46: The Little Things Are a Big Deal to The Bed Store

Written by Rob Stott

December 1, 2020

How could something as simple as leaving a mint on customers’ newly-delivered mattresses play such a huge role at Knoxville, TN-based The Bed Store? Owner and CEO Roger Cunningham explains how doing “the little things” is at the heart of everything The Bed Store stands for.

Rob Stott:  All right. We are back on the Independent Thinking podcast and excited to be joined right now by a man who referred to me… You’ve really jumped at this opportunity Roger. I almost feel like you were… Have you been a podcast listener and you were like, “Oh man, he finally called me and I’m ready to do this.” Is that what…

Roger Cunningham: Yeah, when’s my chance?

Rob Stott: Is that what happened? But Roger Cunningham, CEO and owner of The Bed Store down in Knoxville, Tennessee, is that right? Is that where I got you from?

Roger Cunningham: That’s right. Beautiful Knoxville, always with an adjective. Beautiful Knoxville, Tennessee.

Rob Stott: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, I’m in a cloudy right now, Philadelphia. So a little bit different part of the country, but Knoxville is an area I have not been to. I’ve been to Nashville, Tennessee, not Knoxville. So a little different.

Roger Cunningham: Jump in the car with Dave sometime and come on.

Rob Stott: After, once we get through this whole pandemic thing, that’ll certainly be on the list of things to do. But no Roger, I appreciate you joining us and excited to chat a little bit about The Bed Store today.

Roger Cunningham: Well, thank you.

Rob Stott: Yeah. Well let’s start right there. Tell us about The Bed Store and we’ll get to the history of how you got there a little bit, but when someone walks into The Bed Store today, I know you have a couple locations spread throughout the Knoxville area, but what’s The Bed Store like when you walk in?

Roger Cunningham: Well, we have a phrase here. It’s, ‘We’re as simple as our name.’ B-E-D, even the owner can spell it. So we just keep everything really simple. One of our slogans is, ‘Three beds.’ So we get everything down to three beds, which is a tough fit formulation, no bears. So it’s the old Goldilocks story.

Rob Stott: No, that’s awesome. And I mean, you guys run the gamut. I was digging through your website as far as product, you’ve got everything you’d expect to find at a mattress store, but I know you guys are King of the mountain down there in Knoxville. Is that right?

Roger Cunningham: Yeah. My dad always say said, “Find a pond you can be the big fish in.” And so this is one we picked out. And we struggled to be the big fish and not be eaten for years.

Rob Stott: Yeah. Yeah, no. And we’ll certainly get into a little bit of that. I know you guys are doing a lot of innovative things, but tell us how did you come into The Bed Store? What’s your retail background and what led you to now being CEO and owner of The Bed Store?

Roger Cunningham: My entry into this profession was waterbeds out of South Florida up against the mighty Keith and Kevin Koenig. Waterbed City at the time, but we were in West Palm Beach and they were down in the Fort Lauderdale Pompano area, and so I had some really good people to learn from. And so I went to school to be a Baptist minister. I need to start there.

Rob Stott: Oh wow.

Roger Cunningham: Yeah. A part-time job in West Palm Beach after that, just to get my feet up underneath me, figure what I wanted to do for a 15 hours a week job for a water bed and head shop. How about that?

Rob Stott: Wow.

Roger Cunningham: That goes back before your time.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Roger Cunningham: But anyway, just fell in love with the bedding industry and then just made the transition over. We opened up 21 waterbed stores here in Knoxville. And then as I saw that dying, I’ve tried to warn our industry that we needed to be thinking sleep shops and that this was going to go away and we needed to merge into something else. I remember that speech, I gave it in Chicago and Keith Koenig did not like that speech. And he’s powerful and he let me know about it. But anyway, I got into this. I consulted for quite some time. I got into design and just a bunch of things. But then I married the girl of my dreams 29 years ago, I needed to stay home. And we lived in Knoxville, so I opened The Bed Store.

Rob Stott: Oh, that’s awesome. And what do you think it was? You mentioned that you kind of fell in love with it. What was it about the industry that stole your heart?

Roger Cunningham: What fascinated me… and once again, it was a waterbed day, so that was an interesting time. That was the beginning of it. So you can put… the bedding guys had, pardon the pun, falling asleep, the waterbed guys were the cowboys. They were unfortunately called cocaine cowboys, but cowboys. It was a new frontier. It was a lot of fun, but at the end of the day with me, what resonated with my calling in life is to help other people, was to sincerely see customers coming back saying, “This helped me.” And that shocked me because I had always thought a bed’s, a bed’s, a bed, and that changed my views of that.

Rob Stott: No, that’s awesome. And well, now today with The Bed Store, tell us a little bit about… I mentioned that you guys are king of the mountain there in Knoxville. What’s sort of the scope of The Bed Store is as far as how many stores and things like that are you guys in that area?

Roger Cunningham: We have eight stores, the theory there is and you’re pushed by some big name brands. You put more locations out than you might possibly need, but it is what it is. I would rather have a couple of superstores here and keep everybody together. But as it is, you need to be king of the neighborhood. And so we try to position ourselves to be in the neighborhoods. And then we don’t change the language. We change the dialect of our offerings in each one of those neighborhoods.

Rob Stott: Gotcha. And like I said, I was digging around doing a little research on you guys and one of the things that I think struck me is particularly on your website, it seems like you guys do a lot of the little things. Little things that make the difference that, talk about big box and things like that, what they might or might not be able to do. But I mean, obviously a big push on your website, there’s free shipping. I’s not a little detail per se today, but almost one of those unexpected or expected to haves on a customer’s perspective. But other like free pillow promotions, leaving mints on customers’ pillows and things like that. Tell me about that, like that commitment to doing those things like that, that just like, it’s a nice touch.

Roger Cunningham: Well, I think it is, I think I’ve probably learned that from my, either my grandmother or my bride, my wife. But they’ve always said it’s the little things that count. My grandmother was in the hospitality business in South Florida and I remember her customers saying they would drive out of their way to stay with Pearl. That was her name because she would make cookies for them, bring milk by to them, the little things. And I remember as a kid how much that impressed me. And then my wife, she is a hopeless romantic and she says I am, but she is the one. And just the little details that she puts into play and it’s been that way 29 years. So I’ve seen that little things matter. And so we tell our guys, if you’ll take care of that and if you’ll be customer centric. So another phrase, you’ll hear me use tons of them, but do this like we’re just walking through the hallways and we’ll say stuff like this, but our brand is you.

And so that’s where we… Now we have great brands, but the most important thing to you, to me, is somebody to make it about us. And so that little detail means you clean your windows, your bathrooms are ready and you can ask my guys, You ought to see some of our chatter posts when you go into a bathroom and there’s no toilet paper on the roll, that goes up. Who wasn’t thinking about somebody today? It’s probably overkill. They like it when I take off.

Rob Stott: But that goes to… That mentality permeates throughout the rest of the company. And I mean was that always the intended purpose of that? Or what other benefits does it add for you guys?

Roger Cunningham: No, that’s it, because I don’t think you can buy… We tell people every day, you can buy a mattress anywhere. And now everywhere. I mean you can bring it in from anywhere and just sit at home. And so we’re a high touch. That’s something that’s… that gives you a competitive advantage. And we have to back that up. It’s one thing to say it, which we’ve always said it. We don’t do 72 hour sales. We don’t do truck load sales, and not knocking any of those. They work, we don’t do them. We’ve always said, when you get ready, we want to tuck you in, we’ll even tuck you in. And tuck is thoughtful, understanding, compassionate and kind, and that’s it. And so if you’re serious about it, when you get serious about it, at least put us in the 2.8 visits you’re going to make. At least let us… and we think that that’s the secret sauce.

Rob Stott: Now I don’t want you to gloss over that because that was one of the other small details that I was able to dig up on your website. You have an acronym for tuck, so run that back and run through that again.

Roger Cunningham: Okay. Thoughtful. And we have to project that and be sincere. Authenticity is the measuring rod. Thoughtful to the customer, make it about them, right? Understanding, they have problems. They have issues. They have wishes and desires. We need to draw those out and understand those, right? Compassion, sometimes… I mean, people are bruised. It’s rough out there. I don’t know if anybody’s noticed it, but it’s rough out there.

Rob Stott: A little bit.

Roger Cunningham: So when they’re in our home, we just want them to know we are compassionate. We feel. We’re empathetic. We feel with you. And then kindness. And kindness, I used to say those are same thing, but I don’t think they are. Kindness is kind of a paying it forward regardless of what we’re getting back, we can act in a kind way. And they may walk across the street. We can kindly help them across the street to check out the competitor, or if that’s the better place for them to be, and it’s hard for a sales person to say, it’s hard for a businessman to say, but we need you to be there if that’s the best place for you. Because we promised when you came in, it’s about you. Not about us, it’s about you.

Rob Stott: So who’s the… I know if I remember correctly, does your wife have a marketing background?

Roger Cunningham: Yes.

Rob Stott: So is tuck, is that something she came up with? Where did tuck come from?

Roger Cunningham: No. I’m going to tell you two stories. No, she would have done it even better. The two stories, the guy that handles all of our advertising now owns his own agency, but he started as a delivery boy here.

Rob Stott: Oh, wow.

Roger Cunningham: And he just wanted to go with me one day to do a radio spot and that’s before they had all the computers. And so I couldn’t hit the 30 seconds. I had three seconds left and they kept stretching the voice out and doing whatever. And so I was sitting in the sound booth and I said, “Why we’ll even tuck you in.” Just playing. They grabbed that, it was three seconds long and then that became… we trademarked it. That became the tagline. But like I said, my grandmother used to always tuck me in and she called it, tucking her customers in. And so I had, being in the bedding business, never really thought about it. And it’s funny because now we hear people with, my pictures are on everything which is sad, but on the side of the trucks and people say, “That creepy old guy that will tuck you in.” There you go.

Rob Stott: Oh no. Well, the other thing about tuck too, that is cool is that it has evolved into another part of the business too. And this gets to… I want to talk about how you’ve been in business a couple of decades now with The Bed Store and you know what it’s like having that sustained success, obviously it involves a little innovation and evolution as a company. Part of that evolution I know is this TuckFit system.

Roger Cunningham: Right.

Rob Stott: So explain… I know that looking on your website, it positions itself as a way for a customer to find the bed that’s right for them.

Roger Cunningham: Right. And I want to say this, at least this was claimed. This was told to me by the people who count the numbers, and everything’s tracked in this company. So we’re simple, but behind simple there’s a lot of complex stuff going on. but on the TuckFit now, I think it’s been out seven or eight years. We’re 97% accurate, that formula.

Rob Stott: Wow.

Roger Cunningham: 97% of those decisions stick. That’s pretty amazing. I mean one of my attorney friends says, “Quit saying that on your ads. If you can’t be a hundred percent, don’t be anything.” So I’ll use that as inspiration. I’m trying to get to be a hundred percent, but basically it’s the same deal. It’s a simple, you saw, it’s kind of fun. The questions, the way the questions are asked about the biscuits, how many biscuits you eat or whatever. But there’s algorithms behind that. And those algorithms are plugged in a 200,000 plus customer base, so feedback from that. Then we obviously put 32 beds in our lineup. So when we go to the market, another thing we say is, “We go to the market before you go to market.”

So when you come to the market, we’ll be ready. So there are thousands and thousands of beds in the market. We’re trying to find the best 32 for what our customers tell us they’re looking for. So we shop for them. When they come in, they don’t want to see all 32 beds. And that’s not a lot of beds.

Rob Stott: Right.

Roger Cunningham: It’s an enviable footprint because the cost of retail space. But that’s 32 beds. We try to get it down to three. So the three beds, no bears. So if I give you a TuckFit equation, you fill it out online so I’m not breathing on you. It’s in the comfort of your home. It gives you real life information focused on you, which is our brand, right? It prints, you can print it out, bring it in. You have power now. You’re not walking into a used car salesman. You’re coming in and telling him, he’s not telling you anything. And you get a free pillow just for coming in. So I guess what I’m trying to say, it works. It’s very simple. It works, and the TuckFit name came to me, we were in a business meeting, and I get bored very easily even with great conversation. I just, my mind travels. My school teachers used to notice that well, but anyway.

I was sitting listening to Fitbit, this fit, this fit, all these fits and so I wrote that thing down, texted it to our advertising people and I said, “What do you think about this name? Come up with a way to use this, TuckFit.” And they came up and said, “Why don’t we put it on social media?” And we actually do it here, live in the stores as well. But it sounds like you and I talking, we don’t pull anything out. We tried that, but that’s two clumsy. It just didn’t work. And plus our sales people didn’t like it. So we go back into what would the three beds be? If you asked the right questions, could we get it down to three beds? And what would those three beds be and why would it be that? So they developed an algorithm actually tracking that stuff and it works great.

Rob Stott: So now when it spits out… So I went through most of it, I didn’t go final and see what the types of beds were that it would recommend, but when it spits out those three beds, is it three different kinds or is it three that are fairly similar and just slight differences that might cater to the customer?

Roger Cunningham: Okay. So on the sleep equation or the TuckFit equation, you saw there’s about eight or nine questions. What is it you think you like? One of those questions kind of says that I like it gooey soft. I like it springy or whatever. Whatever that is. Is there anybody else sleeping with you? Do they like the same thing you like? No, they like it the opposite of what I like. So it’s running that into the next equation. It’ll bring price points in there in a fun way, because we don’t want to establish value. Bottom line is you’re going to… Once you want something and once somebody else is out there declaring, I’ll sell you what you want for less, you’ve got me. I mean, I’ve got to perform. And it says on there we’ll price guarantee it, but we never start with the price guarantee.

How important in the TuckFit equation is price to you? And so if you make it big important, it comes up here. If you don’t, it slides down here and then it lines up in what we carry. What are the… And I’m going to tell you a fun one in just a second. It’s new. We just added this. But when that happens, if you’re being honest with us and that happens, probably one of these three beds is going to sleep cool. It’s going to meet the needs of both of you people. It’s going to be within a price range that you think is acceptable. It might shock you a little bit, but you probably will think it’s acceptable because that’s where you’re going to be if you go shopping anywhere, you’re going to get educated into what those things cost.

And brand names, there’s a question there about brand. Heck, if you don’t sleep well without hugging a brand name to something, then you need it by all means. And so, yeah, we have it. But we would give you in that equation a way out of that. So that’s called a validator. So would you still choose it if it was a thousand dollars less? So that may be one of the three. So it’s just according to how you answered those. Now, what we just added, and it’s making a big difference with the COVID supply line shortages, everybody’s sales are up right now, but can you deliver, right?

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Roger Cunningham: I don’t like giving money back. So anyway. Is we’ve added availability. How important is availability to you? I think it… We’ve added it in the stores. I don’t know if they put it on that equation yet. I’ve told them to put that in that equation, because if that’s the most important thing to you. Well, guess what we have today? We have three beds that are in stock, right?

Rob Stott: So how quickly do you need this mattress? Because I mean for sure, with everything going on today, that could be… It’s something that, do you need it that day, the next day, whenever that week, or can you wait a couple of weeks?

Roger Cunningham: Right. Now, let me tell you what else that does. Now, I have this TuckFit data and I have to go back out into the market because this is what my TuckFitters are telling me. And so now I have real life data in rearranging, do I still have the best 32 mattresses for what my customer base is telling me?

Rob Stott: So interesting correlation here, because you do not have a single appliance in your store, obviously as The Bed Store, but it sounds very similar, Nationwide had just launched this assortment rationalization tool, which is… it’s geared right now for the appliance business but that is essentially, it’s for members to basically see what… There’s not a front end version of art right now that a consumer would plug data into, but it’s using data based on sell through and things like that to then turn around and let dealers know what the best assortment for where their gaps are in their store. So it sounds very similar to something like that, where you’re gathering all this data, 97% accurate, that right there tells you that it’s solid data as far as what you’re building. And then, yeah, that’s impressive. That’s an impressive tool.

Roger Cunningham: Yeah. Thank you. And once again, it’s simple. It’s easy to remember because it doesn’t fit anywhere else. What in the world is TuckFit? So when we say every commercial for 28 years, we’ll even tuck you in, we become known as that. And we’re trying to take the creepy out of it. We’re trying to say it’s a soft, funny way to approach the sale. It’s approachable. And then when this old guy is the face of the company and I’m not aging out well, so we’re working on what’s the next thing there. But with that, our promise on the other end and when we train, we tell our customers when they come in, because they’ll say, “Where’s that guy?” And we have standups they’ve made of me in there, and once again, that’s kind of creepy to me. But they will say, “He told us to give you better than that, that you deserve better than that, so that’s why I’m here.”

And so it’s really, I put them in the hands. And even if you call me, we’re great buddies. You move to town, you want a bed, you call me. Obviously you want a deal, but you want the guy. Anybody does that. We all do that. And so what I will… I’ll take the call and say, “Yeah, which of my stores is best for you? Where would you like to be? And then I can meet you out there or get out of the way because I have a much better guy there who knows by far more than I do.” By far, these guys are good. These RSA’s are really good. And they really do care. They care, it’s hard for me to believe that anybody could care more than I care, but I’m telling you, I have some really good people.

Rob Stott: No, and that goes to… I mean, we could take this conversation a million different ways, but just as far as talent and recruitment and what the training must be like, the onboarding over there I imagine plays a big part in that.

Roger Cunningham: Yes. Yes. And that’s what we try to say on the front end. We tell them what our culture is. We have a need, you have a need. Thanks for showing up. The last five people said they would, didn’t. So hey, it’s kind of neat even to see somebody walk through the door, thank you. Now let’s establish if this is a good fit, using the word fit again. Because you’re not going to be happy if it’s not a good fit and we’re not going to be happy. And then we’re going to be dating for no reason at all.

And so we need to… Let’s deal with that stuff up front, and then now I can get real serious. And I let them know that. So my yes means yes, my no means no and I’m going to calibrate what your yes and no means. And you got to be… We got to move at this pace. And so if you like that, you’re going to love it here. If you don’t like that, you’re not only going to not love it here, you’re not going to stay here and you’re really not going to like me because I’m not playing, I’m serious.

Rob Stott: Yeah. There’s three dates, you got that three date limit and that’s when it gets serious.

Roger Cunningham: That’s it. Exactly, that’s it.

Rob Stott: But that goes to show that a business model can, as long as you stick to it, is obviously super effective and translates to sustained success. And another part of that too, is there’s a lot of things that you’ve been talking about that you’ve been doing well for a long time and the little things. I’m sure there’s been innovation over the years too, so thinking back to when you started with The Bed Store to where you’re at today, how much has changed in what you do and how much have you had to innovate?

Roger Cunningham: Well, I mean, I think we get credit for innovating, but I wouldn’t use that strong a word, we adjust. And once again, if you’re listening to the consumer, somebody is out there every day right now while you and I are talking here, somebody’s re-tweaking, somebody really genius is figuring out the next bed in an envelope or something. I don’t know. I mean, stuff is happening and the customer is going to be exposed to that. And so what we try to do, we’re not trendy, we try to wait and see. We try to be ahead of the market in our thinking, but wait and see what’s going to get traction.

And so I’m really a good synergist. If anything, I’m a better synergist? I have a good vision and view of the marketplace. I have an ability, and I don’t know if it’s empathy or what that people want to work with me. So that’s kind of nice. I’m very appreciative of it. And getting out of people, I think the best thing that we do… Let me set this up this way, there are three P’s I believe, and the fourth is a given, profit. But there’s three P’s in this order that everything else is judged by. And the most important thing in retail, in selling, first one is presentations. Presentation sale. That’s true. Now there can be con presentations, they still sell. I don’t want those, but I want powerful presentations.

I want them to be people centric, focused on the people. So because we’re a P to P business, people to people business, and I think that formula is the best formula. And we’re not a business to people formula because that business model runs upside. And so once again I’m a baptist minister. So I try to go back to… And people can be nasty by the way on the other side, so I try to protect us too. A lot of stuff is built into this, but I used to mow yards as a kid. And so I’d go knock on the doors. My dad set us all up in business early to learn the principles of business and I bought a real type mower instead of the one that cuts this way. So I had to clean the yard before I did it, it’d get caught in the blades. But man, it was pretty. It looked like carpet.

And so I’d knock and I’d do my spiel. And I’d say… at that time was $5 a yard, that’s how far back it was. You worked for your money. But I would say, “I don’t know who mows your yard, your yard looks great. I would like an opportunity. I’ll give you the first mowing for free to show you what I’m talking about. But I use a real type mower and I have to clean your yard before I mow it, but it’ll be like carpet. You will walk out onto carpet.” So, once again, that’s just a little detail. Those mowers cost a lot more, nobody used them, too much work. But my dad always said, “You will remain blue collar your whole life. Always work for your money.”

So I’ve brought that principle over. And I had to start hiring people and buying those mowers for other people. That’s how well that formula went. We just brought that over and stayed simple. So you ask about innovation. It’s really not innovative. It’s synchronizing what’s available and trying to see what might be ahead and saying, where do we get inside this? So it’s a team effort. It’s an industry effort. I try to share as much of that with my industry. Not necessarily the guy across the street, but just because he may not play fair. But if we’re not healthy as an industry, we’re not healthy. So we’re always trying to do that.

Rob Stott: Absolutely, and I think part of that too, I know one of the things that you… You talk about thinking ahead, finding the synergies in an industry, and I know you hit on it, the mattress industry is one where people are, whether it’s bed in a box, bed in an envelope someday, who knows, but it’s being disrupted. And I know you guys, correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ve brought in, I know nationwide has the partnership with Nectar and they were the bed in the box that we got. So proof that whether you’re selling online, you guys are a mattress store, I know you’re doing both, but you’re willing to work with those types of brands that are trying to be disruptive.

Roger Cunningham: Well the customer is telling us that, and in that case the customer wasn’t telling us that. We weren’t getting that customer. And so when we sit down to solve the equation, the work on the TuckFit back to us, we’re saying so here… and we’ve got graphs on everything, but here’s where we’re weak and why are we weak, and how would we approach that? So the last P that I didn’t give you, so we’ve got the presentation, we’ve got the people centric, which is the most important thing. And then the products that will back that up. The product is the last thing. It’s not the first thing. So I don’t just grab a brand or product. Right now I don’t carry it. I’m not plugging it. But right now, if I just listen to company chatter in the lounge I might should add a color brand to my line.

Rob Stott: It might fall right in line with those P’s.

Roger Cunningham: Yeah. Another P. And so we would look at that if that was available. And that’s another thing we’ll say, we’ll say, if that happened and I don’t anticipate that it is, but if that happened, we would make the necessary calls. We would go on a dating spree and just kind of say, “We think we might be interested. I’m not sure you would, or should. Here’s our credentials. Here’s what we think we could do in our marketplace if we had that, and without selling our soul, here’s what we’re willing to do. And before we launch our own pink line, we were thinking maybe we might try your color.” And that’s really how we approach everything.

Rob Stott: No, that makes a lot of sense. It makes a lot of sense and shows that you can’t be… Maybe not, like you said, innovative might be a strong word, but it still goes to show that you’re willing to adapt and see what customers want and what fits with what you’re doing and that adaptability and willingness to adjust. And it’s small innovations, but I still think they’re innovations. So it shows that that that is needed to be able to have sustained success.

Roger Cunningham: Exactly. Exactly.

Rob Stott: It’s awesome. And I know we could talk for… I could keep this going for hours. So this is a lot of fun, but I know we’ve both got places to go and things to do. So I want to make sure you have time and we’ll certainly be back in touch, but Roger, I really appreciate you joining us and sharing a lot of insights and peeling back the covers of The Bed Store and letting us in and allowing us to experience what it’s all like down there in Knoxville.

Roger Cunningham: Well, I appreciate you. I appreciate you taking your time. I want to say two things. One is I do plug for Nationwide, because I was resistant to that and there was a lot of persistence on some people’s part to get me in it because I’m just not a joiner and I didn’t see it. I am a disciple, a believer. I truly am. You guys, especially during this COVID thing, y’all earned your stripes. And then shameless, this is just shameless for Dave Orrico. He is the best and I apologize of other people don’t have him. He is the best.

Rob Stott: No, that’s awesome, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear that. And we appreciate it and certainly, like I said, we’ll be catching up again, hopefully sometime in person sooner rather than later, whether it’s us getting down there or who knows, that in-person PrimeTime when we get back to those.

Roger Cunningham: Oh, you’re welcome. You’re welcome. We’ll take care of you when you come to town.

Rob Stott: Awesome. I expect to be tucked in.

Roger Cunningham: You will be. All right, thank you again.

Rob Stott: Awesome. Well thank you so much.

Roger Cunningham: All right. All right.

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209: Tip Top Furniture’s Mother-Son Duo Shares Secrets to Sustained Success

209: Tip Top Furniture’s Mother-Son Duo Shares Secrets to Sustained Success

Founded by Ken Dudley in 1978, Tip Top Furniture in Freehold, New York, has seen three generations of Dudley’s take their place at the head of the family business. Currently run by Donna Mae, she and son Colby sat down for an interview during PrimeTime to talk about the keys to their multi-generational success and how they manage to merchandise a store that – at 35,000 square feet – can truly hold the entire population of Freehold.