Big Interview with David Baldry, new Group MD at Hypnos

David Baldry, new Group Managing Director at bed manufacturer Hypnos, features in our Big Interview where he talks about the day job, who he most admires and why sustainability is such a key focus.

Let’s start with you. Can you share a bit about yourself and your background? 

I’ve worked in the KBB and design-led consumer goods industry for over a decade with some of Europe’s largest consumer brands, including Aqualux, Fetim Group and Grohe. My roles have focused on leading the operational and commercial teams across multiple brands, as well as overseeing new product development and launches, material sourcing and manufacturing processes. From shelving to shower enclosures, I’ve covered the home design spectrum and I love it!

What is your current job role and key responsibilities?

I was appointed as Group Managing Director at Hypnos in May 2022. It’s a fantastic globally renowned brand with a phenomenal legacy that’s well over a century. With an innovative approach, sustainability at its core and a commitment to a positive environmental and societal impact, it will no doubt enjoy another successful 100 years. 

I am thrilled to be joining such a responsible business and an experienced team to help further build on the brand’s great foundation to improve, optimise and transform its approach, particularly when it comes to furthering our progressive decarbonisation journey. We’re committed to expanding our sustainability plans and going beyond neutralising our impact, to actively helping to regenerate the planet with a focus on circular designs via our honest, ethical, and transparency model.    

I’m also looking forward to leading our team on Hypnos’ pioneering journey as well as using my experience to mentor and develop those around me.  

What do you love about your job?

Every day is different. One day I could be focusing on our new product development or looking at how we’re furthering our transparent and ethical supply chain to responsibly source certified natural and sustainable materials, and the next I could be mentoring the team or in a board meeting. 

Being able to influence change by empowering, encouraging, and mentoring is also a key highlight of the role for me. Hypnos is passionate about being a force for good, an ethos I strongly believe in, so I can’t wait to get going. 

As Hypnos is a family run business, there’s a great atmosphere and real camaraderie, everyone wants to grow and develop together and there’s a real hunger for continually improving and supporting the community – it’s one of the reasons I love working here. 

What time is your alarm clock set for and do you have a morning routine? 

I’m an early riser so the alarm is set for 5.45am. The day always starts with coffee, followed by catching up with the news and then a session at the gym. I’m then usually at my desk by 8.30am ready and raring to go.

Why did you choose to work in the furnishing industry? 

Home is where the heart is and a beautiful home can really make a difference to people’s everyday life, so it’s wonderful to have a role that inspires and enables people to achieve that. Not to mention that sleep is integral to everyone’s health and wellbeing, so what could be better than working for a brand that’s all about inspiring everyone to sleep sustainably? 

Who do you most admire in the industry and why? 

Martin, one of our fantastic upholsterers here at Hypnos. He’s 72 years young and is never without a smile. He’s always happy to share his skills and nurture new talent, to ensure that our hand-crafted beds and mattresses always offer the upmost in quality. 

Has there been any special moments during your career? 

I am fortunate to have worked with many amazing people throughout my career, that have resulted in some special moments.  From comedy journeys such as arriving in a small TukTuk at a 5* hotel in Asia for a meeting (there was 2 of us squashed in neither skinny and one 6’2 – fair to say we didn’t really fit in!), to running a team building event with comedy hats in Amsterdam.  Special people make special moments and I have no doubt I will share many more in the future with the team here at Hypnos. 

What is your favourite item of furniture you own and why? 

I have a white Eames style office chair in my office at home, which is stylish and comfortable and always makes me smile whenever I sit in it. What more could you ask for?

What do you think is trending within the industry at present? 

Sustainability and ESG is a key focus for the industry right now, putting the battle to help combat climate change at the heart of everything we do. However, it’s important that this isn’t simply viewed as a trend, but something that needs to be embodied from start to finish from farm to home. Everyone’s goal must be to offer truly eco-conscious products that don’t compromise on quality. At Hypnos we not only believe in an integrity-first approach, but are always actively looking for ways to do better. 

Designing products that offer true comfort with integrity sits at our core here at Hypnos, from our resilient and ethical supply chain in collaboration with our certification partners, to sourcing traceable materials, to ensuring we can offer greener future in design that provides a positive impact on both the environment and sleep wellness. 

We’ve been practising sustainable bed creation and business operation for over a decade, it’s ingrained in everything we do and in every decision we take, we believe that sleep should cost the earth, that’s the approach that all manufacturers should have.

What would you change in the industry? 

I’d like to ensure specialist skills are transferred to new generations. There are many, many experienced craftsmen and women who have a lot of knowledge to share, and I think it’s important that this isn’t overlooked. Apprenticeships are a fantastic training ground but working with someone with years of experience is invaluable. We have an incredibly experienced team here at Hypnos and I’m passionate about them sharing their knowledge with our younger or more junior team members. 

Can you share an insight into your future plans? 

My focus is always on the customer journey, initially focusing on reconnecting with our customer and supplier partners, especially after the long distance working of recent years, and then looking at further improving the customer experience through people, processes, and systems. We are currently exploring updates across the business. I’m fortunate we have an excellent team, at all levels from the factory floor to the board room, who are passionate about working on this. 

What do you enjoy most outside of work / free time?

Time with family and, golf are all hobbies of mine. I also enjoy wine and am a self-confessed foodie, anything from food trucks to the occasional Michelin restaurant, I like to try it all. 

What might someone not know about you? 

I’m friends with a Brazilian TV and Film star, Daniel Tavares. I also speak a little Bulgarian.

If you had a different career, what would it be? 

I’d have to say a Sommelier, so many wines and flavours!

Finally, if you were an item of furniture, what would it be and why? 

A Hypnos bed of course – perfect for welcoming people home, comforting them at the end of a hard day, preparing them for the next with a great night’s sleep, a place to recover and prepare for life every day!

Five for fun:
1) If you could hack into any one computer, whose computer would you choose and why? 
Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, David Sacks or David Friedberg’s to see where to invest in the modern world. I love, numbers and statistics. 

2) What fact amazes you every time you think of it? 

In the grand scheme of things, we are on a blue marble spinning round a fire ball! 

3) What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done? 

I booked a last-minute flight to meet with my family on New Year’s Eve when they thought I couldn’t make it. I didn’t tell them, hired a car and sneaked into the home where they were staying with a suitable bottle of Fizz or three!

4) What is the most important object you own and why? 

My passport – we live in a beautiful world; I have friends all over and it’s a privilege to be able to spend time with them and explore all that this wonderful world has to offer. 

5) What did you think was cool when you were young but isn’t cool now?

Computer games, the real world has so much more to offer!

About Hypnos

Having manufactured luxury handmade beds for more than 100 years, Hypnos is internationally renowned as the expert in handcrafted pocket spring mattresses and divans. Combining traditional skills with constant innovation and using only the finest natural and sustainable materials, Hypnos has a reputation for making the most comfortable and sustainable beds in the world and has a Royal Warrant, providing not only bespoke beds but advice on sleep and wellbeing to the Royal Family.

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