It’s a question that comes up every so often, and one I’ve pondered myself: How did an international corporation that’s poised to revolutionize the mattress industry come to be located in Springfield, Missouri? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Springfield girl and I love my little corner of the world. But how on earth did the CEO of an Australian mattress giant land in our neck of the woods? So I asked him (because I’m nosy like that) and he was kind enough to answer.
It’s a good story, one that makes me proud of my town—and one the romantic in me can appreciate. Keep reading to find out, in his own words, how Paul Longman’s journey led him from Sydney to Springfield.
For the past 25 years, Springfield has been a destination I’ve frequently visited. Though I was based out of Sydney, my job led me to make the pilgrimage to visit Leggett & Platt, a Carthage-based fortune 500 giant of the mattress industry. Whenever I visited, I appreciated the friendly and inquisitive nature of the locals. People would always ask about life in Australia, the food, culture, most of all: Did the deadly creatures really exist? I always looked forward to the next opportunity to make the trip.
It was through this relationship with Leggett & Platt that I met my wife Denay, who also worked for Leggett & Platt in Carthage, MO. That was 15 years ago. Faced with the dilemma of living on either side of the world, Denay kindly agreed to relocate to Sydney, where she got to experience the Australian way of life. With Denay’s family in Carthage, Nixa, and Republic, I spent a lot of time in and around the Springfield area, as we visited often.
For 28 years in the mattress industry, I enjoyed helping my employers be the best they could be in the industry. We built great teams of people, designed great products, and exceeded the expectations of our customers, but something was missing. For me, now in my early 50’s, it was time to take a fresh look at how this industry should evolve. It was time to take a chance and start my own new adventure, and what better place to launch a new and innovative business than in the largest market in the world? So, in November 2016, my wife and I left Sydney behind and relocated to the USA.
We returned to the Midwest for Denay to reconnect with family. While Denay was spending time with family, I spent my time researching Springfield. I visited with Jordon Valley Innovation Center, met with local marketing agencies, researched the skills that were coming out of MSU, and quickly formed the opinion that Springfield had the skills and resources I needed to make this business happen.
In May 2017, we took a lease in Downtown Springfield and began our journey to build the world’s first fully adjustable Spring, Foam, and Air line of mattresses where you can control the comfort of your mattress on either side of the bed, in the comfort of your own home. We have been overwhelmed at the response to this innovative mattress line after showcasing the technology at the World Furniture Market in Las Vegas. We have signed international licenses, as well as started to roll out into retail stores across America.
While Springfield may not be the obvious choice for setting up an international sleep technology business, with long established ties to great local companies, access to great staff, the university and its facilities, and a range of agencies that have helped in our setup—along with the obvious links to family—there were plenty of positive reasons to call Springfield home.
We welcome the Springfield community to come and visit our corporate offices and showroom so you can experience the most innovative mattress solutions in the market today.
Photo of Park Central Square By Chris Friese [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Flickr
Photo of Sydney Opera House Close Up HDR Sydney Australia By Hai Linh Truong from Sydney, NSW, Australia [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Hammons Tower Lightning By Trint Williams from Springfield, MO, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons