Mattress CEO Enjoying Success in Crowded Marketplace
David Farley clearly has not been sleeping on the job. Over the past two decades, Farley has taken his mattress company, Anatomic Global, from the medical industry to the consumer-bedding industry and in the process he has become a leader in the production of memory-foam mattresses.
By combining new technologies with principles of engineering and applying them to mattress production, Farley has not only been able to make mattresses that maximize comfort, but he has also been issued more than 20 patents and seen his product line grow to be featured in 650 small- and medium-size specialty bedding stores across the country.
Farley has positioned Anatomic Global as an alternative to other bedding companies by talking to his potential customers about the science of sleep in a way that other companies have not.
"There is a set of human requirements that are based in support-surface physics saying that something which is extremely soft is not necessarily comfortable," said David Farley, president and CEO of Anatomic Global. "Comfort equates to shape and the adaptation to shape, more so than it does to softness. We have come onto the scene with this new message and have been talking about the mattress surface in a more functional way than any of our competitors. That is an opportunity for us to differentiate ourselves."
With this guiding philosophy and that ability to differentiate himself from competition, Farley has been able to experience success in a multi-billion dollar industry.
Farley's journey in business started more than two decades ago, but originally his company, Anatomic Concepts, served only the medical marketplace. For Farley, starting his own business was as simple as combining his engineering background with his aspiration to start a business.
"As an engineer, when I came onto the scene with a product line years ago, it was directed at nursing," said Farley. "I had a desire to get into something that I could manage and I found that I had an opportunity for acceptance by the medical nursing profession."
That acceptance came as a result of hard work and superior products that included mattresses and pillows supplied to the medical industry. With the experience Farley gained in the medical industry over decades, he decided to bring his know-how in bedding and memory-foam application to the consumer mattress industry in 2007.
"The transition (from medical to consumer) was driven by the experience we had not only in the methods for building mattresses that are highly effective for the purpose of comfort and pressure release, but also because we became experts in the application of memory foam in those medical products," said Farley. " The combination of market knowledge and the propensity to take a risk made it possible for me to jump from one focus to another."
The jump from the medical industry to the consumer realm, however, was not a blind risk taken by Farley, but rather the result of an opportunity Farley saw to expand his customer base and grow his company . As a result of the change, Farley changed the name of his company to Anatomic Global.
"The consumer-product marketplace is huge compared to the medical specialty product marketplace," said Farley. "We took the company along the line that we had prepared for under our technical background. We make all of our products today as a result of everything we learned going back almost 30 years ago, from our experiences in the medical marketplace. I wanted to take it into a place where there were many more opportunities."
Many challenges, however, also came along with these opportunities. Chief among them was differentiating Anatomic Global in a competitive marketplace . To achieve this, Farley made sure to first and foremost rely on the design and integrity of his products. Farley believes that making superior products, and not simply marketing a product better, is the true key to success for any company. Additionally Farley made sure to distinguish Anatomic Global products from their competition by making sure that the company's products are made in an eco-friendly way in the United States.
"We are trying to do everything we can, including staying as vertically integrated and cost effective as we can," said Farley. "We need to be conscious of the competitors that are offshore and the value of keeping the business onshore. We are an American-made product and we make sure that when we put our 'Made in the USA' emblem on a product that we let everyone know it was proudly made in the USA."
Today Anatomic Global's lineup of beds includes the Sleep by Design series and the Eco-comfort mattress lines.
Although Farley had decades of experience in the bedding industry, he still credits one factor above all others when talking about his success in business.
"Perseverance is absolutely required," said Farley. "As an entrepreneur you need to look at the intent, purposefulness and the ability to stay committed to the project. You need to be persistent to effectively compete with big companies."
With this belief in his products, Farley has been able to take on companies like Serta and Sealy that have established themselves in the specialty sleep marketplace. However, even with perseverance, smaller companies will still need additional help as they try to grow. According to Farley, successful businesses must not be afraid to combine their own personal expertise while also seeking help from others.
"You fundamentally will need help from a capital standpoint to realize the potential you have in mind, almost every time," said Farley. "At the end of the day you can't do it all alone."