Do your brand values let you sleep at night?

Len Laycock knows brand values, and he knows design. When we first met, his stunning home furnishings design / retail brand Upholstery Arts was a beacon on the Vancouver scene – not least of which for its impeccable sustainability cred.

Fast forward a few years, and Len is launching another company supported by powerful brand values. sells stunning beds that stand out for their innovation, design, and sustainability features.

What’s the secret to launching a successful values-based brand? I thought it best to get the insights from the man himself. So I invited Len to my show, Didn’t See It Coming. We dipped into anecdotes from Len’s career as Director of Marketing at IKEA, his 17-year experience building Upholstery Arts, and his new venture

Enjoy the show!

Show notes

  • 1:30 – The story behind Upholstery Arts.
  • 4:00 – What the??? There’s a cockatiel that loves podcasts in the background!
  • 4:50 – The genesis of
  • 6:00 – The toxic chemical concoction that goes into modern beds.
  • 8:30 – Enough mattresses are thrown away in the US every year to stack higher than Mt. Everest.
  • 9:30 – How sustainability and diversity drive more innovative companies.
  • 10:30 – What will it take to make us wake up to the importance of living more sustainably?
  • 12:00 – Why you need to get past the early adopters, to the early mainstream.
  • 13:15 – The research behind beds.
  • 14:15 – Form, function, footprint.
  • 15:15 – Is it easier being green?
  • 17:00 – Why have beds gone backwards in sustainability?
  • 18:45 – The frustrating waste of fast furniture.
  • 20:30 – Compare: how green is your green bed?
  • 21:00 – Why an ‘expensive’ bed isn’t actually that expensive.
  • 24:00 – Buying against the backdrop of climate breakdown.
  • 25:00 – The dawn of planned obsolescence.
  • 27:30 – Why are ‘beds in a box’ hot news today? Product vs process.
  • 31:00 – Offloading recycling, and other deceptions of the ‘new’ bed industry.
  • 32:00 – The question every entrepreneur should ask themselves.
  • 34:00 – Building a business without hunting for capital – on-demand and pre-order tricks.
  • 35:00 – How to test the market.
  • 35:30 – Good to great, and the slow build of great companies.
  • 36:30 – What to learn from Malcolm Gladwell and 10,000 hours.


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