Certain companies maintain quality and consistency throughout their histories. Its this stability that gives consumers reassurance that these longstanding businesses can be trusted. In the case of Sleepyhead, and now Sleepmaker and Dunlop Foams, ongoing success is a family trait.
The business was started in 1935 by Arthur Mudd, and Sidney Turner bought it in 1946. Sidney Turners grandsons Graeme and Craig Turner now both lead the company as co-CEOs. My grandfather was an electrician during the war, says Craig. He did some work for a bedding company that couldnt pay their bills because of the war effort, so he took a position in the business.
When Dad came back from the war, he got together with my uncle, who had been in a training camp. Graeme and I represent the third generation, and, in turn, we have the fourth generation heavily involved in the business. Ive got six children and four of them are in the company. My youngest son is currently doing a design course at university and works here in IT on his days off as well. Theyre all looking to come in; its part of our DNA. Over time, our employees have brought their own kids to work at Sleepyhead; its all part of our philosophy of fostering a familial culture in the workplace.
The Turner familys hands-on ownership has seen continuity of management and an unrivalled accumulation of knowledge and expertise. Craig and his brother Graeme have a trans-Tasman empire with a rich history and a staff of people with experience. As of today, there are 1,100 employees; almost 700 are in Australia and more than 400 in New Zealand. Its a lot of people. Weve got people in New Zealand who have been with Sleepyhead for 40 years, and there are people in Sleepmaker Australia who have been with the organisation for 30-plus years. There is just a lot of long service in the organisation.