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Mike Lennon, our Senior Vice President of Marketing (now retired after 37 years), and Steve Wilder, current Chief Financial Officer/Chief Information Officer, joined a few years later.Together, we guided Waterbed City on a growth path in the 1970s and 1980s.It was not a big success, but Kevin earned enough money to return to our hometown of Fort Lauderdale and rent a 900-square foot shop in the Northridge Shopping Center, where he opened Waterbed City.He sold waterbeds by day and cut frames in the back at night, and a radio spot on WSRF, an AM rock and roll station, helped attract young buyers with an ad for a .95 king-sized waterbed and mattress frame.Channeling our entrepreneurial spirit, we took a risk and committed waterbed heresy—we added innerspring mattresses to our line-up.And over the next few years, we realized we needed to fully reinvent the business.I started worked with Kevin in 1972, while still studying at the University of Florida, and we officially became partners when I graduated in 1975.Garry Ikola, now Senior Vice President of Sales, started in 1973, sporting long blonde hair parted down the middle and a thick moustache— a true sign of the 1970s.
Style, quality, and value stay at the core of everything we do to this day.
Sales grew, and Waterbed City quickly became a household name as the #1 seller of beds in South Florida.
Then in 1989, after 18 years of steady growth, the waterbed industry in the United States reached a plateau and started to decline.
We are proud to have built six LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Certified City Furniture and Ashley Furniture Home Store showrooms, more than any other retailer.
Plus, we recycle over 95 percent of our waste, including cardboard, paper, plastic, and EPS/Styrofoam.
Waterbeds got better styles, waveless mattresses, temperature control, and ultimately became more popular.