Kacie is the Malouf Foundation chair and co-founder of Malouf™. She and Sam Malouf founded Malouf 17 years ago as young entrepreneurs. Today, Malouf is a seven-time nationally ranked best place to work and Certified B Corporation® with more than 800 employees. Their home furnishings and sleep technology products are available in 27 countries. In 2016, Kacie and Sam formalized the Malouf Foundation, the charitable arm of the company dedicated to ending child sexual exploitation. Kacie was named one of the 2020 30 Women to Watch by Utah Business Magazine. Last year, Kacie became a partner at Tamarak Capital. She is especially looking forward to mentorship opportunities in this new role and hopes to bring an interesting perspective because of her own entrepreneurial experience scaling Malouf from a two-person startup to where it is today. She lives with her husband and five children in Logan, UT.
Where do you find investment opportunities?
I’m new to this industry and constantly learning. Utah is the best state for that because it’s a hub for entrepreneurs and innovation, so I always have my ear to the ground to scout exciting new ideas and companies. The deal flow has become a lot easier over the past year or so, and Tamarak has grown tremendously alongside it. Because of the network Tamarak had established before Sam and I joined, we never struggle to find opportunities. We’re always just searching for those special companies we connect with.
What stage do you look to invest in?
Tamarak is a venture-focused family office with headquarters in Utah County, and we’ve concentrated our efforts on entrepreneurs in Utah. We look to provide seed money to entrepreneurs who are talented, teachable, inspiring, know their industry, and ultimately, have the ability to create a scalable venture.
I personally love identifying interesting companies in the very earliest stage. People can make or break any investment, and I enjoy getting a sense of which owners/founders are able to transform an idea into actual company.
What types of investments and sectors do you focus on?
It seems a lot of offices these days focus heavily on technology. We love tech deals but are open to all types of companies. Because my background is in consumer goods and products, we love working with companies who develop and work in that sector. We have food manufacturing, home goods, car lots and tech companies in our portfolio. We love when people can connect a great idea with the ability to make their company profitable. We’ve learned at Malouf that people can make all the difference, and one of the biggest success indicators is smart, capable individuals in charge.
How are you changing the room?
Both Malouf and Downeast are Certified B Corporations®, so we’re always thinking about using business as a force for good. We believe business is the best vehicle for social change, and we also companies on how to become B Corps™ or support their own charitable initiatives. Personally, we’ve invested a lot in the Malouf Foundation.
Early on in our business ventures, Sam and I realized our sleep products could help fulfill a primary need for children and families going through difficult times. From that realization, we started donating pillows, mattresses, and bed sets to community organizations in Utah. Our donations continued to multiply over the years, so in 2016, we formalized our charitable efforts and formed the Malouf Foundation—and we’ve continued to grow over the years.
Today, the Malouf Foundation works to confront child sexual exploitation through education, healing, and justice. This issue requires everyone to get involved and we’ve seen a lot of engagement from industries, businesses, and communities nationwide. One way to get involved is by taking our free virtual OnWatchTM training that empowers users to spot, report, and prevent trafficking. It only takes one hour to complete and users hear from actual survivors about their lived experiences.
We hope to be a model of a successful company that drives bigger change.