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Mr Bleen Loam

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The business has the greatest number of dealers, 2,500, and is now planning to start a 130,000 sq foot manufacturing plant on the East Coast by the end of summer 1994. Somma President Angie Echevarria's most important goal for the business is for this to turn into a full-line mattress company.

 Los Angeles-based Somma Mattress may function as Next big 'S' from the bedding business, according to Angie Echevarria, founder and president.

 Nevertheless, Echevarria chose to mention his mattress Company Comma for his resons, not to be another big 'S'. "Somma signifies sleep in Latin. It means body. So the title is suitable for my merchandise," he explained.

The $25 million company is embarking on a significant transformation, Echevarria said. The company, which originally started as a flotation bedding surgery and has a patented cone creation for waterbeds to its credit, introduced its first innerspring and foam products a bit more than one year ago.

 The two new bedding lines are the EurForma Collection created with European inspiration along with the Nouveau collection, a five-bed lineup featuring removable fiber and down pillowtops.

 "We're entering a different plateau in our Business history. In business your must continue to grow or to era. And heaven help you if get in the aging stages," Echevarria said. "There's obviously something greater, something different, something more competitive. We listen to our dealers and customers and we go out and seek new procedures of manufacturing."

 Somma is now involved in many Projects, among which is the opening of a new manufacturing plant. "Seventy percent of the customer base is east of the Mississippi therefore our move is imminent," Echevarria said. While he declined to name the exact website, "the place was determined and it is on the East Coast," he explained.

 The manufacturing plant would be 130,000 square Feet and is expected to be up and running before the end of the summer. "But, we will surely maintain a presence here in California," Echevarria added.

 "Our goal right now is to eventually become a Full-line mattress company capitalizing on our customer base and continuing to grow with a more intelligent supply," Echevarria said. "I want to reach $60 million in the next five years."

 It's ultimately Echevarria's optimistic Outlook, vision and adaptability, associated David Tenuta, vice president of sales, that has made the business what it is today, and it has positioned if for additional growth.

 Echevarria said the company's greatest Achievement has been "producing the biggest customer base of any mattress manufacturer from the U.. S. We've got the most dealers--roughly 2,500," he claimed. "What we are going to do is capitalize on our dealer base. We know that traders are craving for differentiated mattresses which have eye appeal, comfort, and aggressive price points."

 Besides opening a new plant, the Company has a new promotion and marketing strategy in the functions. "Promotion to customers is quite important. The old saying is if you've got something good, let it everyone," Echevarria said. "Word of mouth is all about the best form of advertising you've got. But the second greatest is print media and creating a hook with the item."

 "All of Somma's advertisements is now being Geared to a girl who's 38 to 64 years in age. But most importantly we are doing mood advertising," Tenuta explained. "We're not showing a mattress in our advertisements because we are not selling springs or chiropractic. We're going after a woman's feelings," he explained. "Our company has experienced an entire change and our new company logo is the butterfly for exactly that reason we've undergone a total metamorphosis."

 Originally a qualting service for West Coast Mattress makers, Somma has continued to increase the shift with the times. Echevarria realized early on that there were tremendous opportunities for his business to expand.

 "As we started to grow (my first year's Sales were $60,000 and we do that in the daytime), we became really form intensive," Echevarria related. "One day a gentleman came in searching to get an insulated pad that goes between the water bag and the sheet. So I started providing him with those. He became successfuyl and used his invention with his product."

 With that in mind, Echevarria relaized that there Was an immediate chance to make a niche for himself in flotation when he can minimize the amount of water spilled when a flow happened. "I then came back up with the canister production (special to Somma) which is the core of Somma Mattress," he related.

 Waterbed traders, he noted, didn't want any Part of the merchandise. "Yet, once I gave the product as a present to friends, they would come back raving about it," Echevarria recalled. Ultimately, after receiving an endorsement against the Wheeling, Ill. based furniture assert Wickes, he had been on his way.

 Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Spanish Harlem, Echevarria said his inspiration comes from both his grandmother Evarista and a strong work ethic. "I never cease being amazed at what can Occur from hard work," he concluded.