In 2013, Teddy Fong was roaming the showroom of a factory in Shenzhen, China, when a stylish, modern sectional caught his eye. He asked the factory owner how much it cost to make. About $200 to $300, the owner replied. Fong was astonished. It was the kind of sofa that might sell for thousands at a Room & Board. “There are crazy margins in the sofa business,” Teddy thought.
At the time, Teddy was in the crib business–but this was enough to make him think maybe he ought to be in the sofa business, too. Teddy runs Million Dollar Baby, a $70 million children’s furniture wholesaler his parents, Daniel and Maryann Fong, started in 1990. (Since then, MDB has made six appearances on the annual Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.) It produces six brands of cribs, at nearly every price point and style, and sells them through almost every major online retailer, including Amazon, Walmart, and Target, and at many specialty retailers. Heard of the best-selling $379 minimalist Babyletto Hudson crib? That’s MDB. Beyoncé’s $4,500 translucent acrylic Vetro crib? That’s MDB, too.