Boardroom to bedroom for Jason L founder


The man behind office furniture brand Jason L has launched an innovative new business.

Ask any parent and they will all attest to the same thing – you can deal with pretty much anything if your child sleeps.

The founders of a new kids mattress company are no strangers to this idea – between them they have five kids under the age of 12.

However, it was far from a fait accompli when entrepreneur Daniel Hoffmann approached his long-time friend, Marc Levin, about the business opportunity.

Mr Levin, already a successful entrepreneur in his own right, founded the Jason L office furniture brand with his brother, Jason, 12 years ago.

The brothers bootstrapped the business by pulling together $50,000 and it now turns over in excess of $20 million.

But having previously given up on another successful joint venture business due to a misalignment with a business partner, Mr Levin told he “was a little nervous about getting into a partnership with a friend”.

That changed when a business mentor told him: “The closer you are as friends, the better the partnership can be”.

Mr Levin added that the fact that his friendship with Mr Hoffman had the hallmarks of “full trust and full transparency” was enough for him to make the leap from boardroom to bedroom furniture.

The result is kids mattress company teddy Australia, which launched in November.

It’s the local offshoot of New Zealand business teddy, founded by another associate of Mr Hoffman’s, fourth-generation mattress maker Lance Metz.

The company hopes to capitalise on an underserved niche – creating bedroom products specifically for kids to ensure they can get the best night’s sleep possible.

Mr Hoffman told teddy’s kids mattresses “meticulously consider developmental patterns” and are “tailored to improve the overall quality of sleep for a child”.

A first bed mattress for young children making the transition from a cot, teddy mattresses are double-sided, with firm, high-density foam on one side for two to four years olds, and softer, high-density foam on the other side suitable for kids from age five to 18.

In addition, they include features such as a removable, washable outer cover and waterproof inner cover to hygienically deal with bed wetting accidents, and the company also sells pillows specifically crafted to support growing necks and spines.

Mr Hoffman admits that when his children were younger he never really thought about whether the mattresses they were sleeping on were tailored to the growth and developmental needs of his kids.

It seems he’s not alone.

Data from a survey conducted for teddy Australia found that 24 per cent of parents admit they’ve purchased their child’s mattress without knowing if the support it offered was appropriate for a child’s spine development.

And only 22 per cent of Aussie parents say they have a good understanding of the recommended firmness of their child’s mattress to support spine growth.

Add to this the shocking statistic that 56 per cent of Aussie children complain about the mattress they sleep on, and it would seem that teddy Australia has entered a market that’s ripe for disruption.

The company aims to be” a specialist, affordable and solutions focused children’s mattress brand” but its ambitions don’t stop there.

“The real focus or vision is to be the specialist in the kids bedroom space,” Mr Levin said.

Future plans include launching bed frames that can grow with children in 2024, with bunks, trundles and other kids bedroom furniture also in development.

A brand that clearly understands its market, teddy’s mattresses come in a box that can repurposed into a toy sailboat for make-believe play.

Each mattress sale also includes a picture book, Dream Walker, written by Mr Hoffman’s sister, about a child’s imaginative journey of discovery and fantasy that is personalised for each child to help support a low-tech bedtime routine.

Teddy sells direct to customers through its website, leveraging the Jason L warehouse in NSW’s Smithfield for delivery Australia-wide.

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