HARD WORK, GREAT AMBITION
Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale has always believed in God, country, family, and hard work. A tireless powerhouse, Mack is usually found standing at the front desk of the original Gallery Furniture store on North Freeway, greeting every customer and overseeing the sales activities of the store, seven days a week. Mack is the hardest working person you will ever meet! He never stops moving and trying to get better, and his energy is infectious to all who come in contact with this Houston icon.
With only $5,000 and a dream to build the world's greatest furniture store, Mack started Gallery Furniture under tents on the side of the freeway, over 30 years ago. To Mack, life is about lessons to be learned and opportunities to be seized. With his life’s motto "Grateful for everything, Entitled to nothing" directing his life, Mack has seen his dream grow and become a multi-million dollar enterprise, employing over 400 great American workers and helping to create countless others through his commitment to selling Made in America furniture.
INFLUENCING AMERICAN INDUSTRY
Gallery Furniture is also responsible for growing America's furniture manufacturing industry. Mack has long felt that an emphasis on high-quality, solid wood furniture was missing from the furniture industry. Too much furniture sold in America today is made overseas, using pressed, composite materials, full of dangerous chemicals, and built using cheap construction techniques that produce furniture that won't last more than a few years, at most, while leaching dangerous chemicals into the soil and groundwater when it ends up in landfills.
TODAY's best furniture comes from American craftsman who use solid hardwoods and traditional, time-honored craftsmanship, producing beautiful furniture that can be handed down for generations to come and where value is measured in quality, not quantity. Mack is the country's strongest proponent of Made in America furniture. As Mack puts it, "by selling Made in America furniture, we're selling the best furniture made and creating good jobs for Americans." It's a win-win situation.
"It's only a start," says Mack, "but we're in this for the long haul. After 30-plus years selling furniture, we know our customers want long-lasting furniture at a fair price. And they prefer American-made quality."
While Mack's promotions are well-known, his philanthropy is legendary. "We believe in 'Capitalism with a Cause,'" explains Mack, when asked why he gives so much to the community, schools, universities and more. "Why work so hard if you can't do something positive with what you earn?"
In fact, his philanthropy is as contagious as his passion for furniture. His work on special projects helped to build the first Mobile Stroke Unit in the USA, for patients in Houston, as well as raise millions for the Bush-Clinton Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund. When there's a great charitable need, Mack and Gallery Furniture are usually the first to respond, if not spearhead the effort.
For years now, Gallery Furniture has been at the top of the industry in terms of size and earnings per square foot. As the largest independent furniture retailer in Texas — and bigger than most in other states — Mattress Mack knows continual innovation is needed to remain on top. TODAY, Gallery Furniture is enjoying tremendous growth with online marketing and sales, while employing cutting-edge technology on the sales floor, so sales consultants can provide a more personalized experience for customers, demonstrating value and expertise.
A RESPECTED HOUSTONIAN & GREAT AMERICAN
Anyone who's ever worked with Mack knows that he builds his business and performs his acts of charity, not for recognition, but to benefit the community at large. Mack has a huge heart and is focused on helping Houston become the greatest city in America. Mack is one of Houston's most recognized citizens and has touched the lives of countless Houstonians in a positive way.