Sam Kersheh is CEO of The Kersheh Group, a North American distributor of men’s, women’s, and children’s sleepwear, underwear, and socks. In the past few years, they launched Family Sleepwear, which has been instrumental to the continued success of the company. Based in Montreal, the company designs and distributes their own brands of apparel, including Jellifish Kids, Fox & Badger loungewear for men, Sleep Riot women’s loungewear/sleepwear, and Jammin’ Jammies pajamas for the entire family. In addition, TKG has partnered with well-established brands, including Disney, Warner Brothers, the NHL, and Gloria Vanderbilt, among others, to design and distribute their products to retailers nationwide. TKG also designs and distributes exclusive sleepwear/loungewear through established private brands for retailers in both the U.S. and Canada. They have strategic partnerships with retailers, such as Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Hudson’s Bay Company, as well as online marketplaces, such as Amazon. It also offers its products through its own e-commerce Shopify platforms.
Sam is a CEO who has adopted the mission of his role. He is a second-generation leader of a 42-year-old family-owned business who has lived its purpose from very early on in his career: “Family is the centerpiece of our lives.” He is an inspiring leader who views his role as a mentor and coach to members of his team. “I am extremely fortunate to lead some of the most passionate and talented people who treat this business as their own,” he shares. “The truth is, it’s now all about everyone else. My role is to lead and inspire others, and mentor where possible. The goal is to create a true entrepreneurial environment where all key members are owners of their own departments and businesses.”
Founded in 1978 by his father, Theo Kersheh, Sam joined the company right out of college, starting at the ground level and working his way up as his dad paved the roadmap to understand all aspects of the business. As Sam evolved, so did the company, growing both organically and through acquisition, and they have continued to build upon their trusted reputation by adopting a simple motto: “Under-promise and over-deliver every single time.” Driven by his core values and entrepreneurial spirit, Sam and his passionate, creative team continue to move forward with investments in innovation and fresh designs for comfortable, fun, high-quality sleepwear, underwear, and socks that continue to be met with energetic enthusiasm from the marketplace. “Our direct-to-consumer business has increased 300 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is very exciting for us. Our goal was to come out of COVID stronger than when we went in,” Sam says.
Sam’s responsibilities have evolved considerably since his early days at TKG, when it was a small, local, family-owned business. Through perseverance and hard work, together with his sister Paula, they built the business into a major apparel company, developing strategic partnerships with the biggest and most successful retailers and licensors across North America and building relationships with consumers worldwide. The Kersheh Group culture is built around true family values, and over the years they have attracted top talent. As Sam often mentions, “We are currently transitioning from a family-owned business to a business that is owned by a family. We’ve recruited professional management, and we look to continue to recruit the best-in-class people to join our journey.” He adds, “To this day, my dad and I have a wonderful relationship. He comes to the office almost every day, and it is very gratifying that he still gets to see and participate in the success of the business.”
Committed to giving back to the community and charitable causes is extremely important to Sam, and he currently serves on the board of directors of the Cedars Cancer Foundation in Montreal. “Giving back to our local communities is our duty as business leaders, and our obligation and responsibility as good citizens.”
550 Deslauriers, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H4N 1V8
Download the Top 100 Canadian Professionals magazine and check out Sam's feature on page 111.