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Mark Quinn Waves Goodbye to Mattress Firm

“It’s not about what is next, it’s about who it’s with.”

On today’s episode, we get an exclusive interview with Mark Quinn about his departure from the mattress retail giant Mattress Firm.

It’s an episode filled with heartfelt moments, private insights and wisdom from Quinn as he explains:

– The reason behind his leaving (don’t give into the rumor mill, hear it from the man himself);

– His fantastic team at Mattress Firm and the strength of the merchandise department;

– What he means by his “empathy for gratitude”;

– Why ignoring uncomfortable symptoms in your situation can lead to bigger problems; and

– How to navigate unexpected career changes and business interruptions.

Plus, get insights into what he’s looking for in his next company and the people he wants to work alongside.

FULL TRANSCRIPTION

Mark Kinsley: Mattress Firm is in the rear view for Mark Quinn. He’s moving on. He’s waving goodbye. We’re gonna tell you what’s up and what’s next. The Dos Marcos show begins right now.

Mark Kinsley: Quinn, this is a huge announcement and big news, and I know everybody’s gonna want to know right out of the gates what is going on so you’re no longer with mattress

Mark Quinn: firm.

No, I’m not. Um, big change actually. So Matt firm just made a change, kinsley to strategy and kinda where they’re going and it wasn’t a direction I wanted to go. So we decided to part ways and for me to pursue other things and refocus on Speak and Co. And. Land on what I’m doing next, and it’s been exciting already.

Um, I’ve had some unexpected and great conversations with people and friends inside the category and, uh, it’s all about what’s next. And, and as I think about it though, it’s really not about what’s next. It’s more about who I’m gonna do it with. So it’s not about the what? It’s about the who, you know what I

Mark Kinsley: mean?

Absolutely. The people matter the most. So as your friend and knowing that you have many friends in the. People are gonna know. Wanna know? How are you doing? Are you doing okay?

Mark Quinn: Yeah. Oh yeah. Doing great. Um, you know, it’s weird, isn’t it? Like when you get to a big. Point or a big decision or a crossroad. And you know, this didn’t, it’s not really what I had in mind.

I mean, like the end of it, right? I was only there six months. Um, and so I feel like there’s so much more, like I, I think Matt from has great potential. I think they’re already doing some terrific things. And, um, I, you know, I wanted that to be longer. I wanted that to be a deeper thing. But, you know, you just, it doesn’t always work out like that.

And so, Um, you know, there’s a disappointment in that, I suppose, but, you know, at the other part of that, like when I go into stuff like this, you, you and I always talk about being faith people, and for me what that looks like is saying, okay, whenever I go into a big decision, I’m always saying like, where.

Do you want me to be like God? Right? So tell me just whatever it is. Like, I need you to be in the middle of that decision and help kind of point me where you want me to go. And so I, I put him in, in the game there. And then anytime like this too, I, I don’t feel like God gets you fired or laid off or moving on or divorced or in a hurricane or tornado or causes changes.

Like, I don’t think that’s, that’s what happens. But I think when that stuff does happen, Then faith is a verb. And so you just go, all right, so what is it? Like, what, where am I supposed to be? It’s clearly not here. And so that’s how I see it, and I think it’s a, I think it’s a blessing. I, you know, we we’re in the holiday season, Kinsley, and I think when, when I look at this stuff, I, I look at the disappointment of it, but then I go, you know, so as traveling my ass off, and Nick, my son, he’s a.

We have a gym in our house and he is like, dad. When I told him in Bridget that there was gonna be a change, he’s like, dad, you’ve been traveling so hard. He’s like, I was trying to put a punching bag, stand together and you weren’t here. And it really upset me and it just kind of hit me all at one time that I’m missing you a lot.

Your travel is getting to me, but I didn’t wanna tell you because I knew you were having such a great time. And I’m like, you know, when he told me that, like, that put so much in perspective, right? So it made that change so much easier. And so at the end of the day you go, oh man, like what do I not have or what didn’t work out?

I I, I had a day where I had some of that thinking and I think it’s just human. I think you have to deal with that stuff. And if you don’t deal with that, the, the, the negative feelings that you’re having about those things, then you just mask. and you have to deal with them later. So I think it’s really important to like process that you, you talked to me a lot about that with things that you’ve done, you just gotta go feel what you’re gonna feel.

But then literally like the next day for me, because of that mindset, just of gratitude, I’m like, how freaking lucky am I? And to do what I do with you. My family is incredible. I’m blessed financially, I’ve. You know, a lot of friends in the industry and a lot of, like, there’s so many cool things to get to do.

And so, you know, for me to feel bad about any part of that for very long, I always tell my kids, you get to visit that place. You don’t get to, you don’t get to stay there. And so, uh, anyway, I think the excite the excitement about what’s coming is, is way bigger for me than, than where, you know, the frustration of it not going exactly the way I thought, but Kinsley.

Had a blast working there. It was a grind. I was, I probably have never worked that hard, but the shit I learned, oh my goodness. It was a, my gratitude for empathy and having seen it from the retail perspective, especially at that level, I learned so much. Man. It was pretty incredible. So, and I know

Mark Kinsley: you had a team that you spoke so highly of and there are so many incredible people at Mattress.

And you had people on, on your merchandising team, uh, that you said are incredibly brilliant and kind and empathetic. And I think it’s just, it’s always great to hear that there are so many wonderful people spread throughout this industry, including in the, in the Mattress

Mark Quinn: Firm family. Let me tell you, man, I, one of the biggest concerns I had going in Kinsley was culture.

And, you know, I’m just not, I, I don’t want to be part of any company where there’s like all this back fighting and backstabbing and like, you just have to worry about crap all the time. I’m gonna tell you though, the merchandising team at Mattress Firm is so incredibly strong. Like I have a deep affection for that entire group of people.

Um, I really enjoyed it and I loved being part of a team that was so committed to being good and they really were. And so I got so much from them. I really enjoyed the hell out of that and especially, Carly Lick who was over private brand mattresses and then Si de Chere, who from Manhattan lives in New York, does all our textiles, was a Walmart person, um, in a previous life and does all the accessories and private brand stuff.

And then we got really lucky when Nicole Del Mastro, who was with Bed Bath and Beyond, and we hired her away while I was there. And those three women, um, were so strong. Um, and taught me a lot and really positive and just very tough man. Like, you know, I never had to get involved in a tough negotiation because if you got by, uh, Carly and Sydney and it.

Had to come to me like you were already in trouble. I mean, those girls, they, they were so strong and so smart and strategic thinkers and that was probably the hardest part is the people. Isn’t it always Right? So knowing you’re not gonna be working with them every day and, you know, having those meetings and just that sense of team, it was really cool.

I’m, I’m very, very grateful for that sense of it and what they all gave to

Mark Kinsley: me. One thing you said I wanna pause on and go back to, cuz we’re talking about the future. We’re talking about heading throughout the holiday season and heading into a new year, which is a time for a fresh start. You said something earlier that I know about you, but I want to put it under a spotlight and talk about future state.

You said it’s not about necessarily what, but who, talk to me and describe based on your experiences. You know, sure would. And speaking co. And going all the way back to Serta and Legett and now Mattress Firm. When you think about who would be a good person or how you would describe those people, paint a picture for us

about

Mark Quinn: the where I’m going.

Mark Kinsley: The the people that you would wanna do whatever is

Mark Quinn: next with Yeah. You know, um, God, great question. Um, I, I think a lot of it is like the, the first words that come to mind. I wanna be around fun people. I wanna be around people that inspire me. I wanna be around people that are progressive in their thought.

I wanna be around people that wanna kick some serious ass in the category they’re in. I wanna be around people. Think similar to how I think, but not exactly like I think, I mean, I wanna be challenged and pushed. I wanna grow and, and and that kind of thing, but I also want people that get it. I want people to understand the game they’re playing.

I want people that, you know, get purpose and the importance of that and culture and how you treat people and, and, uh, wanting to blaze a trail and not just maintain, like, I can’t stand that stuff. I wanna be around people that wanna be in. Um, and that, you know, want me to help ’em, you know, like, you know, I don’t wanna go into a company.

And it is so frustrating. You can’t go into companies and then they go, Hey, here’s what we’re doing, and just kind of go do more of what we’re doing. I’m like, no, man. Like that’s not. Like if, if, if I go somewhere, I want to like look at something and, and together we go, let’s take that hill over there and based on your skill set and your passion and, and the way you work, go, go do that.

And, you know, trust me to get it done. And so I think that’s it. And fun, man. I wanna be around fun people. Like at this point, isn’t it like more about that? It’s like I just don’t wanna be in, in a situation. You’re just not enjoying it, you know? And I want a little bit of margin. You know, I was three in the morning to six at night.

You know, a lot of times because trying to learn a new company that sizes a mattress firm, and then the travel back and forth every week and the meeting load and the emails. It’s like, I just, I need to, you know, sometimes you don’t realize the tax or the, to. Until your 18 year old son tells you, or you get out of a certain situation.

And then, isn’t that Kinsley? I’m sure you can think of a time, but when you’re not in the situation anymore and you’re, and it’s in the rear of your mirror, there’s this holy shit moment of like, wow. You know, and there’s a de a moment for a deep breath, you know, and you’re like, whew. Like an exhale, essentially.

You know, I had that moment too, and I’m like, okay, this is, this is probably.

Mark Kinsley: I’ve heard a lot of people, this is not the same thing, but what you just described right there. So many people, friends of mine, whenever they’ve gotten out of a, a bad relationship or like, I didn’t know what was actually going on with me until I got out of that relationship and I had this moment of massive relief.

So it, it is funny though, like not funny, haha, but it is curious that as human beings sometimes we will let things. Subsist because it’s easier to hang on to what you have or to be where you are sometimes than to make a change. So change is a form of bravery, and I’ve seen a lot of studies about this too, that mention, okay, people that didn’t make a change versus people that did make a change, no matter what the outcome was, the people that made a change were happier.

Even though, even if the outcome, uh, was lower than what their expectations were. So, you know, I, in a world that is ever changing and seems like a moving target, I think a lot of people are more comfortable making change these days just because change was foisted upon us for the past several years, changes that we didn’t design into our life or we didn’t want to have happen.

So, you know, being the river is so important. Recollecting yourself as that.

Mark Quinn: Yeah. You know, it’s so funny like when, when you need to learn something like that kind of just kind of happens into your life. By the way, Bridget thinks I’m a freaking nut because like, it took me a day, like I said, to kind of process it.

And then the, the day after that, I’m on phone calls and I’m like talking to people and she’s like, you are in such like, and she’s still, you know, processing it herself. She’s like, like, why are you in a good mood? I go, honey, I know. Like we’re not built the same, but this shit fires me up. Like it excites me because, you know, you, you kind of go, all right, so wow, I never thought of that, or I didn’t look at that opportunity that way before, or didn’t see that lane opening up.

So it’s just, there’s a lot to that and I think change is uncomfortable, but I think change is exciting too. It’s. You know, when, when a, when a a pathway opens up, you just gotta be thinking to yourself, what, what could be, you know, map’s gonna be, there’s so much potential, like I say, potential. I mean, they’re doing great things and they built themselves into this massive company.

But, I mean, Kinsey, if you have that platform, you know, the, the exciting thing for them is what do you do with that? You know what I’m saying? Like, what impact can you have? What can you do with that ad budget? Um, how can you shift the way consumers think about what we do in this category? I mean, that is incredible power, uh, for a company inside the trade.

And so that for them, uh, hopefully will drive them forward and, and keep, uh, keep them pushing, pushing the envelope, you know? Yeah. And

Mark Kinsley: I think that, you know, mattress Firm has this very unique position in our industry in a sense. When they deploy advertising spend in different markets, it raises category awareness.

So it’s so important, uh, what that message is and that they continue, you know, foot on the gas pedal because, I mean, when I think about it with my industry hat on Mattress Firm can elevate the awareness of sleep and connect it to the products we sell. And it is, that’s a lot of responsibility and it’s very important to the category.

And, uh, you know, I think that I’ve seen so many signals that tell me, right, we’re we’re starting to have success with connecting the mattress to. We’ve got a lot of work to do as well

Mark Quinn: though. You, but the challenge for a mattress from, for anyone out there listening to this, what, what I hope is important to everyone is you’re spending whatever you’re spending advertising is a huge line item on the budget, right?

So what, what, what message? Are you paying your marketing people to give to consumers? Like what are you, what are you saying? Like if you took a, a pie chart, right? And you dropped all your advertising messages every week and you put ’em in a bucket, like this is product price promotion. This is about sleep.

This is right. This is about why shopping at our store. This is like, put everything in a bucket and then go, okay, what’s short game there? And what’s long game? there And if you don’t have enough long game, I encourage you to think through that because you know, you need to be building reputation and affection and all of those things.

And so I think every retailer out there is, you know, having to think that way. And there’s a lot of really great things I see a mattress from doing and, you know, I hope that, you know, they, they, they, uh, make a point of talking about health and wellness being a pillar for them. And I hope, I hope that that’s their North star.

I hope that’s where they. Well,

Mark Kinsley: speaking of where we go, where do we go from here? My friend, who

Mark Quinn: the hell knows? Right? You know, , who knows. You know what, you know what? I know for sure. I’m not gonna spend much time thinking about it. I’m, uh, looking forward to, uh, Thanksgiving and Christmas and the holiday, we’re gonna go skiing and well, Thanksgiving is

Mark Kinsley: over, but I’m glad you’re looking forward to

Mark Quinn: 2023.

Well, yeah. Thanksgiving’s over. Yes. Uh, thank, well, it’ll be Christmas and New Year, right? Mm-hmm. . Uh, and so it’ll be fun, uh, to like spend the time with my family. I’ve got great kids and so yeah, we’re gonna go ski and just kinda relax and then, uh, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll kick it in 2023. We’ll, we’ll, we’ll start it off, but, uh, get some time to just take a.

I’m gonna put an

Mark Kinsley: air tag. I’m gonna put an air tag in your backpack and track Mark Quinn. And so we’ll know where you’re going, what you’re doing, what you’re getting into. Cause I’m sure it’s gonna be fun.

Mark Quinn: Well, I’ve got a couple college visits. We’re gonna go to Colorado, uh, college hunting for Nick because there’s a school up there that wants him to run.

And then Idaho, I think we’re gonna go visit his school there because there’s a school there that’s trying to recruit him. So I think we’re gonna make some college visits. Uh, that’ll be cool. That’ll be fun. And then, um, yeah, so hey, do so be honest with me about something. I’m,

Mark Kinsley: um, the kimono is open and,

Mark Quinn: and I know you, you always are, but was there a line and an over and under on how long I would be at Matt firm?

Was there, like Avega, I mean, you know, I’m not, certainly not big enough for Vegas, but were you booking any bets on, on, you know, over, under on time?

Mark Kinsley: Uh, have you been talking to my bookie

Mark Quinn: Yeah. I, I just, let’s just kinda figured, let’s

Mark Kinsley: just say I’m flush with cash.

Mark Quinn: Yeah. Okay. Between you and Magnuson and my brother and Cassidy and you know, Keith and you know, the Greg and all those guys, I had a, I had a feeling that maybe there. Either I, uh, I, I came in over or under the guess

Mark Kinsley: so I didn’t make as much money as mattress mac.

We’ll put it that way. . I didn’t need a

Mark Quinn: wheelbarrow. Yeah, that’s all right, though. That’s all right. Yeah. No, but thanks for the questions, man. I, I think it’s good to be able to, Kind of get that out there, so, uh, so people know. But yeah, it’s, uh, I don’t know, man, just blessed, grateful and loving that we get to do what we do all the time.

So one of, one of the many blessings for us both.

Mark Kinsley: Well, it is, it’s man, it’s a joy to just be able to be your friend and, you know, do life together and do this podcast together and serve the industry. And that’s what we’re all about. And I hope that going into the new year, into the holiday season here, Everybody finds a way to, you know, share some love with the people around you and give people a hug and a high five.

And let’s just give each other encouragement and positivity and you know, hey, make sure you’re subscribed here to the Dose Marco Show, because now it’s gonna be a show and a saga dedicated to figuring out what Mark Quinn’s gonna do next. Uh, I’m excited. Obviously lots of people I know behind the scenes have.

I’ve been calling you, hitting you up and, and trying to figure out, uh, Hey, hey, can we, can we. Can we get on Team Quinn? Um, so we’ll keep, keep you posted right here on the show. Well,

Mark Quinn: hey man, we’re lucky. We have a lot of friends and so when that happens, there’s, uh, friends are also connections and opportunities, so we’re lucky that way.

But yeah, and, and I hope that our shows are a hell of a lot more interesting than what I’m gonna do. We, we’ll have no listeners if, if we make it about that, but anyway, I’m with you, brother. It’s, uh, it is that holiday season. I feel it. And, uh, I’m with you, man. I hope everyone takes a minute and, and does all that good stuff and, you know, make people the important part of your life.

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