell me he appreciated what I had to say. Have you had that experience when you meet someone and immediately realize that there is something really great about the person you are talking to? That is what happened with Simon and I, and today, that relationship is turning into something big. Big for my family, big for our retail partners that want more market share, and big for consumers out there that value their quality of life enough to invest in a great mattress.
My brother Jeff and I have joined forces with the Ellman brothers to bring the Spink and Edgar story that Simon built to the United States. If people really do make the difference in business today then I think we have a stacked team. First off my brother, who started The Mattress Firm (MF) Atlanta with Steve Stagner, Darin Lewin and several other friends from our college days. He has been in retail for over 20 years and has served as President of MF Atlanta and VP of Store Operations at MF Corporate. He bought another retail business after leaving MF and grew that over several years and recently sold it to be my partner and the Chief Operating Officer of our LLC, SIBOSE, which stands for “Sleep is better on a Spink and Edgar”. The Ellman brothers come from three generations of bed makers. Their father Leon Ellman is a legend in the business, and along with his sons Neil and Lance, they grew International Bedding Company, (IBC) into a top 10 bedding producer. When my brother Jeff and I sat down with the Ellman’s in Florida, we knew within a few minutes that we were with the right people.
Simon and his team at Harrison Spinks have done an incredible job of building what I think is hands down the most interesting story in the bedding business. (See that for yourself at Spinkandedgarusa.com) Anyone can say that they use high quality materials in their beds but only Spink and Edgar can say that they own the farm that grows them. Last week I talked about how important “story” is when it comes to building value in the products you sell. This story is unique, compelling, romantic, and sits alone in many ways. Now the Bed Brothers as I am calling the Quinn/Ellman connection, (think blood brothers, get it?) will use our combined skill sets to bring the Spink and Edgar heritage and story to retailers here in the U.S.
We know we have a lot to do to earn the right with retailers out there, but at the end of the day they are in the same business we are all in which is to sell products and turn a profit. Here is what I know. Some people are just fine doing the same things and telling the same stories. The good news here is that budgeting for most companies working in that comfort zone is easier since all you have to do is use industry projections as your guard rails. We hope to attract the attention of retailers that look at themselves as leaders in the market and are constantly looking for a bigger better way to sell profitable categories and products within those categories. We think our innovative approach from the farm to the bedroom will give retailers the story that will give them what they need.
We are in Vegas and we are fired up to see our industry friends. On behalf of the Bed Brothers I want to thank everyone for the support and the positive feedback. The reception to what we are doing has been outstanding and we are grateful.