SAVE THE DATE: Sleep Summit Oct 8-11, 2024

Ergomotion’s New Dawn: From Immigrant to President, Gui Peres’ Inspirational Journey

Ergomotion is revolutionizing the adjustable bed!

Meet Gui Peres, the multilingual, multifaceted President and COO of Ergomotion, the innovative adjustable base company that’s revolutionizing the category. 

On today’s episode of the Sleep Summit Show, Gui shares his story about growing up in Brazil and Mexico City, and his close relationship with his mother. He talks about his experience as one of the first employee’s for Ergomotion and the story behind the start of the company dating back to the father-son duo, Alain and Kelly Clenet, and their partnership with Johnny Grigs.

Gui also shares how his career has evolved within the company. He played a crucial role in creating Dawn House Living and watched as adjustable beds moved from being seen as “grandma beds” to mainstream. He also discusses the importance of keeping up with technology without losing the core mission of the company.

In addition, Gui answers the weekly trivia question, revealing the estimated attachment rate for adjustable bases in the US market, and we learn the strangest place he’s ever slept!

Gui’s story is one of hard work, dedication, and innovation. He is a prime example of how being adaptable and versatile can lead to great success in both business and life. Tune in to this exciting episode to learn more about Gui Peres and Ergomotion’s amazing work.

FULL TRANSCRIPTION

Mark Kinsley: He’s the new President and chief operating officer of Ergo Motion, the largest adjustable base manufacturer in the world. It’s truly a story about living the American dream, and it started when this little Brazilian boy learned to speak English in Mexico. My friend GE Perez is here and the Sleep Summit Show begins right now.

GI Perez, I feel so happy and so proud of you as a friend. Congratulations on your new role as the president and chief operating officer of Ergo Motion, such an incredible company. Talk to us about who you are in this new role. For the people who haven’t

Gui Peres: met you well, thank you for having me here today.

Mark, it’s a, it’s a pleasure, and thank you for the kind words. Well, um, I, I’m Keith Perez. For those who don’t know me, I have been, uh, with Ergo motion for 15 years. And as you said, uh, my story is the, the classic story of, uh, you know, an immigrant that made it in the United States. Um, the, the American Dream is laal.

So, yeah, I, I joined, I joined Ergo 15 years ago, um, when it was still a startup. Uh, I was employee number, uh, six or seven. And, um, and the company was, you know, small. We were barely making payroll, but I, I wanted to come to come live in the United States and that was a good opportunity for me to move to, to all places in Santa Barbara, California.

And, um, and I had a, a beautiful trajectory along, along the way with, um, worked my way through sales, international sales, US sales recently that was put in, in, uh, charge of the wellness division, which is. A consumer brand specific division that we created two brands. One of them is Ergo Sportive and the other one is Don House.

Um, and then just recently I was, I was invited to be the, the acting president, c o o of the company. So that, that’s been my, my professional journey with, with Ur Motion.

Mark Kinsley: And it’s been a remarkable journey. I remember the first time I met you at, it was at a conference and we were walking down this pathway together and I didn’t really know if you were in the mattress industry or if there was another conference going on.

And we ended up crossing paths, I think, and seeing similar badges. And we’ve just stayed in touch since then and have become friends and, and it’s been remarkable, remarkable to watch your journey and your professional development in this industry. And now, you know, taking the reins at, uh, ergo motion.

What a, what a big story. Okay. We’re gonna get. Into a deep dive about the adjustable base industry, ergo motion, it’s global footprint, your plans for the future, where you’re thinking about taking things. But first here on the Sleep Summit Show, we got a couple of things we gotta get, get in order. Number one is we are going to find out in this episode, where’s the strangest place Perez has ever slept?

Okay? So that’s coming up. And also we always start with a quiz question. So I thought today we would start with a quiz question. On our sleep summit quiz about adjustable bases. So for all of you, mattress and sleep industry nerds out there, this is gonna be a good one because we’re talking about attachment rates.

So what is the estimated attachment rate right now in the US market for adjustable bases and ge? For people who don’t know, tell them what an attachment rate is. Well, attachment

Gui Peres: rate is basically how many mattresses are being sold with an adjustable bed as a percentage.

Mark Kinsley: As a percentage. And so we talk about attachment rates in relation to adjustable bases.

So if a mattress is sold, what percentage of the time is an adjustable base being sold? And sometimes we talk about attachment rates for accessories and other products. So we’ll answer that coming up and we’ve got a little more detail around it because not only are we gonna tell you what, what is the attachment rate estimated to be right now in the US market?

We’re gonna talk about what was the highest attachment rate. Gee has ever seen in any country by any company in any year. I, I, I don’t even know this answer yet, so I’m excited to hear more about it. But, but gee, let’s, let’s go back to what we said in the very, very beginning of the show, and let’s talk about your journey and your story because you grew up in Brazil and you became a, a student and an exchange student in North Carolina.

And you speak incredibly, like perfect English. I can barely pick up an accent, but you, this Brazilian kid who speaks Portuguese, learned to speak English in Mexico. There’s gotta be a story there.

Gui Peres: Yeah. So I, I was born in Brazil. I’m Brazilian by, by, uh, by birth. Um, my family’s still all in Brazil. Uh, just my wife and kids that are here with me now in, in the United States, in, in Santa Barbara, California.

Uh, so when I was, uh, five years old, my dad’s, uh, my dad’s job transferred him to Mexico cities, and this was back in the eighties. I was born in, in the early eighties. And it was before internet and you know, it was a very exotic place for a Brazilian to move to was Mexico, even though it doesn’t sound like that too much today.

But it was extremely exotic. Might as well have moved to, you know, to China or, or Malaysia or something. And, uh, and getting there. My parents put my sister and I in an international school, which was mainly in English, but also in Spanish. And that’s where I learned English. Um, and then during recess, playing with the, the, my peer Mexican, uh, classmates, I learned Spanish, but in class everything was in English.

So I don’t know if there’s many people out there that can say that they learned how to speak English in Mexico. So that’s, that’s

Mark Kinsley: pretty cool. What was your dad’s job that took him to Mexico? My

Gui Peres: dad, um, my dad actually was always in, in sales and as a sales manager role, sales director roles, and he was work working for an American company at the time, um, called Dunham Bradstreet.

They’re, they’re still around today, and Dunham Bradstreet transferred him to, to Mexico City to oversee actually the, the Mexican operation there. And we got to live there for three years. And it was, it was an incredible time. I lived there from five to almost nine years old. And, um, and to this day, I’m very fond of Mexico.

I go there as often as I can, and I, I speak the language and I have a, a great fondness for, for

Mark Kinsley: Mexico. Okay, so how many languages do you speak? You speak English, you speak Portuguese, you speak Spanish? Is, is there more?

Gui Peres: Those are the three I speak and I, I, I’ve studied, uh, French and Japanese in high school and I couldn’t get by a little bit.

When I visit Japan, I know how to order food in Japan and, and in France.

Mark Kinsley: Well, I’m, that’s on my list coming up. I’m going to Paris in May. Uh, and. I’m gonna be working as much as I can to get beyond mojo oi and, uh, Sava, Sava Sava, uh, you know, and then put, you know, put wine and beer on the list and I should be good to go.

Right?

Gui Peres: That’s it. There you go. Yeah.

Mark Kinsley: Hey, gee, I, I gotta ask you, your mom’s name is Regina and she still lives in Brazil. Is she in Sao

Gui Peres: Paulo? Yeah. San Paulo. That’s where I, I’m from originally. Yep.

Mark Kinsley: What are the conversations like between you and your mom when you call home, especially since she’s seen your journey and now you’ve taken over this incredible role at Ergo Motion.

What are those conversations like between you and you and your mom? If we were a fly on the wall? Mm-hmm. So

Gui Peres: my mom is someone I, I really admire. She’s a trooper. She has a, a really interesting story too. Um, my, my dad passed away, so she’s a, she’s a widow. Um, and she’s one of my mentors. I, I still call her, uh, obviously I have to call my mom to be a good son, right?

But I still call her to pick her brain on things, on life, uh, things that are going on at the company. I’ll, I’ll share with her, and she gives me her, her, her advice. Um, and, uh, yeah, so we’re, we’re close. And, uh, I to, I guess to answer your question is she’s, she’s, uh, she’s one of my mentors

Mark Kinsley: for sure. Give me something specific there that you want.

So you call mom and ask her advice about business, about raising kids. Uh, you know, what, what kind of things does she tell you? What are some of those nuggets of wisdom that you hang onto that she’s given you?

Gui Peres: You know, uh, kids for sure cause she has experience in that. Um, and she’s an educator and a psychologist, so there’s that, that dynamic as well.

Um, but when it comes to work, it’s us, it’s usually about handling people and how to, how to, uh, deal with, with people and issues that, that, that, that you may have with, uh, staff. And, um, so yeah, that’s the kind of stuff I talked to her

Mark Kinsley: about. If you’re, uh, if you’re new to this industry, Gee’s been around 15 years with ergo motion and gee, the last role you had was with, you know, getting this division started with Don House Living and.

Talk to us about that a little bit, because you and I have had plenty of conversations behind the scenes about what’s happening in the world here in the United States, especially with 10,000 people a day turning 65 years old. Uh, you know, we’re talking about moms here. You know, people are putting their, their moms, um, in places where they can age successfully and age gracefully.

And, uh, that’s a common thing that’s happening. What, what’s your view on where the world is heading, at least here in the US market, since having been in that role with Don House Living and getting that division started for Ergo Motion? Mm-hmm.

Gui Peres: Uh, yeah, so. Jack Jack Tang, the owner of the company. Our, our proprietor is, uh, a gentleman called Jack Tang.

He, he owns a, a large Chinese, uh, company called Keyson, which ergo motion is a part of. We’re actually a big part of Keon. Uh, a lot of people in the industry know, knows Jack because he was, um, involved with negative platform many years. So Jack had a vision of helping elderly people. And so Keyon developed a, a sensor that is a, like a, like a health of vital, uh, vital sensor that senses your vitals, your heart rate, your breathing rate.

And he came to me a. Three years ago and said, GE, we need to deploy this in the US market. We’re already doing it in, in, in the Asian market. Um, here, here’s a sensor. Go, go do something with it. And, and from that, from that Don house was born. So I, I, um, I started focusing. I was, I was the US um, VP of sales at the time for ergo motion.

But, um, I completely changed my role to run this, this new project, this new division. We called it the wellness division. And, um, and, uh, we created Don House from it. It’s, uh, we came up with a brand. We came up with a product. I hired a team of people, uh, that some of them hailed from the senior living industry because it was a product that was going to be catered specifically to seniors, and they’re changing needs.

Um, so, so Don House was born. It’s, it’s a beautiful product. If you want to check it out, don house living.com. It’s a consumer direct product as well, but we do carry it with some, uh, with some. Um, mattress, uh, retailer partners that we have. And, and it’s still, I, I, it’s still in its initial phase and, and kind of a startup phase.

It’s a two year old project, but that’s, that’s picking up momentum and um, it’s beautiful to see it. Being deployed and being used by the, the, the target population we hadn’t mentor for, which is, you know, senior citizens going through, through needs, changing needs and getting feedback that, you know, they love the bed.

The bed has high low, it has a support rail you can hold onto when you get in and out of bed. The. The smart system, which is the most important part of the, of the bed in my opinion, is, um, helps to give not only the user, but the, the adult child or the care provider, some, uh, peace of mind because you can’t get a daily report of how they’re doing health-wise and, and sleep-wise.

And from there we’re gonna grow what, what it does. But that’s, that’s where we’re

Mark Kinsley: with it today. I read that one in five people in the United States count themselves as a caregiver. 20% of people. And so it’s a, a significant number of people that, uh, are helping others, helping loved ones. And then of course, you know, according to a a r P, 90% of people want age in place.

They wanna stay home, they wanna sleep safely at home. So I think this category for the furniture and mattress industry, especially on the retail side, is, is wildly underserved, especially whenever you go out and you look at. What does it take to get something that would mirror the properties of a hospital bed or even get a hospital bed into someone’s home so that they have the right equipment for those changing needs?

Because I think when you are a senior, that’s kind of one of the key points is your needs may be the same, uh, you know, up until they’re not. And then you may need specialized equipment in the home, and then you may go back to where it was before. So I, I’m sure you saw this.

Gui Peres: Yeah, absolutely. And, and it’s, it’s interesting be well, yeah, people want to age in place.

That, that is a huge trend. And, and I don’t blame them. Like I, I’m assuming I would, will want to do the same once I get there. Uh, but it’s interesting how adjustable beds, when I started with Irv motion back in 2007, um, adjustable beds were still seen as like, um, You know, for lack of a better term, it’s what they call, it’s like, like a grandma bed.

It’s, it’s a bed you buy for, for grandma. It’s a long, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a twin long, right? Sitting in the corner of the store. And we worked so hard. Our, our former C O o Johnny Grigs, who’s been, uh, a wonderful person and in an influence in my professional career, he. He came into ergo motion to help us.

At the time it was basically ergo motion Ree and Leg plat that had big chunk of the market, most of the market. So the three of us really together, we, we changed the market into this is not just. A product for the, the aging population. It’s a product for everyone. Right. So, and we did such a good job at that, that it became a mainstream product.

But, and it’s interesting. So how, how, now going back, you know, forward 15 years, we’re now having to go back and say, Hey, this is a product also for those who are aging and have, uh, the, the changing needs with age.

Mark Kinsley: Gosh, that that shift is real and it’s seismic. You know, going from people just thinking about this in a singular dimension of hospital style needs to, like you said, Leggett Revere Virgo Motion leading the charge within in the industry to make it a product that was about lifestyle and, and about quality of life.

I think we’re gonna see that in the numbers that, that you’re gonna report cuz we, we do have the sleep summit quiz question where it’s gonna be, what is the attachment rate. So, we’ll, we’ll see if anybody’s surprised by that and, and beyond the senior. Aging in place demographic and that use case, you’ve also got the Ergo Sportive Division, which is on your shirt right there.

Talk to us about that because I know that you, you are actually gonna show some of your products in Cologne, Germany at the uh, F I B O Global Fitness Exhibition, so this is a fitness product as well.

Gui Peres: Yes, it is. Uh, ergo Sportive was born in, um, in Europe. We have a, a European division of Ergo Motion, which I may or may not have had something to do with the implementation of that, of that division.

Uh, back when I managed, uh, international sales for the company and they actually partnered with Garment. Garment is a company from, I believe, Kansas City. But they have a huge r d center in Germany. So the, so the, uh, ergo EU folks got in touch with ’em and they co-developed a, a, a. A system that is the smart system, very similar to what we have at Don House.

The same sensors, the same technology, but it connects to your garment. I’m actually wearing a garment device now. So the garment device tracks your, your activity during the day, how many steps you took, how stressed you are, your body battery, which is kind of like a, a calculation they do of how much energy you have left and that that information is communicated with the bed at night so that the bed.

Can help be, behave, what I call behavioral, nudge you into better sleep and recovery. So if let’s say you ran, you know, a 10 k, or, or you worked out really hard that day, the bed will know because the watch is talking to the bed. So it’ll, it’ll prompt you to maybe go to sleep a little bit earlier or go through a relaxation cycle before you go to sleep, uh, or maybe stay in bed a little bit later that day depending on how, how much, uh, physical activity you’ve done.

And, and that’s just the, the beginning of it. Um, obviously we offer a very comfortable mattress and pillow that that’s also catered to active people. Um, so yeah, that’s an exciting project as well. I, I, I’m a relatively active, active person, so I personally also have a big passion for that, for that project.

Mark Kinsley: That’s incredible to think about. Daytime tracking exertion or lack thereof, and then your bed responding to the information and the data. And the signals that it’s been given from that daytime activity that is really thoughtful. Uh, how long did it take ergo motion to come up with a market ready product on that?

Or was there a, like a minimum viable product that launched first on better?

Gui Peres: That’s a great question. Um,

The sensors have been, we’ve been working on the sensors for almost 10 years. So where the sensor is today, it took us 10 years to get, um, the algorithms and the, the software behind it, probably similar 10 years. Um, so yeah, it’s, it’s been, it’s been a long time in, in, in making. But, but the actual, the physical product for Dawn House and for ergo sportive, it, it was developed in the last, uh, couple of years.

Mark Kinsley: It just shows you how long it takes to actually get this technology and the algorithms harnessed into real world application. When you look at that 10 year lifespan, I mean, gosh, that’s two thirds of what you’ve been at Ergo Motion. So you’ve been there 15 years. It’s a 10 year project. You know, ultimately all in, you know, maybe it was inside the the walls of ergo or not, but.

Here we are today with Ergo Sportive working in concert with Garmin. And when you look at the future of where Ergo is going and the technology needs and real world application that’s gonna be useful to people, to sleepers that are trying to get a better night’s rest or trying to recover, what are some of the things you’re working on right now that you have your eye on that uh, could have an impact or could end up in ergo motion stop products.

Hmm.

Gui Peres: Yeah, that, that’s a good question. Uh, I like, so I like to see ergo motion innovation and, and, um, this is what I wanna make sure we continue to offer the market. I like to see ergo motion as, as an industry leader, as a pioneer in adjustable, uh, bed, uh, innovations. Um, so. There, there, there’s two components to it that we focus on, right?

There’s like more on the mechanical side and then on the technology side. The technology side being most of what I’ve just been explaining, the, the sensors and the, and the heart rate tracking and the sleep score and, and the behavioral nudging. That’s newer. Obviously we’ve been, uh, and, and argon, sportive and Doha been the spear, the tip of the spear for that, uh, to open that market.

So that’s newer. And we’re gonna continue to grow that, that’s gonna continue to be an important part of what we do, um, on the me, on the mechanical side. Bergal motion has always been very innovative in, in coming up with new concepts. Mechanically, like, I’ll give you two examples. We were the first, at least in North America, I don’t remember seeing it anywhere outside, and I’ve been doing the international shows for many years.

I don’t remember seeing it outside. The United States, definitely not in the United States. We were the first to come up with the, what we, what we called at the time, the Katy bed, uh, the knockdown bed. The, and the, and the interesting story is we started selling in Japan back in 2000 and. 10 I think it was.

And uh, the bigger size beds, like they’re equivalent to a queen size. Um, they couldn’t, sometimes it wouldn’t fit in the elevators cuz if you’ve ever been to Japan, the elevators are, are tiny, usually in Japan. So they couldn’t fit the bed in the elevator. And they called us and they asked us, can you have a bed that comes in two boxes?

And that was like, that was a crazy idea. I said, two box, how are we ever gonna do that? But our designer at the time figuring it out, we did it. And, uh, that’s how the KD was born. And then the rest is history. Now, so many beds are kd, foldable, you know, coming two boxes, so that doesn’t necessarily affect your sleep as much as it affect the ease of delivery.

Which will affect your sleep because now many people can have an adjustable bed and enjoy the, the, the benefits of an adjustable bed because now you can actually get it delivered to your small apartment. We go through that in, you know, places like New England, New York, that, um, you know, hallways are, are, are straight, are are, you know, are not wide enough and elevators are smaller.

So that’s one example. The other one is, uh, we start off with bulky adjustable beds. We were started, we started getting, um, Request to make the beds thinner. So we got all the way down to about three inches. We have three inch adjustable beds that we pioneered on. Now there’s a lot of them out there as well.

But, uh, so we, we like to be, we like to have to be the, um, industry leading, you know, uh, resource of adjustable beds when it comes to the mechanical side and the, and the, uh, technology side as well.

Mark Kinsley: The technology side is very fascinating for people to follow the mattress industry because it really seems to be about the only vehicle for getting technology into the bedroom besides wearables and phones and.

Additions that go outside of the core sleep system. But when you think about, you know, the bed frame, the box spring, the mattress, uh, that’s being consolidated and the technology is being inserted into the bedroom through the adjustable base, and that seems to be the trend. What do you think it is about the adjustable base versus putting some of the, those items in that technology in a mattress?

Uh, why do you think that’s taken hold and been more sticky?

Gui Peres: Yeah, that, that’s a great question and. And I wanna preface this by saying that there’s nothing wrong with putting technology on the mattress, but, but as, as adjustable bed as an. Our core business is adjustable beds. If we don’t really do mattresses, we serve the mattress industry.

So we had to figure out how to do it on the adjustable, which turned out to be a great platform for it, because then the consumer gets to choose whatever mattress they want, right? Um, if they want a thin, a thick mattress, a firm soft, whatever, they get to choose. And the technology’s on the base. The, the beautiful thing about, let’s talk specifically about the technology we have.

The beautiful thing about what the, what we have with, with the sensors is that, um, It. First of all, you don’t have to wear anything. So a lot of people don’t like wearing a device, uh, to bed. A lot of people don’t want devices in their bedroom at night. Like, I personally don’t sleep with a, with a phone in my, in my bedroom.

I keep it in ano, literally in another bed, another room. Uh, actually this one right here, the, my, my home office. I leave my phone here and, and my, my bedroom is my, you know, my sanctuary, uh, for, for rest. So you walk into your bed, your bedroom, you lay down the bed. The sensors are on, on the adjustable base.

They start working immediately. You don’t have to turn on anything. Remember to turn on anything, so, That’s what makes it convenient and a, and a great platform to have the technology in, uh, the, the, the product like, uh, the Don House bed has underbed lights that are automatic. When you step off of the, of the, the mattress at night to go to the bathroom or whatever you need to do at night, um, it, it turns on automatically.

That’s, so that’s, that’s a great platform to have your, your technology in. Um, and then, and then you have some, some countries like Germany, they’re very, um, Sensitive with electronic equipment in, in the, in the, in the bedroom. So again, if you, if you minimize it and put it under the base, it’s a, it’s a great vehicle for it.

Mark Kinsley: The technology aspect, the mechanical aspect. I know Ergo Motion being the, the largest player is innovating in those spaces. And I, I’m always looking forward to your shows in Las Vegas because it, it truly is a new experience it seems like every time with some sort of new rollout or new, uh, technology that creates excitement around sleep.

And to me, I think Ergo Motion does a very good job of not just. Adding technology for the sake of a adding technology, but doing it in a way that that makes it passively accessible. So if somebody’s not thinking about it, somebody’s not having to plug anything in or wear anything, which I think is probably one of the best ways to gather the data that can be meaningful to the sleeper.

Uh, but also it’s technology that can be truly helpful, whether it’s. The Don house bed, they can tell, uh, if your loved one mom and dad, whoever it might be, is getting outta bed too much or might have gotten outta bed. Uh, is sleeping well. Is sleeping poorly. That’s, that’s important information all the way through to what you described with Garmin, you know, with being able to look at your Garmin data and provide your bed with those inputs so that it can perform the way you need it to for rest and recovery.

I just think there’s a lot of technology for the sake of technology and in, in some industries, and I think Ergo does a great job with that. Let, let’s keep going with the future and the vision for ergo you as the new president and c O O. Gee, what’s your vision for ergo? Where are you going to take things?

What kind of an impact do you want to have? Two.

Gui Peres: Uh, well, of course we want to continue to lead, uh, the adjustable bed industry, uh, with technologies both on the, on the mechanical and the smart side for sure. Um, but one of the things I wanna make sure we do too is, is work with like-minded industry professionals, like, like, like you mark, that will, will take our category, our, our mattress, adjustable bed, even top of the bed category to the next level.

Um, I think we have brilliant minds in our industry. We have. Brilliant companies, uh, working out there, and if we all work together, um, to elevate our category, right, and not to have the race to the bottom. And there’s always a, there’s always a place for the, for the lower priced, you know, high velocity products, but we have to focus on increasing the value as well.

Um, so that’s, that’s one of the things that I really wanna focus on going forward, um, over the next five years. Um, because. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s the, there’s a great side for that. The adjustable bed attachment rate went up so much, which we’ll get to towards the end, right? It went, it went up quite a bit, but obviously with that came a lot of competition, came a lot of high velocity, low priced, uh, products, which is natural, but we can’t focus just on that product category.

We have to bring the, the higher value to the customer as well.

Mark Kinsley: That’s a hundred percent true. And I think a lot of the excitement, like I said before, is being driven by the adjustable based category. And I think, uh, that’s a, a great way to, to bring people back into the conversation and build value in the entire sleep system and not just in one part or piece of it.

Hey, take me into some of your favorite stories about Johnny Grig Johnny. In the industry for a long time. A mentor of yours, you smiled when I said his name.

Gui Peres: Yeah. Of, of course. Johnny means a lot to me. Uh, Johnny and I, uh, started working together in 2008. I I started with the company and he came on about six months, maybe a little bit less than six months after I started.

Well, so a, a story I, I always tell is Alan and Kelly, who were the original owners of her emotion, they were father and son, great, great people. They, um, They, uh, flew. They flew in Johnny and his, uh, his partner in, in crime in the industry, Paul Smith. They flew them into Santa Barbara to interview them, and I was a part of that interview.

And at the time, ergo motion in 2008, our revenues were, I don’t know, like 3 million, four mil. We were very little and. And Johnny during the interview said, I don’t see why we couldn’t take this company to a hundred million. And I said, a hundred million, man, that’s okay. Alright. That’s crazy. But sure. And, and you know what?

We did it, it took, it didn’t take us that long after Johnny and Paul joined us and, and what it was is Johnny. Johnny told us that we had to focus on what, what he always called the OEMs, which is the mattress manufacturers. So we partnered with Serta at the time, then Simmons, when they used to be separate, and then eventually temper Sealy and a few other ones that that really have become our, our, our core business.

So, so anyway, so Johnny, Johnny was the, the one that came up with that. With that, uh, idea that a strategy for us, which has been our strategy, long, long running strategy. But, uh, another cool thing, another interesting fact about John, is that he likes to refer to adjustable beds as adjustable beds, as bendy beds.

So, uh, I’m not gonna steal that from him, I’m gonna leave that as his term. But, uh, I always will remember him talking about the bendy beds.

Mark Kinsley: The peni beds. You know, I have a, a friend and a customer of Englanders that they sell a lot of adjustable bases. Bindi beds and they refer to it as a category within their store, and they call it the game changer.

And so they don’t even talk about adjustable bases. They don’t make distinctions between the models because, you know, consumer confusion can be a real problem. Somebody is, you know, nearing the end of the mattress purchase and then they’re trying to take them into all the different features and benefits of an adjustable base, which are great and I love them.

But they just said, Hey, you have the mattress. Do you want a game changer? Oh, that’s the thing that I felt, right? Yeah. Uh, it’s, my friend says it’s always great when you have like an 80 year old woman walk up to you and say, I want the game changer.

Gui Peres: Yes. It’s a game changer. It is a game changer working with Adjustables.

It’s fun because I, I honestly, I’ve never had anyone say that once a customer walks in the store, and I’ve seen it many times, lays down on the flat mattress, and then you’re surprised them by adjusting them, they’ll adjusting the head up, the foot up. It’s, they never dislike it. It’s always a pleasant surprise.

So it’s, it’s a, it’s an easy product to sell in that sense. Um, and. And, um, so yeah, it’s, it’s a good, it’s a good, it’s a game changing product

Mark Kinsley: for sure. The game changer. I always show people, you know, I’ll stand up similar to how an astronaut looks in zero gravity space, and I’ll say, when you remove tension from a body, And that only happens whenever you remove gravity.

What is the natural position that your hands and your knees and your legs go into? And when you demonstrate that, people are like, oh yeah, I’ve seen somebody in space. I know how that looks. And then they can translate that to how it feels whenever you are able to put your body in the proper position using an adjustable base and keep it there.

Correct.

Gui Peres: Yep. That’s it. You, you would be a great adjustable bed salesman for us, mark.

Mark Kinsley: Well, you know, um, you know, selling bendy beds with Johnny Grig, it sounds like, uh, it’s been a lot of fun and I know you and your team are gonna have a blast. You know, continuing to pioneer in this industry and make an impact.

And I’m, like I said, I’m, uh, proud of you. Uh, I’m, I’m so excited for ergo motion, your shareholders, your employees, your customers, and the future that’s out there. And, and I gotta give a big shout out to Johnny Greg for all that he’s done in this industry and for his years of service and dedication and passion.

Uh, and I bet you really, gee, if you get down to it, you’ve got some really funny stories as well. Are you just keeping them to, to yourself? Come on. You gotta tell on Johnny A. Little bit.

Gui Peres: I don’t wanna get anyone in trouble. I was trying to be, uh, I was trying to be a good, a good boy by just using the bendy bed story.

But yeah, we, we do have some funny stories. You know, this, we did some fun things together, Johnny and I, this one time, um, back, back into in ergo motion. During, during the original owners when, when, you know, okay, so here’s, here’s some, here’s some fact facts of our river motion. When we were owned by the former owners, almo was more of like a madman kind of days.

You know, like we used to party a lot and there was a lot of, a lot of, uh, things that probably, um, wouldn’t happen today, anymore. Uh uh. But anyway, so those were fun days and Johnny and I did travel a lot together and we went to Japan once and, uh, And, uh, we had a lot of fun in Japan. We went there to visit a customer and uh, I just have fun memories of that trip of Johnny and I imagine like, Like a full on Texan in Tokyo with me.

So you, you can imagine how funny that was. So, so that was, that was a good time.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah. That might be the name. Since you’re gonna retire, Johnny, uh, maybe the name of your book can be Texan in Tokyo.

Gui Peres: In Tokyo. Yeah. That would sell for sure.

Mark Kinsley: Well, it sounds like you guys had a lot of fun and, and I, I know you’re gonna have, uh, a lot on your plate as you, as you think about the future of ergo motion and get there.

And we’re excited for you GUI and we’ll have you back on the Sleep Summit show at some point to talk about the product innovations, new product launches, uh, as you head into Vegas markets. Uh, I always like to touch base with ergo and. You know, get as many people to come to your showroom as possible to see some of the fun new products that really do inspire the consumers who are looking for better sleep.

And, uh, but hey, now’s the time though. Now’s the time for the question that everybody’s been waiting for. Where is the strangest place that GE Perez has ever slept? Mm.

Gui Peres: Well, the place I like to sleep the least in is in a, is in a tant camping because my kids are at an age they like to camp. So, but that’s not the question.

Uh, the, the strangest place I’ve ever slept, it actually happened just recently about. Two or three weeks ago, I went on a field trip with my daughter. She’s 10 years old. She’s in, uh, she’s in fifth grade and I was chaperoning one of her field trips and we slept at the port of, uh, port of a Long Beach here in California.

Uh, they have a, uh, a, um, battleship called the, um, U s S Iowa. And we spent the night in the battleship and it was incredible. It was amazing. It was like a 1940, uh, world War II era battleship. And, uh, the bunk beds, you know, the, the bunk beds you see in movies and, and things like that, that, that they slept in, you know, three high and you only had about maybe 30 inches clearance between you and the, and the top bunk.

Uh, so it was a little bit claustrophobic, but it was, uh, definitely, definitely the strangest place I’ve ever slept in.

Mark Kinsley: Was that just you and your daughter in your own bunk, or were, was there a bunkhouse full of

Gui Peres: people? It was, it was, uh, boys and girls were separate. Uh, but yeah, it, it was her, her entire class.

It was me and a few other dads that were chaperoning with the boys and then, uh, her and some moms with the, with the girls. Yeah.

Mark Kinsley: I took a group of kids. So my wife was a teacher of a private homeschool pod whenever Covid had shut so many schools down. And so, uh, once things started to open up, we, we, they did another year of school and I took, uh, the chaperoning duties for three.

Boys to Space Camp. And so as their camp counselor, you know, we slept in these very tight quarters that are kind of supposed to represent what it would be like to be in a space station. And, uh, I just remember, you know, I’m an adult, you know, I’m a man and these, these facilities are not necessarily built for people my size, I don’t think.

And at one time, I, I went into the bathroom and. I turned around and it was so, like, everything was so tight. I had my glasses on and boom, just right into the toilet and I could barely like maneuver to get my, and, but I go back and I tell the little boys what had happened and they just lost their minds.

It was the funniest thing they’d ever heard, cuz Mr. Mark dropped his glasses in the toilet, but I’m sure the accommodations were similar at, on the battleship.

Gui Peres: It was very, very tight. Very tight. And it makes you appreciate what these guys go through and, you know, in, in open waters and these tight quarters and everything is tight in the boat.

They have like 2,700 people living at that boat at some point or it’s crazy. So yeah. Thank you. Thank you to the, to the armed forces for everything you guys do for us.

Mark Kinsley: Absolutely, man, isn’t it? It does make you realize how. Difficult. That is, and we talk about sleep and we talk about, you know, trying to get a good night’s sleep, man.

Um mm-hmm. Might be tough when you feel claustrophobic. Hey, uh, let, let’s, let’s get facts and stats here. Okay. Our sleep summit quiz question of the day let do, is what is the estimated attachment rate right now in the US market? And gee, you have the answer

Gui Peres: yes. So to our best ability of estimating it, uh, it’s right around 15%.

So about 15% of mattresses sold in America today. Are sold with an adjustable bed. When I started back in the days when, when Johnny was telling us we could do a hundred million in sales, it was well below 1%. So we’ve come a long way

Mark Kinsley: from one to one. Five 15% is the estimated attachment rate in the US now.

The, the second part of that question, which I think is a really fun piece, is what was the highest, not that it’s not fun, by the way, to, you know, 15 x the attachment rate in the marketplace. That’s really fun as well. But what was the highest attachment rate, gee, that you’ve ever seen in any country, any company, any year?

Mm-hmm.

Gui Peres: Uh, well, a, a, uh, I know, I know an honorable mention is Doc V. Uh, with, uh, with Ms. Kelly’s, they have a huge attachment rate. I dunno if like, I dunno, 80%, 70%, they’re, they do a really good job with their attachment rates. Uh, thank you Doc V as always. But the craziest one I’ve ever heard of. You know, as I said, attachment rate is a percentage, right?

So you think of from zero to a hundred percent. I actually have a customer that at a point they were at 110% attachment rate. Can you go? How does that even work? Well, they were selling every single mattress they had with an adjustable, and they were selling adjustables. By themselves. So it’s a, so we counted that as a, as 110%.

So they were selling more adjustables than, than mattresses. And that was a customer in New Zealand Of all places.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah, in New Zealand. What were they doing to position the product in such a way that everybody was buying an adjustable base with the mattress?

Gui Peres: Uh, they were doing just a really good job at advertising it.

And, um, I think they found a, a good, a good niche with the mattress that they carried. It’s a, it was a, it’s very high quality mattress and the customers walking into their stores I think were very high, highly qualified.

Mark Kinsley: So the saying, you know, give it 110%, that actually is a real thing. You can give it 110%.

Gui Peres: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And um, also in Denmark, I know in Denmark specifically, they have very high adjustable, uh, That rates, uh, attachment rates. Um, so yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s possible. So we can go from 15 to 90. We’ll, we’ll, we’ll get there.

Mark Kinsley: Well, and I just recently took a trip to India, as you know, and the adjustable base market there is very underdeveloped.

Uh, of course I’ve got a bunch of LinkedIn videos up that I did while in India to explore the mattress market there. And it was fascinating because, you know, many in a developing nation like that, many people are moving from some sort of a pallet on the floor to their first mattress. And so the, the beds are very firm cuz body types are used to that.

Custom size mattresses drive the entire market. Uh, Kelan, our international partners, they have 9,000 mattress sizes that they make. So everything is pretty much cropped and cut and finished and fit in a custom fashion. And the model is you come into the store. Uh, first of all, you build the furniture to fit the room because space is at a premium.

It’s very limited. And then, so when you, it’s time to get a mattress, you go find your firmness, find your feel, and then the sales associate or somebody from the factory comes out and they measure, and then the order is then submitted to the factory and they custom cut it. Um, all the foams, all the choir, which is coconut husk, everything is custom finished.

And so that makes it very tough. In an emerging market like that there, the buying power is limited, but also you don’t have like a standard size adjustable base that you could sell with a standard size mattress. And then on top of that, most of that furniture that’s built. Has storage. So you would have to have an adjustable base that goes on top of a platform bed.

So pretty much it would be an adjustable base that adjusts, adjusts, and length and width as well. And you might be able to tap into that market. But there’s one that, uh, as buying power increases and it, and it is in India, um, if we could get the mattresses to be a little less firm or perforated in some way so they could bend, there’s another big market for ya.

Gui Peres: Yeah, absolutely. And those are exciting markets, right? Like, like the market I come from, from Brazil, India, China, where people, not only are they, uh, buying more mattresses, they, they’ve ne as you said, they’ve never slept on a mattress before, many of them. So it’s a, it’s a, it’s an exciting opportunity for sure.

Mark Kinsley: Well, and I know you’ve got an exciting opportunity in front of you with ergo motion and building your team and providing, uh, this fresh vision and new direction. And, uh, gui once again, thank you for being here on the Sleep Summit Show. Thank you for your friendship and best wishes as you start this new adventure.

Thank you.

Gui Peres: Thank you, mark. Appreciate your friendship.

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