Family-operated business builds its Dream Team to help customers get their best rest
This is a love story. It’s also a story about dreams and the people who make them come true. And, yes, it’s a retail success story, too.
All those stories are intertwined at Sweet Dreams Mattress & Furniture, a four-unit North Carolina retailer with two stores in Mooresville, one in Cornelius and one in Denver, all in the Lake Norman area near Charlotte.
Our story begins in 2002, when college sweethearts Greg and Katy Law teamed up with Greg’s parents, Jim and Sharon, to launch Sweet Dreams. From the start it looked like a promising career path and a great way to serve others, the founders say.
Greg Law worked at a mattress store to put himself through Florida State University, where he met Katy. When the two were mapping out their future plans, as college graduates are wont to do, their entrepreneurial spirit and love of family came together in their plan to launch a family business.
While the business was based on selling mattresses, it was about something bigger, too: Helping people to achieve their dreams. All good dreams start with a good night’s sleep, and the Laws built around that core belief as they launched their business.
From the start, the Laws wanted to help their employees achieve their dreams. Thus, the Dream Team — more than 40 members strong — was born. Meet them all on the Sweet Dreams website at SDMattress.com.
There you will see Greg say: “My role is to lead us in living in vision not in circumstances. To do this, we have to stay clear and dedicated to our values and the vision of where we are headed. It’s a balance of looking around and being aware of how things are currently being done and looking and leading us forward to become what our full potential is.”
Katy says: “My role is to help as many people as possible achieve their dreams. Whether it’s people on our own team, our customers or our community, we want to find ways to help others with personal growth, better sleep and home furnishings. … More specifically, my role within the business is to serve our team and our customers, merchandising, purchasing, marketing, and making a fool out of myself on videos.” The retailer also wants to make a difference in the lives of those in need in their community through service.
All in good fun
Fun is part of the equation at Sweet Dreams.
Take a recent commercial for “bootylicious” sofas and sectionals. When Greg introduces those “bootylicious” products, Katy questions his use of that word. But Greg stands firm: “It’s our duty to please your booty,” he says. Katy listens to the pitch and, approvingly, wraps up the commercial by saying: “Sounds like a bootylicious deal to me.”
And then there is Mattman, a mattress-wearing sleep superhero, who is the alter ego of store manager Andrew Schlesser. He makes appearances in the stores and at charity races. (See below.)
The Laws know that employees who feel good about themselves and their company will give customers superior service. They are looking for employees who “work hard, play hard, serve others” and grow their skills and careers.
Sweet Dreams’ core values, not surprisingly, revolve around DREAMS:
- Dedicated to God and the greater good
- Energy, effort, excellence
- All about the team
- Measured growth and partnerships
- Service above self
Greg says Sweet Dreams gives every member of its Dream Team “extreme ownership in their roles within the company,” empowering them to take great care of customers. “We want every employee to feel like they are running their business within our business, and that is why we are successful,” he says.
That means offering rewarding pay and benefits, including health insurance, a retirement plan, paid time off, Dream Team University training, education and certifications, and a chance to grow with the business, he adds.
Sweet Dreams has been voted “Best of Lake Norman” in Lake Norman Currents magazine every year since 2013, the company says.
Customer endorsements give shoppers confidence that a good mattress shopping experience awaits at Sweet Dreams, Greg says.
Rebecca, a recent customer, offered her thoughts on the website: “I went to three different mattress stores and none of them compared to Sweet Dreams Mattress & Furniture. The service by Greg was exceptional. … Greg was very knowledgeable about their products and was not pushy in any way. The delivery was quick, and the Dream Team set everything up without any problems.”
Yes, that is a reference to co-founder Greg Law, who regularly works the sales floor to keep his finger on the pulse of the business.
Mattresses and more
The mattress lineup at Sweet Dreams includes the retailer’s house brand, Sweet Dreams, as well as Ashley, Englander, Serta, Simmons and Tempur-Pedic. Beds by digitally native brands Nectar and DreamCloud also are on the floor.
Sweet Dreams organizes its beds by style (pillow top, tight top, box top, and Euro top), by type (adjustable bases, isolated coils, linked coils, latex, memory foam and gel foam) and by comfort (firm, medium, plush and ultra-plush).
The retailer also offers a full lineup of sleep accessories, including bed frames, linens, mattress protectors, pillows and toppers. Key suppliers include Malouf and Bedgear.
Selling sleep accessories is part of Sweet Dreams’ “Game Plan for Better Sleep,” a five-step process spelled out on signs and cards in the stores. That game plan covers everything from choosing the “just right mattress” to pillows, and from sheets to “The Game Changer” — adjustable bed bases. The game plan also includes several sleep tips.
Furniture offerings — this is Sweet Dreams Mattress & Furniture, after all — include pieces by Ashley, Coaster, Homelegance, Jackson/Catnapper, Klaussner, Leather Italia, Liberty Furniture, Night and Day, Parker House, Progressive Furniture and Vaughan-Bassett.
All in the family
Sweet Dreams remains a family-owned and operated business.
Greg’s parents remain involved in the business. Jim Law handles special projects and works sales. “I love working with great people and family,” he says. His wife, Sharon, works full time on bookkeeping. “I have learned so much and love the challenge of keeping all the bookkeeping up to date,” she says.
Kathryn Gaus, human relations manager, is Greg’s sister. “My absolute favorite thing to do at work is to serve my customers (our employees) daily,” she says. “My heart is in what I do for our Team.”
Andrew Schlesser (aka Mattman), Katy’s brother, also has key duties at Sweet Dreams. “My role is known as the director of fun,” he says. “I love serving people and finding ways to be helpful and being able to be myself.”
The family that has fun together stays together.