Who is Mattress Mack? Houston furniture tycoon welcomes residents without power into store amid snowstorm Uri
Despite his success, McIngvale harbors a down-to-earth nature and humble personality that earns him respect from all. He can be spotted often at the front desk of the original Gallery Furniture store
As the fierce snowstorm, Uri, wreaks havoc through multiple states in the US claiming 15 lives till now, Texas reels from a consequent power outage that has left over 5 million people in the state freezing in darkness. Natural gas pipes and wind turbines have been left frozen with residents struggling for survival amid the calamity.
Governor Greg Abbott has ordered a probe into the state's power operator ERCOT, which is being blamed for the electricity crisis. However, there is no immediate solution in sight for the people of Texas. Texan store owner Jim McIngvale aka "Mattress Mack" has now come to the rescue of his fellow citizens by welcoming "power-less" Texans to his store.
Houston resident Natalie Harrell holds her sleeping daughter while sheltering at a Gallery Furniture store.— The Recount (@therecount) February 16, 2021
The owner, @MattressMack, opened up his business to Texans who have been impacted by the winter storm. (AP/David J. Phillip) pic.twitter.com/vQL3E9PDCl
Who is Mattress Mack?
James Franklin McIngvale or Jim McIngvale is a furniture businessman from Houston, Texas. Popularly known by the nickname "Mattress Mack", McIngvale owns the Gallery Furniture retail chain.
A devout believer in God, McIngvale often shares excerpts from the Bible on his Twitter feed and is well-known for giving back to the community. Time and again, he has offered support and relief to many — be it raising millions for the Bush-Clinton Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund or helping build the first-ever Mobile Stroke Unit in the US for Houston patients.
Now, the 70-year-old businessman and philanthropist has again emerged as a messiah for the community battered by a climatic calamity.
Jim McIngvale (@MattressMack) & Alex Bregman (@ABREG_1) teamed up to give the Flores family of Houston a house full of furniture after theIr home burned down on Christmas Eve. The only thing the family was able to save is this Astros painting that Alex autographed two years ago. pic.twitter.com/eTm5UqLNWN— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) February 11, 2021
Born on February 11, 1951 in Starkville, Mississipi, McIngvale attended the Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas. He later graduated from the University of North Texas. A supportive husband and a doting father of three, McIngvale started Gallery Furniture around three decades ago under tents on the side of the freeway.
With his hard work and honest endeavor, he has helped turn the humble venture into a multi-million dollar enterprise that now employs over 400 Americans. He is also known for creating the market for Made in America furniture in the country.
Despite his success, McIngvale harbors a down-to-earth nature and humble personality that earns him respect from all. He can be spotted often at the front desk of the original Gallery Furniture store on North Freeway, Houston.
How is 'Mattress Mack' helping Texans amid Uri
McIngvale spoke to ABC13 about his decision to open up his store for sheltering residents left without power at their home. He said, "The cold is bitter, so we're opening up the doors to Houstonians. Whether they want to stay for two hours until their power gets back on, or they want to stay for two days, we're here for the community."
Houston residents who have been without electricity for over two days now can be seen flocking the Gallery Furniture store. They are being offered not only a warm place to stay in but also free warm clothes like shirts and sweatshirts. They are also getting to use the brand new furniture on display at the store as well as the electric facilities.
This is not the first time Mattress Mack has opened up his store amid a natural calamity. In 2019, when Houston was flooded by the tropical storm Imelda, McIngvale had opened the store's doors to shelter affected residents while also helping to provide free meals.