Booming business means further expansion, no rest for East L.A. mattress manufacturer

Booming company means additional growth, no break for East L.A. mattress maker Angel M. "Angie" Echevarria wants to fortify his 240,000-square-foot mattress production plant at East Los Angeles with the other 100,000 square feet. Even though the center on Union Pacific Avenue might be the country's biggest single mattress production plant, Echevarria states, his 1985 growth wasn't sufficient to adapt continued strong expansion.

Really, Echevarria states Somma Mattress Co. is now the "biggest Hispanic business in development in California and 10th in the country’s earnings,''. He also reports the increase from $3.5 million in 1981 to $34 million final year. Echevarria earns $50 million annually, $80 million in 3 decades.

The business currently employs 275 employees, a 20-percent growth up to now this season. Beside the plant, the business has 25 warehouses throughout the nation.

Things haven't always gone smoothly for Echevarria, now 59, who had been created in Lares, Puerto Rico, and moved into New York at age. He abandoned the Big Apple in 27 to become a plant manager for a quitting business in Minneapolis simply to detect winter there wasn't any location to get a native Puerto Rican.

In 1960 he had been offered work by a different quitting business in Los Angeles and from 1966 was prepared to venture into business himself. Borrowing $25,000 by a buddy and an additional $10,000 out of his step-mother, he started his own company here as a quilter and a fabricator of polyurethane foam to the costume and bedding transactions.

Booming business means further expansion, no rest for East L.A. mattress manufacturer

Being a seller to these transactions would be a lumpy business full of stops and starts, Echevarria discovered to his dismay. At one stage he remembers, his accountant cautioned that he must think about filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Handling to get a U.S. Small Business Administration loan for about $150,000 to reconstruct working funds, Echevarria managed to receive his own sellers "appeased." However, getting fresh credit was tough.

Years before, while vending to additional mattress makers, Echevarria made polyurethane "topper pads" to examine the tops of waterbeds. He then began the pads by giving them all skirts. Read more information about futon mattress at

Observing the number of marketers had been making a go of it at the youthful waterbed sector, "despite a lot of bedding failures (escapes)," Echevarria guessed it might be his escape out of the vagaries of some vendor’s livelihood. Rather than a water-filled mattress, then he devised a new sort of waterbed that could be prone to leaks using 11-inch-diameter plastic sheeting, 55 inches long, full of water, using seven these cylinders at a queen-size mattress.

To acquire the new job off the floor, however, he wanted fresh financing. Not able to have a brand new loan, Echevarria took a fresh loan in his property.

"Once I introduced my 'Somma' (waterbed) mattress in 1978, folks thought that I was absurd," he remembers. "But today 14 makers are copying it," he mutters, "although we spent $750,000 final year on lawyer fees hoping to protect our patent rights"

The Somma mattress did establish Echevarria's ticket from vending to other producers. Last year that he liquidated his quilting and foam companies to free up 60,000 square feet from the plant to boost Somma mattress manufacturing ability.

However, Echevarria stays especially sensitive to the issues of sellers and is particularly appreciative of just how many have aided him. On Sept. 18 that he also gave a "black tie optional" feast in the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel to honor agents of the 115 sellers whom he called "the key of our success"

They vary from a tiny janitorial service into the giant DuPont Co. and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where he eventually became a commissioner in 1984. 1 aim of the feast was supposed to advise the sellers of Echevarria's development plan since they "have to get involved" so that they could prepare for this. By way of instance, Echevarria simply revealed his debut of a foam mattress to fulfill out a market in his product lineup. In addition, he says that he isn't ruling out an innerspring mattress "because we are at the sleep, maybe never waterbed company"

Another aim of the feast was supposed to thank the vendors for their aid and also to offer exceptional awards to particular sellers whose aid had been "above and beyond" An electric contractor, for instance, was looking out to hook Echevarria's gear up immediately when issues delayed the organization's transfer from four places to the plant.

Even though Echevarria confides he had been anxious about the day for those sellers, whom he calls his "loyal spouses," the organization is very much a family affair. His son Michael, 35, is the senior vice president and chief operating officer; yet another son, Robert, 30, is currently responsible for advertising and sales; along with a kid is engaged with special projects for your business when raising two daughters of her own. Find more information about futon mattress at our new article TRACY DIRECTOR futon mattress

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