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Small Biz Interview with Tufted Topper owner Madalyn Duerr

January 27th, 2010 | Customer Support,Featured,Interviews,shopping,Small Business,Small Business Tips | No Comments »

sunset_sailingIt’s a busy week for Tufted Topperand owner Madalyn Duerr as she excitedly prepares for the Strictly Sail show at Navy Pier in Chicago this coming weekend. Tufted Topper isn’t just for avid boaters, it is a unique custom mattress pad that can be created for any mattress. Tufted Topper was one of our first KikScorebeta customers and has been a great partner in providing feedback and suggestions not only on the KikScore products but also on small business ventures and various other tidbits. Thanks Madalyn and Tufted Topper – best of luck in the show this weekend!

1. Tell us about Tufted Topper and who you focus on serving?
Tufted Topper’ is a custom-made pillow top pad to make any sleeping area more comfortable, giving you mattress comfort without the mattress price. We focus on the marine industry but a topper can be used in campers, on hide-a-beds, or on your own uncomfortable mattress at home.

2. What prompted the launch of Tufted Topper?
The idea for ‘Tufted Topper’ came out of our own need. We were avid sailors spending long weekends on our boat. Sleeping quarters on boats are notoriously uncomfortable and custom mattresses are a very expensive luxury. We had a friend in the mattress business who agreed to make us a topper for our v-berth. It made a world of difference. Once others on our dock heard about the comfortable pad, they wanted one too. A new business was born. However, our friend did not have the equipment needed to make all the intricate cuts and corners found on most boats. After an intense six-month search, we found the perfect vendor and began exhibiting our product at several boat shows but it soon became apparent that we needed more visibility and an easier way for customers to purchase our toppers.

3. How did you get started selling online?
We quickly realized that a website was in order and that a ‘safe’ ordering process was not only important but necessary. Today, more than 85% of our business comes through online sales. Our customers want easy access to product information and simple ordering procedures . . . simple but succinct . . . a challenge when you want to attract customers and provide all the information you can without being overwhelming.

4. Where will Tufted Topper focus most of its energy in 2010?
In 2010, much of our energy will be focused on improving the website and making sure our customers have confidence in shopping with us. KikScore is a great tool that helps us demonstrate that trust online.

5. As 2010 begins, what trends do you see in your business this year?
Slowly coming out of a recession, we look to this year as a ‘retrofit’ year . . . . people remodeling their homes instead of purchasing new ones, getting new tires and brake jobs instead of buying new cars, adding a few small luxuries to their current boats instead of trading up. If that rings true, it should be a good year for ‘Tufted Topper’ . . . . a terrific and affordable upgrade for a boat, camper or home.

If you are out in Chicago this weekend, head to Navy Pier for the show and stop by booth 453 to say Hi to Madalyn and explore having a Tufted Topper custom fit for you!

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