MATT JUNG, COMFORT RESEARCH
I am Co-Founder of Comfort Research. It is a company I started in 1996 while I was a Junior at Hope College along with my good friend, Co-Founder and current business partner, Chip George.
Our first product was a new style of bean bag filled with shredded foam, originally called the Poof Chair and currently known as the Fuf Chair (long story…but we lost that battle.) We started our company by selling our Poof Chairs directly to college students during welcome week at colleges and universities around the Midwest, as well as at a store we owned and managed at a local mall.
By the time we graduated we had a little bit of sales and not much to lose, so we went for it and pursued our dream of building a company full time.
We still sell that original chair along with polystyrene filled bean bags, pool noodles, outdoor furniture, kid’s toys and more. Now, 23 years later, we have sold more than 25 million products all across the world to some of the world’s best retailers and created almost $1B in retail sales for our customers.
And we owe much of our success to the culture we have created.
And, if I’m being honest, we have been pretty lucky along the way. I don’t know if it is unique to our community, or if it is something bigger than that, but during the course of my career I have been lucky enough to run into countless people that were, and are, willing to help Chip and I on our entrepreneurial journey in ways both large and small, with no expectation of anything in return. And that is awesome. I am eternally grateful to a whole host of people.
I can confidently say our business wouldn’t be in existence today if it weren’t for the sage advice, leadership, and friendship of my business partners George and Jason Julius. And, there have been countless others who have made a striking impact on my business life as well: Jeff Hutsell, Steve Johandes, Craig Hall, Ed Havlik, my Vistage group members, our leadership team at Comfort Research, all the Ambassadors at Comfort Research, and so many more.
I didn’t want to wait until later in life to honor those who have given me so much. Without their valuable guidance, advice, ear to complain into, encouragement, and countless other impacts, our organization we would not be here.
This is my attempt to try and give back a little.