Ortho Mattress Inc. CEO Ken Karmin discusses his business philosophy and successes in this week’s Los Angeles Business Journal. He talks about the long process it took to turn around Ortho after acquiring it in 1999, including a major advertising push. It meant distinguishing the company against competitors like Sit ‘n Sleep by focusing on their own brand beds, as opposed to selling third-party mattresses.
Karmin decided to bring manufacturing back to the United States from China and take it in-house a few years ago.
“We discovered it was hard to break into the manufacturing business here,” he says in the article. “It’s an oligopoly. There were very few domestic suppliers and they were tied up with other manufacturers, so we had to go overseas for mattress springs and other parts. It wasn’t until 2007, when the housing slowdown started to affect us, that we purchased our own equipment that allowed us to make all the component parts in-house.”