Listen to our full conversation with Stuart on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
For this podcast series, we spoke with leaders from across the bedding industry to hear what they are doing to support and motivate their teams and themselves during this uncertain time. What are they doing to keep their employees safe? How has their approach to leadership evolved?
In this episode, we speak with Stuart Carlitz, the CEO of Eclipse International and long-time leader in the mattress licensing category. He talked about his ability to keep calm in a crisis, and quickly come up with a plan to switch gears when necessary. Shortly after the shut-down orders were issued, Stuart was able to help his licensee factories find safe ways to stay open by making masks—and focused on producing products for Saatva, an online brand that has been thriving during these past few months. And through the challenges, he has been reminded of just how resilient the mattress industry really is.
"I’ve always said that in a recession, the second tier has an opportunity to grow, and in many cases, they do grow. That’s because the consumer is not so willing to spend top dollar and not always looking to spend that extra $500 or $1,000 just based upon the brand. Right now I’m sitting at the busiest point I’ve been ever. We have a back-log of 5,000 pieces. That means there’s 5,000 pieces every day that have not yet been scheduled. Every day we add more and more to production and every day that many more pieces come in for us to produce and ship. Which is a good problem.
That’s why I talk about the resiliency of the mattress industry. Even through the worst of times, people gotta sleep…Whether it be a recession or a pandemic or both combined. And I believe our country will come out of this stronger on the other side."