In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and change-makers working on innovative startups, social enterprises and SME’s around Aotearoa New Zealand.

At a glance

Founders: Lance Metz and Gabi Metz

Business: teddy

Founded: 2021

HQ: Auckland

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

Here at Teddy, our mission is to provide high-quality mattresses to Kiwi families without the high-ticket price tag. We understand the struggles many Kiwi families face, where the demands of the cost of living can make it challenging to invest in good-quality mattresses for the whole family.

That’s why we’ve leveraged four generations of expertise and connections and built a network that allows us to source the best raw materials at the best prices. To make it even more cost effective, we have taken a different approach by adopting a direct-to-consumer model allowing us to give everyone in the family (no matter how big or small they are) the best possible sleep.

As parents of small children, we are dedicated to ensuring the safety of your family. We know the importance of a good night’s sleep, and that’s why all our mattresses are not only comfy but also approved and certified against harmful chemicals.

We believe that every family deserves a safe and healthy sleep environment because we understand that deep, nourishing sleep isn’t just about feeling good; it’s about giving parents and kids the energy and clear thinking they need for work, chores, and school.

It’s not just about mattresses. It’s about making sure everyone can afford good sleep because together we’re building a path to a brighter future for every Kiwi family in Aotearoa.

What’s the backstory for your business idea?

Lance has been around mattresses his entire life. He grew up in mattress factories, going to work with his Dad and Granddad from a young age. You can say mattresses are in his blood and he gets extremely passionate when talking about them. Gabi has a background in marketing and social media. She has a passion for teaching others how to grow their businesses through social commerce. In 2021, we made the tough decision to quit our corporate jobs, uproot our young family and move to New Zealand during the height of the pandemic.

We were in our home during the lockdowns and one night, our son had an accident in his bed. We didn’t use a mattress protector as most of the ones on the market don’t breathe well and our son sleeps very hot, and so the idea for teddy was born. Our vision was to develop a range of affordable mattresses, designed to meet the needs of children and young Kiwi families.

What programmes, learning or mentoring, or resources have been of assistance so far?

Lance was the Chief Operating Officer of a large, diversified industrial business but had no experience in creating a startup business from an idea. He decided to take an 8-week online course in Entrepreneurship through

He highly recommends the following entrepreneurial books:

  • Shoe Dog – by Phil Knight
  • The Power of Broke – by Daymond John and Daniel Paisner
  • That will never work – by Marc Randolph
  • The Ride of a Lifetime – by Robert Iger

Lance was extremely lucky to have three incredible mentors to run ideas by and get advice from throughout his journey. All three of them are based in South Africa and are CEOs of public companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Each of them found time in their busy schedules and battled the time difference (+11hrs) to meet with him every week. He would just like to thank them each of them for giving their time and asking nothing in return:

  • Gary Chaplin – CEO of KAP Industrial
  • Sean Summers – CEO of Pick ‘n Pay
  • Mike Metz (Lance’s Dad) – CEO of Restonic


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