Interview with Sam Malouf, president and CEO, of Malouf
This article is part of a series featuring business executives who choose to live and work in Utah. If you know of an executive we should interview, please contact us.
As president and CEO of Malouf, Sam Malouf knows how important a good night’s rest is, but realizes making time for it can be difficult. His company seeks to maximize the sleep experience.
In his journey, he discovered a common thread that ties consumers together—the desire for comfort, identity and value.
Malouf and his wife, Kacie, transformed a two-person operation into a business offering more than 11,000 product choices. The company leverages geography, with over 3.3 million feet of strategically placed distribution centers to deliver adjustable bed bases, frames, bedding and more. The company does this from its headquarters in Logan, Utah. Malouf ships more 20,000 products daily, and its enhanced tracking system makes ordering seamless.
He and Kacie established the Malouf Foundation to further the company’s goal of helping individuals sleep better. Malouf donates sleep products to many organizations and causes. The foundation funds rescue missions to free enslaved children, outfits aftercare centers for child survivors and provides educational opportunities for children.
How did you get started in the industry?
We started the company because we were discouraged by lousy shopping experiences. My wife and I went shopping for sheets and agreed we were paying too much and getting too little. It seemed like many bedding companies did things based on tradition rather than innovation, and we saw an opportunity.
What started out warehousing sheets in our spare bedroom. Since then, we’ve grown into a staff of nearly 500, and the company focuses on exceptional design, value and product offerings. Malouf provides a full range of furniture and bedding options to retailers across the country.
What recent professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
We were honored at the 2019 MountainWest Capital Network’s Utah 100 Award event as number nine in the list of Top 15 annual revenue companies. To be quantitatively recognized for our growth and revenue in the incredibly competitive Utah marketplace was very rewarding. It’s an honor to be successful amidst so many precedent-setting and paradigm-shifting companies.
I’m incredibly proud of the work the Malouf Foundation does. This spring, we put wheels in motion to increase education on internet safety. We’ve hosted large training events locally, and brought the cause to the forefront of our industry. I’m also excited about a large project in the works with Cache Valley Children’s Justice Center. We’re designing and building an improved center that will create an operational model that can be replicated elsewhere.
What drew you to Utah?
I was born in Logan, then moved to Kansas until I was a teenager. I came back to Utah to attend Utah State University for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. Kacie and I lived in Oregon for a while but knew Utah was where we wanted to raise a family.
What do you like most about living in Utah?
There’s a unique atmosphere in Utah, and there’s no better place to raise a family. The skiing is great, and you can find my family and me at Beaver Mountain throughout the winter.
What do you like most about doing business in Utah?
The human factor is high here. We’ve been able to hire employees with strong values and great work ethics. We’re fortunate Logan is big enough for us expand, but still has a fantastic small-town vibe. Logan has a young, hungry and educated labor force. Plus, the state supports and encourages entrepreneurship.
What advice do you have for individuals considering starting a business, or relocating their business, to Utah?
Take advantage of what is available to you. The government structure encourages business growth, and there are deep capital networks interested in good ideas. If you have a good idea, there’s a market for you.
Create a network with like-minded individuals and use research programs. They’re filled with smart, talented and diverse minds.
What is your primary challenge of doing business in Utah?
Malouf is an international company, so figuring out time zones can be a challenge. Are we late? Are we early?
What is your business philosophy?
Be the kind of person you want to work with. I work hard, and I expect my employees to bring that same kind of fire to the table. However, I put a personal focus on empathy. This is one of the reasons why our company culture has developed in such a unique way, and why we’ve been able to hire so many talented people.
Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
I’ve always been a business person. I was probably the state’s youngest dog breeder at the age of 11. I had a paper route, ran a lawn mowing business and sold VHS tapes door to door.