A Commitment to Reimagination

It’s not a new concept, but a fresh look at business will pay dividends for the bedding industry in 2021

Happy New Year and welcome to a new member of the BedTimes team. Yours truly.

I’ve been a loyal reader of BedTimes for many years, and now I’m adding my voice to the publication as the newly minted editor at large for BedTimes and for Sleep Savvy, its retail-oriented sister.

I’m walking the talk when I tell you that a key word for success in the mattress business this year will be “reimagine.” That was one of the most frequently searched words last year, according to Merriam-Webster’s website, although it couldn’t keep up with “pandemic,” which the venerable dictionary named its word of the year for 2020. (“Pandemic” was looked up 1,621% more last year than in the previous year, the company said on its website in December.)

I am reimagining my career as a mattress industry journalist by joining the editorial team at the International Sleep Products Association.

My new platform at ISPA gives me a broader opportunity to share my reporting and insights with bedding leaders across the country and around the world. And I will be directly supporting a cause championed by the Better Sleep Council, ISPA’s consumer education arm, that I have long been passionate about: educating the industry about the importance of better sleep and the role it plays in a healthy life.

I don’t think I need to make too much of an introduction to BedTimes’ readers, as I’ve been reporting on the mattress industry since the mid-1980s, when I was a fledgling writer for Furniture Today. All told, I spent 37 years at Furniture Today, with about 25 of those years, including the past 19, devoted to covering the mattress industry. I also launched Furniture Today’s Bedding Conference, which wrapped up its 15th edition last year with a successful virtual event.

That was a great run at Furniture Today, but I’m reenergized as I reimagine my career at ISPA, an association that I’ve been impressed with for many years. Led by President Ryan Trainer, ISPA has a strong team of industry veterans, several of whom previously worked at Furniture Today, by the way. I’ve got a good connection to this dynamic team and am excited to bring my passion for the industry to ISPA.

Like Gold Bond President Bob Naboicheck, I was born in Hartford, Connecticut, some time ago. My dad worked for IBM (which used to stand for “I’ve Been Moved”), and our family moved to Rochester, Minnesota, and later to Raleigh, North Carolina — two cities where IBM had plants. I’ve been in the South since 1965, but my wife, Karen, who was born in South Carolina, declares that I still am a Yankee. I fear she may be right. Y’all OK with that?

We’ve lived in the Furniture Capital of the World (that is High Point, North Carolina, for the uninitiated) since 1976. Yes, there is life in High Point between furniture markets.

In my new role at ISPA, I will continue to do many of the things that I’ve been doing for decades, including attending the two High Point Markets and the big bedding markets in Las Vegas. At BedTimes I will write profiles, news stories and feature stories. 

I look forward to connecting with my many industry friends as the newest member of Team ISPA. Let me know how you are reimagining your bedding business this year.

By the way, “reimagine” is not a new word; its first known use dates back to 1825. The first known use of “reinvent,” another good word for 2021, dates back even further, to 1686, according to Merriam-Webster.

In 2021, we all need to find new ways to look at our businesses. BedTimes will help you do just that throughout the year.

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