Mattress Mack addresses the Katy Area EDC

Mattress Mack addresses the Katy Area EDC Main Photo

11 Dec 2023

By: Susan Rovegno - Katy Times

Legendary local businessman Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale shared some of his wisdom with attendees of the Katy Area Economic Development Council at the December General Assembly breakfast on December 4th. The event was held at the Embassy Suites, 16435 Katy Freeway.

“Mattress Mack” recounted his history and his entry into business, beginning with living with his parents in Dallas and his case of “bad attitude.” He felt he was a victim of circumstance but his boss at the store where he bagged groceries told him that he “was a fighter.” His life changed when he heard preacher on a Sunday morning broadcast – not speaking about the Gospel but about “how to be successful.”

McIngvale outlined his “rules for business:” take care of the customer, take care of your employees, make work fun and help people first. “The best ability of all is availability,” he said, noting that he is on the showroom floor at his furniture store all the time. He related that he was able to learn from customers, even learning about marketing from two of his recent customers.

McIngvale also described the community programs that he has put in place at his Gallery Furniture stores. Through one program, kids in the economically-depressed area near the North Freeway store are brought in and fed – with one rule: no phones or tablets – they have to talk to one another. As a result, McIngvale said, they make friends and find support and resources. He also described a trade school program sponsored by his company which offers training in the trades and puts people to work in high-paying jobs.

“The essence of living is giving,” McIngvale said. “When you stand before your Creator at the end of your life, He won’t ask how much money you made.”

McIngvale shared the story of his daughter Elizabeth and her lifelong struggles with OCD. He said that he and his wife were “sellers, not buyers” and that they were sold on the idea that she could be helped. He praised the Brookwood Community where Elizabeth received help, and noted that Brookwood helps find jobs for its residents. Jobs give purpose and meaning to life, Mcingvale said.

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