Do you have a motto

Do you have a motto, something you live by, an inner voice that drives you and your passions? Most of us do. Plagiarizing the quotations of the successful, wealthy, or famous, including those who have enjoyed athletic accomplishment, is by no means unusual. Here are a few that come to mind: Steve Jobs, “get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” Vince Lombardi said, “the quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” Our V.P. of Sales, Steve Karns, has a similar motto: “Do your best, each and every time out, in every aspect of your life.”

Steve’s top achievement

I asked Steve how he would characterize his top achievements, and without hesitation, he responded family! Over 30 years ago, Steve married Laurie and never looked back. They raised two children who likewise adopted the Karns motto and proficient work ethic. Elizabeth is a doctor of optometry, and Lauren is a High School Counselor.

The roots of a man for all seasons 

Steve was born the youngest of six children in Central Pennsylvania. His father was a WWII Army Veteran (Asian Theater) and a Chemical Engineer/Management for TRW. His mother was Rosie the Fork Lift operator for the Navy during the war and who would eventually return to that position after raising her family in the ’70s.

The Outdoorsman who builds and repairs

From an early age, Steve was encouraged to build, rebuild, and repair. He learned to “turn a wrench” building and repairing bicycles, mini-bikes, and go-carts that consumed his interests and passions. His curious nature led him to explore his surroundings as he spent much of his free time outdoors. He followed his Uncle Ray, an avid Sprint Car racer, whose Trone’s Special won many races and championships. Competition and a winning spirit led him to success as a high school wrestler, while his love for skiing was the impetus to organize a Ski Club.

In the family business Steve hones his work ethic

Throughout his teens, Steve worked at Karns Food Prime and Fancy, a family-owned and operated business which continues to thrive. Never shy to roll up his sleeves and get to work, Steve became a proficient butcher, a physically demanding job frequently done standing in a cold refrigerated room. Keeping his eye on the prize a ’71 Ford Mustang, Steve would add a snowmobile and a boat to the collection of outdoor gear before he turned 21.

Steve begins his career in the mattress industry

During college, he worked for his brother-in-law, Jerry Pearlman at Lemoyne Sleeper a factory-direct bedding manufacturer. Starting in the factory, where he learned his many mattress-making skills, his down to earth personality eventually landed him a position in sales. Ultimately, selling would cause his path to cross with a young Stuart Carlitz.

In April of 1988, Steve joined the Sales Division of Herr Manufacturing Company, a licensee of Serta.  Within 18 months he was promoted to Sales Manager and eventually to the V.P. of Sales. Over the next 16 years he participated in the rise to prominence of the Serta brand.

In 2004, he worked for the Freeman Family in Philadelphia, an Englander Licensee. On many occasions, his path would cross those of Eclipse International’s current lineup of licensee’s. Ever the journeyman he joined Blue Bell Mattress Inc. in Connecticut, a King Koil licensee as Vice President of Sales.

2018 Eclipse International BIA

In January 2018, Steve began his tenure at Eclipse International/BIA as the in-field sales manager. His primary focus was on developing new sales territories, a perfect fit for his experience and personality. He was impressed with the incredible team Carlitz has assembled, and he fit right in. Steve said, “I always hated to compete against Stuart, but once I got here, I realized just how amazing this company was! We have the best products of any company in this industry.” “The most important thing on my journey through the industry is all the wonderful people that I have met along the way.  Too numerous to name them all, Steve’s gratitude and appreciation is something he exercises everyday.


We started this post talking about mottos, so it’s no less appropriate to close on that note. Steve is very appreciative for all the customers that have followed him through his career. Judd Krinski of Sawmill Furniture in the Poconos summed it up like this: “Where Karnsy goes, I go. BIA is his best landing yet!”

The many faces of a man for all seasons