MEET TIM, expert sleep consultant
Tim has been with the BedMart family for over 25 years helping our Portland area customers find the perfect mattress for their needs. We interviewed him about his time at BedMart and here is what he said.
How long have you been working at BedMart?
I have been working here now at BedMart for a quarter of a century, but it seems like only a couple of years. I figured out pretty quickly that sales were the direction I wanted to go in life. I was always good at it and became better as I increased my knowledge and matured along the way. I’ve always enjoyed people, so it was a natural fit. And as time went on, probably starting with Tempur-Pedic, the business of mattresses took a turn towards becoming an integral part of overall health, and the business changed. It was right up my alley because I have been a lifelong athlete starting with competitive tennis at Southern Oregon State University, playing Division 1 opponents. My passions are running, weightlifting, tennis, and basketball. So, it sort of put me into a position of “expert” in selling health. I truly believe in the merits of sleeping well and all the benefits, and I think that comes across to my clients.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of the job? I would have to say the satisfaction that comes with solving a difficult problem for my customers. Also, I like seeing the relief and happiness on people’s faces, knowing that they are taking a big step towards improving their quality of life. But I have enjoyed working for one of my best friends, and helping him and our company succeed, while still coming to work every day happy about my career choice. A lot of it was luck, but I must say that with Steven, I picked the right horse to bet on! The people I work with are great, the company is legit, and the business, to me, is fascinating, interesting and ever changing!
Why did you decide to work at BedMart?
In 1995, the company I was working for had just gone bankrupt. I was out of a job. I had a little money in the bank, so I wanted to take off a couple of months to recharge and then decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my working life. I wasn’t in any hurry to go back to work immediately. One day, Steven Stone called me. Now, I had known Steven for a while because he was a sales rep for some products we used to carry at my last job. I ALWAYS liked Steven. He put on the best, most interesting sales meetings of all the sales reps. We would see each other in the store fairly regularly and always took time to chat. He knew that I was one of the top sales guys for my company too. We hit it off immediately.
So, when I was out of work, Steven had started up BedMart a short time before my company went bankrupt and about a week into being home taking some time off Steven called me and told me about this little business he had – BedMart. We only had two stores at the time! I realized that Steven really wanted me to help grow his business. And like a porkchop in the mouth of a wolf, he wouldn’t let go when I said I wanted to wait a bit before going back to work! He persuaded me in short order to come and work for him, even though I was planning to take a couple months off. Steven Stone is a very persuasive man! I know it’s a long story, but him and I laugh about it to this day.
You’ve worked at BedMart so long. What have you seen change most over the years?
There have been many changes, obviously, over the years in every respect. Probably the biggest change, is the improvements in the actual products we carry. I would have NEVER guessed we would regularly be selling sleep systems for $8 to $10,000! When I first started, the average ticket was about $699! Next to that, growing from our little warehouse at the Airport, or Beaverton, to the humongous warehouses we have now, is pretty amazing.
You know what hasn’t changed — Steven and Ed, and David, Luis and Tracey! Even though we have been through immense changes, these guys have ALL stayed the same. Good, down to earth, hardworking people, starting at the top. Steven is the hardest working man I know. It’s one of the reasons we have been successful, in a very, very competitive business.
What’s your favorite memory from working here?
I have a lot of great memories, from going to Vegas 2- 3 times back when we were a much smaller company, and partying with everybody, away from work. So fun.
Steven always puts on great parties for Christmas (and Sherry’s birthday!) Not the typical office party, where you feel like you just have to make an appearance.
Also working with Luis for 10 years straight, growing the business one bed at a time. This was back when it was like the wild west, not the smooth-running machine it is today. It was the best 10 years of my working life! Every decision was up to me and Luis, from what we should sell the product for, to figuring out deliveries, pricing new and used product, floor displays: the works. I’ve also never laughed so hard for 10 years, as I did when working with Luis.
But probably my greatest memory was being named the top Sales Delivered for the company in 2017. Being the best in the business, for the best company in the business, was something I had always wanted to achieve.
What mattress are you currently sleeping on? What do you love about it?
I recently bought the Tempur-Pedic Luxe Adapt Soft mattress set. Holy cow! I’ve been selling this brand for about 24 years. or so, and this bed is the best I have ever had. I’ve always felt that Tempur-Pedic is the best, and now I really see why.
Anything else you want to share?
That’s about it, other than you may or may not know, but I did all the TV commercial spots, and the radio spots before Elana took over! I LOVED doing those spots. I was an actor in high school and had done a couple community plays in Portland, so it was fun to be involved with advertising for our company.
And lastly, looking back at the last 25 years, I have to say, choosing this as a career, and doing it for Steven and Sherry, and BedMart, was one of the best decisions of my life. I went through two marriages, lost both my parents, a niece and some other tragedies, like we all do, but I always had a great job to come to. Because of that job I was able to help both my kids go to college, buy two homes, save for retirement and look back and say, I was one of the lucky ones. I am so grateful in so many ways because of this career. I only hope others find the joy, and success that I have been able to have. If Steven was near me, I would give him a big kiss on the cheek, like I always do, (before COVID) and say what I always do, “Okay, let’s get out and have a BIG weekend! Let’s sell a couple of beds and help some people out Steven!”