Prior to founding Saatva, Ron Rudzin spent his career investing in and managing businesses in the home furnishings industry. In 2007, he had a simple idea: make the most luxurious and comfortable mattress possible and sell it directly to the customer. He founded the Saatva in 2010. Through accessible prices, complimentary white glove delivery, 24/7 customer care, and eco-friendly products, Saatva provides customers with an unparalleled mattress buying experience that truly embodies the meaning of Smarter Luxury Sleep.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I grew up in Flushing, Queens, not far from where Saatva has its headquarters today. As a kid I was very into sports—I played baseball and football. I’m still a big believer in physical activity. I play basketball a couple of times a week. No matter how old I get, no matter how slow I get, I’ve continued to play. I don’t feel right if I don’t sweat a few times every week. My father was a great role model. He was a big, strong, tough guy, but he was also really sensitive. He taught me it was possible to be kind and caring while still being an aggressive competitor, whether in sports or in business.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
My father had a lot to do with it. When I was 16, he sent me to help out his best friend, who was opening a furniture store in Manhattan. I started out working in the warehouse, cleaning tables in the showroom, and performing other tasks as needed, but one day they asked me to put on a sports jacket and they taught me to sell. That was the beginning of my career as an entrepreneur. We went on to grow that one furniture store into a chain of more than 200 around the country, and my father’s best friend remains my mentor and is a co-founder of Saatva.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
I would say to trust your instincts. There is nothing I love better than working with a team, sitting with a group of smart people, and coming up with a great idea or solution. But you can’t make every decision by committee. As a founder, I’ve been involved in every change and innovation that my company has gone through, and I understand it at an instinctive level. Solicit input from your leadership, listen, absorb it, then make your gut decision based on that.