Sleep Train Founder/Ticket to Dream CEO Dale Carlson

Monday, June 25th

Find out how a radio contest factored into Dale Carlson opening his first of over 300 Sleep Train stores!   

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Balls fall off emotion. Firm. Nation hears from emotion. Is there. And. Okay so we're starting this podcast and were talking about how Isaac hall Oates last night and train and dale Carlson just sort of out of nowhere says what. But ha. Back in the day it was a press is say hey would you mind if the train came in the did a concert in your your shows show room in an on Simms has got to sleep train hit it to feel that they did Eric at the. It is good to see you full disclosure we tried this once and I screwed up on the technical side so this is dale Carlson founder of sleep train podcast take till. Right looking forward to this and yet this and the answer easily you know similar. So what are your expectations when you open to sleep train well it will always your plan how old were you on what we thinking well we hope to accomplish while I was 23 and you know I just thought that I could do better than the stores I'd seen as a sales manager for a manufacturer. And gone in and out lot retail stores and thought I can do better so I thought I'd open one store and hopefully get to ten stores to make a thousand dollars a month. And you open your first store at what year end where in 1985. On Folsom boulevard between one down next aromas pizza. Room with these days is this store still there and as Roma beat system there bro is feats is still there and forces storm and we we close out store and moved held out Arden. Back in the they eighties. So a total of 318. Stores when all ascend on their to have an right that's right. Wow what got you into wanting to sell mattresses. I just saw an opportunity where I didn't. See that there retail market was servicing the customer in the way I thought it should be serviced and that's like all mattresses look the same you write their erecting a few bounced on the hill. I didn't yet again I've. They're rectangles and then they can't be that difference in the lead there now. They are and there's a lot of difference what two people sleep habits are what their needs are with their back aches are and so I want to. Which provide a store where we can actually help the customer and educate them is what the term I use. On what a good matches is one good nights he can do forum. Well I'm where you're the first stores we could actually laid down on a mattress in many of the retail stores really would keep all the beds still in plastic plastic and I thought that was crazy Nolan want to lay down plastic bags so. And you know we took a mop that nobody wanted to do that back in the day because and then they'd have to sell the four models at a discount. And I decided no one. Wanted to do that and they'd rather say I'm a real bad. So when you think about it I've often I joke with my husband Chris I said I love to sleep I love sleeping more than anything in the whole world and suddenly. More than anything. And you knew where he was going to that I similar eating and sleeping. And so to nine point is sleepers is it a passion for a lot of people and it's really important and I at what what are your thoughts on where. Sleep technology has had. On how technology has improved dramatically since the eighties and and it's amazing what what they've done as far as. You know I think the comfort the support the cool wean her on all these components that are really important for us to get a good nice save Americans just don't sleep enough I think the average a disservice six point five hours. And you need at least 78 hours. And we don't sleep that much so we we DC six and a half hours a better be good sleep so I wouldn't say Americans to other countries to your knowledge of sleep better oh yes the country's two hole you know I guess analyzing better than we did that. And we do their things but. But yet we sleep is not one of our our strengths of sleeping we are go go country and and we don't insult enough sleep. How often should people buying and actresses there's so much there's so much mattresses information people don't know about and flipping mattresses and. Right well and what a what I stellar body was really. About every five years she she'll look at your bed and say he's sleeping right. Are you sleeping good because your body changes every five years and so your needs change so may not be in the beds worn out. But there's different support that's needed or different issues that you're having sleeping they can be improved by better night's sleep. So you just got back from an awesome trip to Australia how are your dad's. You know I would say need they need help over there I hit back at imagine he'd stay nice prices have there it was sand the beds were not that great in the of the pills were even more so when I travel with my pillow my Trout Michael's been. Into labor and delivery on all over the world I got halfway to San Francisco realize they forgot my pills. I was so bummed I love about that you also have your pillow and. What kind of anti sleep on. And I did the first person I know ivy on May we have you know because we have a vacation home tonight has as always they fund. Right that the bad that I like the most right now is say the concept there come I was and that's and that is a non hybrid. Which is part memory foam parts support and string units and so I find those to be fantastic and love those. They're very cool. How did C a remembering from my first camera how in the world did a radio contest factor into the sleep change. Coming to be in a roundabout way that both. But around LA as you know I had no money when I opened the first story was to Sturgis given by and I had a account executive for. The radio station came in and Eliot thought millennium by my parents yeah alone let me go back to Atlanta. And it that I get us ignore that's got to do that set SL. You know IE and my degree when I went to sex say go hard at CA. And a and got a degree in real estate finance and insurance. Wanted to be commercial real safe broker but I was working at this mattress company and he Mamie sales manager Larry one previous l.s manager when I graduated. I want to do the real state. But it did the sales manager thing and make as he was suffering a lot more money in it in a sports cars company car. And so I did the matches gig. And then. Decide I can get better and so I talked my dad my dad was a very conservative accountant and he says yes now you know doing that. And I say about Kenny and so he my step mom actually won a trip on the radio. And she was acted a name that tune and I'm 11 this trip to London and that two week period when they're gone I bum me first struck these diverse base and open my first tour and quit my job. All the data was out of town yet and I find out return how is that I'm a dad was unhappy with his youngest son says he. He gave me that these device they tell everybody if they were in in it it's what. Really nadir coming successful that was if you wanna be successful surround yourself with great people treat them right and make everybody successful. I'll and that and you live. Find out for a hell hole on when you or you obviously trained well. Until we sold we sold seeking you know they say in 2014. I stayed with matches term for a year. On and then I may I left the role as president there to take on that on ticket a dream which is our charity obviously for Foster kids. And been doing that ever sense now so what was it like it. Selling first selling sleep Trenton mattress firm and then stepping away as president you know it's it was a bittersweet or are we ready. Now it will won the sale was the right thing to him you know I think I've shared with the you know we. We gave 25% of the company to the employees through and police are similar and they didn't have to pay for they just got to from working there. And the company had reached a value where I felt obligated on behalf of my employees. To make this deal because we were being paid as. The highest rate of the industry's ever sold that. And so we made the deal and the other reason for selling was who allowed me to take the Foster care program across the country. So yeah we went from just serving kids on the West Coast is serving a hundred and I think we said the 175000. Kids across the country right now. Since so fantastic so Foster children have been a passionate viewers for ever and I. Along with other people till I got to know you also assume that you're a Foster child and I think I get a lot of people. Because you it's it's this whole it's such a focused. Passion for you and sleep train and now mattress firm but but that's not the case you're not Foster child. Now eyes Arafat to show that I did a research project rounds on a sec state he gave me my first exposure and I was raised that you have to get back. And so my a first after they had no money but I had mattresses so we did our matches is for kids program and start out with group homes and Foster homes and that grew into the collections that we do in the stores to provide the essential items and then to fund raising money to provide the extra curricular activities so they can play sports they can participate so basically they could just be kids who can enjoy things. And that's a big one because the Foster care system we. It's it's not great but it's elements in place and yet weighed on the list is for kids to air quotes be normal when they're in a Foster home and play soccer and and take dance classes and all the other stuff yeah it's it's so sad it really is and our system and I'll I'll say it's broken now has broken. And this is not the fault for the Foster parents or are folks out there you know first of these kids have nothing wrong right they just have parents who couldn't care from. And our system is just not built to support in the way they are the Foster parents only get paid a fraction what it costs to raise these children. On top of everything that they have in their own lives and then. You know when it comes to paint playing sports when I was a kid if you had to admit he could play ball yet but now it's it's I was now the dollars to play any sport on investment in the uniforms in the travel in the tank or go to camp you know and you know one of the most. Our breaking things to me that I think that we support that I it it's a great 'cause and that's when. The reunification Cannes where they can get back into their siblings there's a playoff in different homes this really is gonna camper who a week in the summer and see their brother and sister and they haven't seen because they're in different homes. In different places. That's amazing and I I am I would not and puddle on the floor they have nine now and if they really out there has KG just sit there and go he these kids need your support they need. They need the issues they need backpacks they. They need to participate in like they need to just be kids so awesome so now to the ticket to dream foundation. Is is everywhere and great they've taken of the program we've gone across slow their country with a were growing your group grabbing new partners every day. We just did they dressed his success of program with a great organization here last night though. Big comedy down the punchline coming on soon out of Iceland it was hilarious cool so there's all sorts of partners and anybody can in our tagline there's always enough. Not everybody can be a Foster parent that anybody can help a Foster child counselor. Lee so you are you're not retired by any stretch of the imagination and energy got rid of one you've got you've got that's yet to get to dream foundation and a recently. The daily Katie Carlson center for innovation and entrepreneurship. At your own mater talk about that you know that sun. You know we've I was very blessed to have sex say I learned a time had a great. Great experience there was able to grow our business here in town and and and how they successfully did in my wife and I just he said that we wanna give back. You know how can we create more opportunities were for young students that want to achieve their dreams and really tin today's world the world's changing so fast. We as society need more innovation more entrepreneurship because it's not gonna stay the same we needed to do developed here. And we and create their jobs here immune to create their businesses here. And and grow this community with new opportunities in new innovation and so. We animator donation to sex date and growing a program there to develop launch the worst. And is the program is is a program is helping hatteras at being dealt with being built as this time we're we're actually putting together winner vice you bored me again this weekend. We're putting all the bases together we started with some of the the small projects as the pitch competitions as he column in the different colleges. Because that's the other thing that we're doing differently there. Is that it's not just a business school program this is across all the colleges. There eight colleges there and sacks stay home. You know he had engineering you get health and human services you guys to in you know business you've got education you had all these different colleges. And innovation and entrepreneurship. Happens in every one of yes so we wanna curry that mindset across the campus the president present or Robert Nelson is just intent on. Making it the DNA SX state to be innovative and entrepreneurial. Look at what is there's a young person with a great idea. And they if they don't. Feel it is supported or there are three sources to maybe. Go forward and see if maybe this idea has chops it have it be created here in the Sacramento area. By this is we wanna give and they the facilities and the opportunity and the knowledge. To cut ahead all the mistakes but still have the ability to fail. Could you gotta learn failure to would succeed in Ontario. And there's some say you've got to land that they don't even do it safely. But also give you that opportunity to cut ahead work. Here and learn from people that have done it before so you don't make the same mistakes and some of the basics is this program unique. I haven't heard of anything I've heard of think tanks and things can happen on campus easy at addressing all the different colleges there are other other programs across the country most are senator primarily in the business school where we really believe that this has to be across as we need innovation across also violence. And so we are uniquely we've we've looked at a lot of different programs and were taken the best the best of all month. To put together right here in Sacramento. And you've lost Sacramento don't you know I did this I mean this this community has been. Amazing and the people are wonderful it's just it's a wonderful place to live is a wonder place to raise children. It's just a great place to be in week we have everything here for an hour and a half from Tahoe or an hour and a half for us Emma Cisco. Mean it's a Napa Valley we want to disseminate. We have Two Rivers in a lake and in who could want right anymore. But the fact and you could have you have the resources to live anywhere you want and and this is home this is hmmm this is and I just love this place and I don't know why more people don't understand this is this is they jumped on the word's getting out there. Path up the word is getting out. Did that your an empty -- now we are we just made my son into its first apartment last weekend and he's he's often on his own he says sophomore. Down at a university. California Irvine nice my daughter graduated and married now well so so that you look at Katie easier Connolly Chris and me that we will we had fun before so consider something Yahoo! look at each other note we'll put you. Oh that's a completely fed isn't out for twenty plus years hello. Now Katie and I and a great place Mary toy any seven years now allows. And just you know we love each other very much to me. We have great group of friends and great activities that we do and she's doing amazing things to Foster care to in the healthcare right right now because she's a pediatrician said she's working. Sexy trying right now to get a health care clinic for Foster kids. Downtown it's amazing when you're truly the power couple I think so I I know that deal low. So if you have access to artists because at one point the ARCO Arena was asleep train arena and went out and Lincoln was asleep train at the theater. Who are some of the coolest people that you got to meet on your on your bucket list of Ra I was there is getting up at. Macy's was Seles still like he's just a normal dude. If I hit just a nice. Nice nice person staying. Okay as I can throw that in for yes we do we have to share so I am I am a grown woman and I've always loved staying I had an opportunity to meet him in. England a thousand years ago and for professional reasons decided not to go because that would have been a glittering idiot on the floor hugging his ankles and crying. And then I realized I was mature enough to hopefully meet him in this industry and say I've always enjoyed your music and. And then I completely forgot that I knew dale and this thing didn't now on. And I and I called gala set top I was I completely spaced and I said did you meet him and you said of course and I said. Was a nice guy. He was he was wonderful animals that we had a great conversation but I am very into politics as time we're on Iran's right during elections vaknin and it was it was interesting conversation here's slots and everything and who else. And Gwen Stefani really and that that was because I found her to be we went to the. Oh what the third bound bridge street has slowly on the assets held for on the school for Neil Young sons are all right. And yet they do all these are his command to do that. And she was the only one that's saying to the kids that had kids of there in the wheelchairs and so forth and she sung to the kids and then we're backstage and I send goes. Can you ask ask and find it'll take a picture with me is that I think you have a better chance and I. Your zodiac and you had happened she was just so nice and gracious to unused she is just wonderful. I don't think you had been forthcoming in saying if he ever met someone during those opportunities who has a jerk. It out of your DNA just letting it DNA. I have another matches question and they have via last year's mattresses are on sale because the new ones are coming in. What are the differences between blasters in this year's it depends are there is new tech. Knology coming out at a much faster back in the day. Ul and it was a newcomer yeah Hornaday can't change the foam padding is now they actually have new technological changes. They are working more and more on how to make people sleep better and one of the things that are needed so there are actually differences for unknown reasons to make the change in most cases. But a lot of times you know just like anything else by and last year's models finally got a bad deal you heard it. So what's next to what's on your vocalists that you still haven't done because you're young man he just got back from a six week trip to Australia with so. When you Katie still want to or need to do feel like you need to do. And then they need is more to continue to help. Helper we can't help entrepreneurs that's my goal Katie is to help those in health and create better health care you know for those in need. And that's what we're doing we're looking forward to that they were grandchildren grandparents. But that's no way shuffle plays off because if we understand that but you know we're just waiting. Just to be able to live and enjoy life here with all the great people that are here and do we can't make a difference. Dear kids live nearby the one at your opening Daytona got married. They're currently both are currently in LA which is beyond me that and that's because of jobs in different situations and schooling and so forth cell. Hopefully they will come back here soon that's our goal you're going to be such an awesome room Sunday and I can't wait a fifth a fifth at. They can deal for coming in a second time and thanks what do you do for this community you could be anywhere in yellow Sacramento will think you and thank you Richard and this is an awesome opportunity to be here. And then have your your podcast often you have a specific sensitivity and dale thank you.