Small Biz Spotlight
Barbara Gutierrez Goes to the Mattresses with Family-Owned Business
By Dina Proto
Pin Pan Pun Bedding Suppliers has found success in an ever changing market by connecting with others and adapting to change.
Barbara Gutierrez, owner of Pin Pan Pun, grew up in the mattress business. Her parents started ABC Mattress over 40 years ago —selling mattresses to the people of Miami. Rather than sleep on the sidelines as the industry changed, she and the company have evolved to remain successful.
“When my parents started the store they were the only game in town, literally the only mattress store in Miami,” Gutierrez said. “It’s a whole different story now.”
When her parents began their business, internet sales and Google searches weren’t even a possibility. Fast forward 40 years and Gutierrez knew how important standing out online would be. The desire to stand out is reflected in the unique name change of the business—Pin Pan Pun.
“I love to hear people say it, ‘Pin Pan Pun,’” Gutierrez said. “The origin of it is that’s what Cubans call a rollaway bed. I did it because I saw the whole Google thing coming. Many years ago I purchased the domain, long before I took over the company. I figured it was catchy and maybe I could rank higher on Google search results.”
The name is also quite fitting because Pin Pan Pun works with many hotels which tend to purchase rollaway beds frequently. Pin Pan Pun strives to meet all mattress needs including hotel mattress sets, memory foam mattresses, Soflux fabric mattresses and accessories. Hospitals, hotels, jails and nursing homes nationwide can find the mattresses they need through Pin Pan Pun.
“We are family owned with lots of experience in the mattress industry,” Gutierrez said. “We can service many types as far as export but we can also help smaller hotels, motels, whoever needs us within the local area.”
With rent prices in Miami rising rapidly, it was obvious to Gutierrez the company could no longer sustain success with a retail location —it was time to take the wholesale route.
“Rent for retail space is just off the charts, so I had to close the store after 41 years,” Gutierrez said. “We closed it two months ago and moved the retail to the manufacturer and run the wholesale. I saw the way things were going on the retail side, so decided to focus on the wholesale and it is going much better.”
As a wholesale bedding supplier Gutierrez says she has found success in growing the business by developing connections with other business owners. She has developed those connections by becoming certified and engaged with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Miami Dade County Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
“The local Chamber of Commerce has been very helpful,” Gutierrez said. “They have guided me into many meetings that have had to do with hospitality in particular. Most of the growth of my business is probably from their site.”
She has also found connections with other LGBT-owned businesses to be fruitful. She believes in supporting LGBT-owned businesses and does so regularly. By doing so she has made connections with others which has led to business growth, especially in the hospitality industry.
Gutierrez encourages other LGBT-owned businesses to become involved with the chambers and leverage the connections the organizations have to offer.
“Get involved with the chambers, definitely,” Gutierrez said. “You can get a lot of help—people really want to help each other and help one another grow.”
You can learn more about Barbara Gutierrez and Pin Pan Pun at www.pinpanpun.net.