John Tuton knows the value of a good night’s sleep, but his mission of creating the perfect mattress, actually came about through a fateful Rugby accident. His ‘Eureka’ moment came when struggling to sleep during his recovery. He asked himself, “Why should anyone wait until pain or poor health strikes to get maximum rest and recuperation from their mattress?” – and why should they? From then – John set out to create the perfect mattress that would help everyone sleep better and in turn lead better lives, and so Mammoth was born.
10 years down the line and John has never looked back since. Today, Mammoth is a leader in sleep comfort, recommended by health professionals and used by professional athletes all over the world. Mammoth ’s Medical Grade™ Foam mattresses has been scientifically tested and proven to improve sleep – and is a testament to John Tuton’s commitment to constant innovation and reinvention.
In our latest Boss Boy Interview – John Tuton looks back at the past decade of Mammoth on his 10 year anniversary. We discuss everything from the early days of his game-changing business, the moments that have stayed with him through the years, and some key advice for aspiring Boss boys.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start Mammoth?
I’ve always had a passion for health and wellbeing. I used to work in healthcare, providing medical equipment for seriously unwell patients. During this time, I discovered how getting the right mattress can really make a difference to your life.One particular case still stays with me to this very day, and is a constant reminder of Mammoth’s driving purpose to help everyone make the most of life.
I had been called in by doctors to help an elderly patient in a critical condition due to severe pressure wounds caused by a fall and subsequent long period in bed. With traditional prescribed methods failing to help, the outlook was bleak. As part of her treatment, I recommended using a new technology within a pressure relieving mattress and cushion, proven to stimulate circulation and blood flow.
The results were amazing and within a couple of weeks she was out of bed and then shortly after that, she was enjoying days out with her children and grandchildren. The thank you letter from her family was so moving, it made me realise what I wanted to do for the rest of my career.
Around the same time, I was also struggling to get a comfortable night’s rest after getting injured playing rugby, and it led to me having a ‘eureka’ moment. I began thinking, why should anyone wait until pain or poor health strikes to get maximum rest and recuperation from their mattress. So Mammoth was born with the aim of helping anyone and everyone sleep better, feel better and make the most of every day. Now in our 10th anniversary year, we are proud that our award-winning technologies are recommended by health professionals, including the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, and used by professional athletes across a wide range of sports.
How important is sleep to our overall well-being?
We spend a third of our lives sleeping so it’s not surprising that sleep plays a vital part in our overall health and recovery. In modern life, sleep has never been more important. We live busy lives, spend too much time in front of our screens and all too often ignore our natural body clocks, so getting the recommended eight hours sleep isn’t always easy. But it’s a fact that good sleep improves our health, wellbeing and happiness.
A good night’s sleep is linked to learning faster, living longer, higher levels of creativity and performance, lower stress levels, maintaining a healthy weight and attractiveness. In fact, a good night’s sleep is even scientifically proven to extend life.
“We spend a third of our lives sleeping so it’s not surprising that sleep plays a vital part in our overall health and recovery.”
Sleep is also crucial for performance, which is why we are the ‘go-to’ provider for elite athletes and organisations, including the British Athletes Commission. We have several exciting partnerships including with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), the Rugby Players’ Association and we are the official mattress and pillow supplier of Tottenham Hotspur’s state-of-the-art, private player accommodation lodge, as well as the official mattress and seating partner for the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA).
Could you tell us a bit about Mammoth’s Medical Grade Foam Technology and PostureCell technology?
At the core of every Mammoth mattress is our Medical Grade™ Foam and PostureCell® technologies which were designed specifically to help people enjoy better sleep. In fact, these technologies are scientifically tested and shown to improve sleep by the UK Centre of Sleep Research.
Evidence shows that a lack of proper support and overheating are the two biggest obstacles to getting an uninterrupted night’s sleep. So that’s why it was important to us to develop products that help alleviate these issues.
Our Medical Grade™ Foam was developed from healthcare to ease aches and pains, and return people to good health. Our mattresses provide plenty of pressure relieving postural support through our PostureCell® technology, and it is naturally cooling – so it won’t heat up and neither will the user. It’s also hypoallergenic. Our developments and innovation have meant Mammoth are now NHS award winners.
Our mattresses are recommended by health professionals to ease aches and pains, including back pain. They are endorsed by elite athletes, national teams and their governing bodies to help them sleep better, be better and perform better.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur so far?
Life as an entrepreneur hasn’t been easy all of the time. In the beginning I had to spend my life savings and pay my mortgage on credit cards to set up the business. Everything I had was invested into the business and I even had to go on honeymoon on a shoestring budget. It wasn’t just making sure we had enough money to start operating, it was getting suppliers and manufacturers to take us seriously for prototyping. It was a long process and I had to go back to employment for an interim period to keep the business going.
We’ve also had to face navigating a changing retail environment and further challenges when the business plateaued. After re-investing in our brand and message, we are back in growth thanks to strengthening the team, resource and capability, identifying talent and lots of hard work.
Although we’ve had difficult times, the sacrifices have been worth it.
What advice do you have for other Boss boys just starting out?
Back yourself, work hard and make sure you are going into a sector you enjoy, because it is going to be big part of your life.
Be prepared to take a risk and realise that you might no longer be able to have the ideal work, life balance. Setting up your own business is tough, and it will always infiltrate your home life.
That’s why it is important to have time off, so when you do go on holiday, make sure your phone stays in the top drawer and that you switch off. In order to do that, you have to have the ability to delegate, manage and recruit the right team as all of these are essential to running a successful business.