LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2015) — A University of Kentucky alumna is bringing her business to the Commonwealth. Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray today announced UK graduate and Innovative Mattress Solutions CEO Kimberly Brown Knopf will locate her company’s headquarters in Lexington.
Innovative Mattress Solutions (IMS), operating in Kentucky as Sleep Outfitters, has mattress stores in six states. IMS will create 52 jobs and invest nearly $2.4 million in the project.
“This is a momentous occasion for Innovative Mattress Solutions and Lexington,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “I’m excited the company is expanding its successful Kentucky operation and establishing its headquarters here. I’m proud to welcome home a fellow University of Kentucky alumna who has gone on to enjoy great success as an entrepreneur.”
“Bringing a new business to the Commonwealth is always a rewarding venture,” said Lt. Gov. Luallen, “Bringing home a Kentucky native in the process makes this day all the more special. The local connection that Innovative Mattress Solutions has already established by offering a number of Tempur Sealy International Inc. products, and the generosity the company has already shown by giving back to the community, indicates that IMS has a bright future here in Lexington.”
IMS plans to occupy increased office and warehouse distribution space on Jaggie Fox Way, formerly the headquarters for Tempur-Pedic prior to the establishment of Tempur Sealy International Inc. The company needs the larger distribution facility for its Lexington operation since sales growth exceeded the capacity of its current home. The move to the new distribution warehouse will double the company’s existing Lexington distribution center capacity. The 52 jobs created with this project include operations, financing, information technology, marketing, human resources and sales.
“It’s exciting to bring my company’s headquarters to my home state of Kentucky,” said Knopf. “Lexington’s advantageous proximity to our region and its location to our strategic partner, Tempur Sealy International Inc., make it an ideal location for us. Our connection with my alma mater provides us with opportunities for internships and recruitment. We are grateful for the assistance and support we have received from the state, city and Commerce Lexington.”
Shortly after graduating from UK, Kimberly Brown Knopf founded her company, becoming its president and CEO. The Louisville native has continued to grow her company, which now operates 155 retail stores in six states as it continues to expand. Additionally, IMS conducts business as Mattress Warehouse and Mattress King.
“UK alumni succeed in myriad ways, and we’re proud when those alumni choose to bring their talent and expertise back home,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “Kim has built a successful company with Innovative Mattress Solutions, and she maintains a close commitment to her alma mater through collaborations with the Gatton College of Business and Economics and as a mentor to young women in the Gatton College’s Women Business Leaders Program. She’s an excellent role model to young entrepreneurs, and we’re excited to see IMS develop a stronger foundation in Central Kentucky.”
In addition to the headquarters move, Knopf said IMS and Tempur Sealy International Inc. are donating to a local women’s shelter.
“Tempur Sealy International Inc. is not just a valued business partner, but also a company that shares our passion for giving back to the community,” Knopf said. “On the occasion of this exciting announcement about our headquarters move, we’d like to share some more exciting news. IMS is proud to work with Tempur Sealy International Inc. to deliver to an area women’s shelter more than 40 Tempur-Pedic mattresses, as well as foundations and bed frames donated by IMS. We are committed to providing a great night’s sleep to the residents of the shelter, and look forward to more IMS-Tempur Sealy International Inc. initiatives that will benefit our local communities in the future.”
“Deciding to locate its headquarters in Lexington is a vote of confidence from Innovative Mattress Solutions in our city’s workforce and quality of life,” Mayor Gray said. “Our unemployment rate is among the lowest in the state. Innovative Mattress Solutions is a welcome addition to Lexington, a university city that embraces talent, ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit.”
“I understand that Innovative Mattress Solutions has been looking to make the move to a permanent distribution center and corporate headquarters in Lexington for some time now, and I am pleased that they have worked something out,” said Sen. Ralph Alvarado, of Winchester. “It is encouraging to see this company’s growth, and the more than 50 jobs they will create in our community is tremendous news.”
“I’m really pleased to see Innovative Mattress Solutions take this step forward and invest further in Fayette County,” said Rep. George Brown, of Lexington. “Today’s announcement shows that our community is continuing to do the right things to help our local businesses grow and to bring others here. I appreciate the work our local and state economic development leaders are doing to create this favorable environment.”
“We are so excited that Innovative Mattress Solutions has ‘bounced’ into Lexington with its new headquarters, new jobs for our community and an economic investment that will impact our region for many years,” said Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. “Congratulations to UK alumna Kim Knopf, who is bringing her company back home to the Bluegrass. Our economic development staff is proud to have worked with IMS since 2010, as we explored the opportunity to place its headquarters here. Both UK alumni and headquarter operations are points of emphasis set forth in our economic development strategic plan.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $750,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Innovative Mattress Solutions also has received preliminary approval from the City of Lexington for a $250,000 Jobs Fund loan. The Jobs Fund was established to promote high-quality job creation with a focus on relocating primary base operations to Lexington.
In addition, Innovative Mattress Solutions is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 4,100 Kentucky companies.