Member Spotlight: Boyd Sleep - From Specialty Sleep to Mainstream

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It’s 1977 in a vibrant midwestern college town on the shore of the Big Muddy in central MO where a young entrepreneur gazes out a sparkling window of his newly opened Waterbed Store. A gaze that eventually spans four decades, multiple retail stores, factories and warehouses and many thousands of happy well rested customers. Understanding his mission early, founder Denny Boyd sought to develop and bring to market products that provide “Quality Sleep for a Better Life”. Rapid growth in its retail business and the drive to innovate led the company into developing and manufacturing a wide array of sleep products. Boyd began manufacturing under Boyd Specialty Sleep and Accent Bedroom Furniture and was soon supplying retail chains nationally, as well the company’s own Missouri based stores, with Waterbeds, Airbeds, Memory Foam, Latex and Bedroom Furniture.

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Since then, industry and consumer awareness of what constitutes healthy sleep and how it plays a vital role in the quality, longevity, and productivity of our lives has increased exponentially, continually reinforcing the importance of the mission Denny undertook with his company all those years ago. Denny Boyd is the first to say that his experience over the years as a retailer provides him with a deeper understanding of the priorities of his wholesale customers and retail consumers, as well as insights into product development to satisfy the end consumer’s desire for comfortable and supportive sleep surfaces.

Combining advances in sleep technology with this unique understanding of the consumer’s expectations continues to power the ongoing success of his company in its mission to achieve “Quality Sleep for a Better Life”.

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As part of the Specialty Sleep Association’s collective of retailers and manufacturers who tirelessly develop and bring to market mattresses that incorporate memory foam, latex, air and flotation into superior bedding products, Boyd continues to develop specialized patented mattress technologies, and innovations. Boyd Specialty Sleep has been voted to the Small Business Hall of Fame and the American Dream Award and has been recognized by Inc. Magazine 5 separate times as one of the nation's 500 fastest growing privately held companies. Boyd Specialty Sleep has also been recognized by Walmart as a No.1 vendor for complete shipments and on-time deliveries. With over 35 patents and worldwide distribution of its products, Boyd Sleep is honored to be the only company in the industry to be recognized as both Manufacturer of the Year and Retailer of the Year by the Specialty Sleep Association. Sleep products traditionally marketed as “Specialty Sleep” such as memory foam, air and latex, have grown substantially in popularity in today’s marketplace and are no longer segmented at retail as “Specialty Sleep”. Boyd Specialty Sleep added traditional innersprings and Hybrid bed collections to its assortment of memory foam, latex, air and flotation bed-in-a box offerings as well as adjustable bases, platform bed frames, and decorative platform beds.

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Adapting to changing consumer perceptions as well as the breadth of products now offered, Boyd Specialty Sleep changed its name to Boyd Sleep in 2017. Boyd Sleep is the only company in the industry to offer ALL the major types of specialty and traditional sleep surfaces under a stable of high-profile national brands that include Nautica Home™, Thomasville®, Drexel Heritage®, Broyhill® and Boyd Sleep™. These include waterbeds, air bed, latex beds, memory foam beds, innerspring beds and hybrid beds that combine two or more of these components. Boyd Sleep also offers a full line of temporary sleep solutions that solve a wide array of consumer needs for extra sleeping accommodations.

Denny Boyd and his company continue to drive growth with cutting-edge sleep product technology and distribution and marketing strategies that have improved consumer sleep quality as well as increased the profitability and success of retail partners.

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How mattresses are purchased has changed. Product research and shopping now occurs largely online where consumers demand convenience, choice and control as they shop. Having perfected the art and science of developing mattresses made of several material types that must decompress fully and correctly, Boyd Sleep began producing and shipping compressed mattresses in a box over 10 years ago. Today Boyd offers several collections of compressed Hybrid, Innerspring, Memory Foam, Latex, Air and Flotation mattresses, from the very simple inexpensive two-layer mattresses most commonly found on the internet, to complex multi-layer support structures that provide a range of comfort and support. This wide array of compressed bed in a box product includes patented technologies for cooling, and ventilation providing selection and choice of comfort badly needed in online mattress offerings. As digital marketing technology transforms the shopping experience for mattresses, and as consumers demand convenience, choice and control over the mattress purchase, Boyd Sleep’s Bed in a Box packaging strategy lends itself perfectly to these consumer preferences.

As the shopping trends unfold, industry analysts1 find a majority of consumers prefer shopping on-line in the comfort of their home and making final selections in a retail setting where they can experience the mattress.   Boyd Sleep accommodates the Omni Channel retail process in several ways.    Boyd Sleep’s company owned web sites   https://topaire.com/,  https://www.boydwaterbeds.com/ and https://www.nightairbeds.com/ offer the company’s waterbed and airbed sleep systems along with adjustable beds and platform bedframes with free returns and generous trial periods.  The  https://topaire.com/ site features the company’s proprietary innovation in air support that changes up your existing mattress into a personalized dual adjustable air bed,  transforming any mattress to perfectly support you!

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Retailers may purchase these products and have them available for customers who have found the product online but prefer to purchase in store. All Boyd Sleep mattresses may be shipped via Fedex or UPS direct to the consumers home. Boyd Sleep provides a full complement of digital marketing assets for retailers use in developing online andsocial mediaproduct presentations. Boyd Sleep also provides“My Mattress Now™” drop ship to the consumer service for retailers who want to offer their customers buying in store the convenience of shipping directly to their home.

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Marking its 42nd anniversary Boyd is excited to announce its first Nautica Home mattress collection at the upcoming Las Vegas Furniture Market. Nautica® is a top searched brand online. Nautica® brand’s search frequency per month is equitable to searches for Sleep Number® and Tempur-Pedic® offering retailers a powerful brand opportunity to drive their sales both in store and online at full margins. The Nautica Home™ bed in a box collection attracts a wide demographic that includes the 18-65 age group with features that support an active lifestyle. The Nautica Home™ collection includes both Memory Foam and Hybrid Innerspring models with proprietary patented cooling and support technologies developed by Boyd Sleep.

Fast forward 42 years, and  Boyd  Sleep finds itself perfectly positioned with products, national brands, omni channel retail tools and the passion and purpose to ride the wave of industry change into an exciting and bright future as they continue  developing and bringing  to market products that provide “Quality Sleep for a Better Life”. 

Boyd Sleep Fontana CA Warehouse Team

Boyd Sleep Fontana CA Warehouse Team

For more information see us at Vegas Market:BoydSleep/World Market Center Building B Suite 901
Kristine Mattina               314-997-5222 ext. 164
https://boydsleep.com/

"Best Of The Best" Interzum award for Velda Resleep with Vita Talalay Origins®.

Award for bed that combines circularity with comfort

Koelnmesse and Red Dot Awards handed Radium Foam (part of the Vita Group) and Veldeman Bedding the ‘Best of the best’ Interzum award for Velda Resleep with Vita Talalay Origins®.

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The Velda Resleep sleep system is unique because the bed and mattress can be completely disassembled into individual parts. Being able to disassemble allows separate collection of all mono-materials, which gives the possibility to responsibly recycle or reuse each single one of them. This avoids unnecessary waste and pollution. 

All circular materials used in its design were selected because they combine sustainability and excellent sleep comfort. By opting for Vita Talalay®, the healthy, responsible comfort material inside a latex mattress or latex pillow. All materials in Velda Resleep are processed without using glues and staples. Another advantage of design for disassembly is that the product can be refurbished or repaired, increasing its product lifespan.

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Speaking about this, Vita Group CEO Ian Robb said ‘We are delighted to receive this award and thank the judging committee and Interzum for recognising this innovation. For Vita, the circular economy and sustainability are an increasingly important area for development. We recognize important changes in legislation and want to work with our suppliers and customers to face these challenges. We know we need responsible, safe materials and our innovative teams are creating solutions. At no time do we ever compromise on comfort because comfort is what our customers and consumers have come to expect from Vita. We need to work together, like this project with Veldeman, which shows that joint efforts can make the mattress industry more responsible.’

Valerie Veldeman adds ‘Consumers will buy a bed because of its high comfort. Being able to do this with a dismountable bed is a big plus for the consumer since it can be refurbished or repaired, increasing the longevity of the bed. It is also a big plus for the environment since it has a circular design at its heart’”

Interzum is the world’s leading trade fair for furniture production and interior design. The “interzum” took place from 21 to 24 May 2019 at Koelnmesse, in Cologne, Germany. The exhibitors at this trade fair set new standards and offer visitors from industry, trade and retail an overview of the ground-breaking innovations in the industry – they provide the impetus for the design of tomorrow’s living spaces. Exhibitors at “interzum 2019” were invited to register their products for “interzum award 2019”. The award winners are those who, according to Köln Messe and Red Dot Awards, have demonstrated design expertise with their product innovations.


For more information: www.resleep.netwww.velda.net * www.vitatalalay.com

Alison Vesey - Vita Group Corporate PR Manager
E: avesey@thevitagroup.com
T: +44(0)7740770424

Ila Farshad – Commercial Director Radium Foam / Vita Talalay
E: ifarshad@radiumfoam.nl
T: +31(0)433288787

Geert Geerkens – Commercial Director Veldeman Bedding
E: geert.geerkens@veldeman.com
T: +32(0)89366606

Valerie Veldeman
E: valerie.veldeman@veldeman.com
T: +32(0)475976164

Member Spotlight: Naturepedic – Leading the Way with “Certified Organic” Mattresses and Bedding Since 2003

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Naturepedic was founded in 2003 after SSA Board member Barry A. Cik researched available crib mattresses for his first grandchild and could not find a single crib mattress that was made without questionable chemicals, potential allergens or hazardous flame retardants. As a Board-Certified Environmental Engineer with a long-standing record of advocacy for safer products, Barry co-founded Naturepedic with his sons Jeff and Jason to offer parents better mattress options for their babies.

Over the past 16 years Naturepedic has grown from specializing in crib mattresses and baby sleep products to offering certified organic mattresses and accessories for the entire family. Starting with direct sales to consumers and a focus on baby, toddlers and kids stores, Naturepedic has since become an international marketer selling through hundreds of retail locations including brand name furniture stores, department stores and boutique sleep shops. This growing Naturepedic organic brand has emerged as a retail leader as well, by reaching discerning consumers in key markets with specialized Organic Mattress Galleries. Due to factory innovation and targeted marketing initiatives, Naturepedic is also able to offer direct-to-consumer and convenient bed-in-a-box organic options at a variety of mid and premium price points.

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Over the years, Naturepedic has demonstrated its commitment to health, wellness and sustainability not only through the materials and manufacturing processes the company adopts, but also through verified,  established and recognized certifications and awards, as well as effective outreach demonstrated through advocacy and memberships in quality organizations. 

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Naturepedic has passed numerous rigorous certification inspections to obtain such widely recognized certifications as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the Textile Exchange Organic Cotton Standard (OCS-100), the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), FSC, Rain Rorest Alliance , Made Safe, Greenguard, Sustainability Furnishings Council GOLD standard and more.  Naturepedic has also received numerous rewards from recognized environmental groups. Naturepedic has also played a vital role in the business community and society at large by participating in groups such as the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA), the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), and the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

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As much as Naturepedic has demonstrated the company to be a credible leader by embracing recognized and established organic standards, the company “goes beyond the standard organic requirements,” according to founder Barry Cik. “Prime examples are that we use no chemical flame retardants or flame barriers whatsoever. Also we use no glues and no adhesives in our mattresses” says Cik. “We pass FR testing using natural materials and construction techniques that fully comply with organic standards.” Cik notes that it is always fun to give factory tours to certifiers and guests who comment that they’ve never toured a mattress factory that is absent the odors and off-gassing common to factories that use petroleum-based foams, chemicals and glues.

With the company’s eye firmly on the needs and desires of today’s discerning consumer, Cik reminds the SSA that ‘ “healthy sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle,  and Naturepedic is proud to offer the highest quality mattresses  handmade by Amish craftspeople in Chagrin Falls, Ohio for the best night’s sleep.”

www.naturepedic.com

Member Spotlight: The Suite Sleep Story Has Been 16 Years in the Making

In 2003, Angela Owen started a little organic mattress and bedding wholesale & distribution business in Boulder, CO called Suite Sleep.

Over the next decade she became a voice for the natural and organic mattress sector through the SSA’s Green Initiative  and educational programs. As an industry pioneer, she has spent the past 16 years shaping this bedding niche and growing her distribution business into a boutique manufacturer of sustainable luxury bedding. Now, with almost 20 years' experience, she is committed to being a change-maker in sustainable mattresses.

The company has grown to include her husband Jim and daughter Kayleigh who manages the cut-and-sew department.

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You can find their Suite Dreams mattress in over a dozen hotels in the United States and three more internationally.  The Little Lamb Organics Kids’ line got it start in the SSA showroom in Las Vegas and is featured in boutique bedding stores throughout the country. Designed by a mom just for kids! 

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Angela is a proponent of sustainable products who generously shares her story and what she has learned with industry peers.

In her own words: “Suite Sleep specializes in latex mattresses using local wool from Colorado and organic cotton for boutique hotels that share our values of sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment. Hospitality offers a great opportunity make an impact on how we think about sustainable travel. Guests and hoteliers alike are beginning to appreciate businesses that share the values of luxury amenities with minimal environmental impacts. Suite Sleep is at the forefront of this movement in hospitality.

Angela at her local sheep ranch - “

Angela at her local sheep ranch - “

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Our pillow collection features our customizable designs that empower the consumer to make it their own. Product innovation is tantamount to our success in the crowded bedding space an we offer customers unique features to give them the best possible sleep. The entire collection includes mattresses, toppers, pillows, and comforters all made in women-owned facilities supporting US manufacturing and sourcing. 

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Because our mission at Suite Sleep’s is a fierce commitment to the environment , it drives us to continually evaluate product designs and processes, to bring the best sustainable, natural and organic products to boutique mattress stores and hotels. When one considers the vast amount of bedding and mattresses that end up in the landfills and the chemical off-gassing of these products in our homes, choosing a natural bedding solution is tantamount to good health and the health of our planet.” 

Explore what Suite Sleep has to offer at www.suitesleep.com and www.suitesleephospitality.com.


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Beaudoin • Succeeding and Growing for 3 Generations

Longtime SSA member Beaudoin is a family owned company based in Quebec, Canada. Now with its 3rd generation at the helm, this leading manufacturer of metal bed frames, upholstered beds, and upholstered platforms is well poised for further success within its product categories.

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Starting in 1963 with metal bed frames and bed supports, Beaudoin quickly grew to be a leading supplier to the industry across Canada and the Eastern United-States.

Not only was company founder Julien Beaudoin creative, he was excellent at manufacturing products efficiently. In that era, Daveluyville, QC was a hot bed of solid wood furniture manufacturing. These manufacturers needed suppliers of components and Mr. Beaudoin saw an opportunity.

The Balance bed frame

The Balance bed frame

Diane Beaudoin and Brian Crochetiere

Diane Beaudoin and Brian Crochetiere

20 years later, when his daughter, Mme Diane Beaudoin took the reins, she expanded both the customer base and the product line. The company was servicing the furniture retail industry initially from coast to coast in Canada, then in the Eastern United States.

Her son, Brian Crochetière is now the President of the company. In the last 15 years, building on their strong manufacturing expertise and desire to provide other support options, Beaudoin has expanded into the upholstered headboards, beds and platform categories.

With 4 factories and more than 120 employees, Beaudoin focuses on providing its customers with a variety of products to support their mattresses. With the rise in popularity of the upholstered beds, and more recently platforms beds, they are a great source for everything that goes under a mattress.

Beaudoin’s customers know them best for their great reliability as a supplier, their flexibility as a manufacturer and the value they can offer consumers. With a wide catalogue of products, Beaudoin can help any retailer maximize their offering and profits! You can find out more at http://www.julienbeaudoin.com/en.html

Pascal Roberge

Pascal Roberge

Pascal Roberge, Director of Sales at Beaudoin for more than 10 years, is an active member of the SSA Board of Directors. He tells us, “The Specialty Sleep Association is a fantastic group of suppliers to the industry. The Las Vegas market has been key, but also all year there are many opportunities between markets to work together and with retailers make this association a great resource.”

In-store display of Beaudoin products

In-store display of Beaudoin products

Reflexx Platform

Reflexx Platform

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Danican® = Danish + American

Our spotlight member this month is Thomas Frismodt and his company, Danican. Thomas and his wife Naomi introduced their company to the U.S. Market in the SSA Las Vegas showroom about 5 years ago, and have become anchor exhibitors. Thomas is now the Vice Chairman of the SSA Board of Directors.

Let’s hear their story, in their own words (what they call their rags to redemption story) and how they’ve gone 100% private label.

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Who is the little Danish company that grew its business over 500% in five years?  If you guessed Danican® – you’re right!

Thomas Frismodt and his wife, Naomi, created Danican® (a name that blends their Danish/American heritage) in 2000. They adventurously moved Danican® from its roots in Aarhus, Denmark, to America in 2012. Their goal was to supply the market with affordable luxury in bedding.

 “It hasn’t always been easy”, admits Frismodt recalling that first year in the states, “We lost our biggest account within months of arriving – and with our three kids to feed.”

He persevered and looked for creative ways to expand their client base. They were offering a suite of products from their inventory line, which at that time included mostly mattresses and pillows.

Thomas visited the SSA portion of the Las Vegas show in 2013 and realized this was a great place to showcase his products. He liked the volume of foot traffic he saw and the flow of many companies exhibiting side by side in one showroom. By the next show he was exhibiting there with several other building brands.

“The foot traffic was always great,” he shares, “buyers always make sure to cover ground at the SSA portion of the show.”

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Naomi works with a showroom customer at Market

Naomi works with a showroom customer at Market

Little by little, things began to turn around for Danican®. They began providing cooling fabric to a large American mattress manufacturer. Then they were asked to supply a mattress protector program for a 2500+ European based chain. And not long after that, they began providing private label mattresses for multiple clients in the U.S. and Canada. Today their products are in more than 30 countries around the world!

Thomas attributes this success to two things:

1. Factory relations and trust. He has spent much time in Asia building relations and sourcing technologies. Over the years he has broadened his manufacturing relations to Europe and America. He believes trust is a key element when finding the right factories and he’s learned that the hard way. “I want our customers to benefit from my lessons. Our current factories are trustworthy, timely, and deliver quality.” he says.

2. Innovation and problem solving. NOBODY wants bed bugs – and this was a real problem for certain clients. That is how Thomas came upon the idea of creating a detachable “extra” layer on a 6-sided, fabric treated mattress encasement. This alleviated much suffering in the hospitality industry where housekeepers were constantly lifting mattresses to change protectors. Danican’s® encasements/protectors are also a lifesaver in the rent-to-own furniture sector where millions of dollars were previously lost on used furniture they couldn’t resell due to hygiene issues.

Fabrics

Fabrics

Organic Linens

Organic Linens

As a true leader, Thomas joined the SSA board in 2018. As CEO of Danican®, he sees this membership as a way to give back, and to build stronger relationships with leaders of other exhibiting companies. He has a lot of experience to share and looks forward to building an even stronger market for all.

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SSA Showroom Hosts 34 Exhibitors - Including 6 New Manufacturers and Dozens of New Product Introductions

…not to mention the fresh warm pretzels for buyers as they shop.

The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) showroom will be booming during this upcoming winter market according to Executive Director Tambra Jones. “We have 34 exhibitors in our showroom for the January market; 6 of whom are brand new. The changes we’ve made in the showroom have allowed for more companies to display products and services and will add to the depth and diversity of offerings to mattress and bedding retailers.” At the last winter market, Jones points out, the SSA had over 500 individual retail buying groups visit the showroom, and she hopes for the same or more at this winter market.

“We have noticed an increase in online e-tailers and big box stores coming through our showroom along with the traditional sleep shops, furniture stores and department stores,” notes Jones. “We see an increasing diversity in both buyers and manufacturing exhibitors.” 

The six new exhibitors at the winter market include, Comfort Supply Co. by CULP, I Love My Pillow, Signature Sleep, Sleep-Ezz, Sleep in Motion and Ultra Comfort America. These new exhibitors bring to the showroom floor a wide spectrum of new sleep products for retail buyers starting with Comfort Supply Co. by CULP® who will showcase their line up of aggressively priced top-of-bed sleep accessories featuring their eLuxury bamboo mattress pad, which they report is the Number 1 selling mattress pad on Amazon®. I Love My Pillow is featuring their updated and colorful packaging along with prototypes of in-store retail displays and samples of possible new pillow style additions.

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When it comes to cutting edge mattress technology designed to allow the sleeper to wake-up restored, Signature Sleep brings to the showroom their new Signature Sleep Reset 12-inch Nanobionic® Pillow-Top Hybrid made with Nextgen bio-functional material.

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Retailers interested in marketing specialty and leisure beds should stop by Sleep-EZZ to learn more about the ALL-IN-ONE adjustable and Power Lift bed. And speaking of unique adjustable features, Sleep in Motion will be introducing their unique specialty adjustable bed that rocks you gently to sleep. This product could change the way many people sleep for many years to come. Finally rounding out the new SSA exhibitors, Ultra Comfort America will be showing their power recliners which are equipped with their patent-pending Eclipse Technology tilting motion that cradles the body allowing for a rejuvenating night’s sleep.

“Many times,” says Jones, “the products and services we feature in our showroom are being presented for the first time in any market. They are brand new to the industry.  Our SSA showroom has been branded ‘an incubator’ for new innovations and technologies over the years. Educating and informing retailers and consumers is a key part of our SSA mission. We continue to serve as a platform for new and emerging companies in the mattress and bedding industry.” 

Returning SSA Showroom exhibitors cover the full gamut of mattress, bedding and sleep related products as well as motion furniture, ergonomic furniture, bed support and foundations, futon covers, top of bed accessories, natural and organic sleep products, smart-beds or app-driven comfort systems, heating and cooling applications and retail store support systems from software to display solutions.  

Retail buyers looking to carry bio-based, natural and / or organic products should stop in to visit Baltica Natural Products, Bio Sleep Concepts, Coolist Sleep Technology, The Futon Shop , Palm Pring Organic Coconut Mattresses and Sleep and Beyond. Baltica will be showcasing their Arcusbeds line of certified natural and organic handmade beds from Europe. Coolist Sleep Technology with their bio-based Coolist foam and unique nanotechnology will display the Coolist Blue, Coolist Silver and Coolist Pink pillows: all designed to be heat dissipating, breathable and temperature independent.

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The Futon Shop will be featuring their 100% Natural Sofas and Loveseats, as well as their mattresses and futons. Customers can choose from natural wool, latex, or coconut fiber – or organic wool, latex and natural coconut fiber with 100% linen and choose from a selection of 100 different fabrics for the cover.

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Sleep and Beyond, manufacturer of organic and natural bedding will be introducing their new myDual® Side Pillow, the ultimate 2 in 1, 100% natural, adjustable and washable dual side pillow, which provides extra support and pressure relief for the neck, shoulders and the spine.

Sleep retailers will find adjustable, ergonomic, heat and cooling control, sleep surface adjustable, medically driven, and Smartbed technologies in the SSA Showroom. ERGOLife, founded on the principle that beds should contour to the requirement of an individual’s spine, will be demonstrating their new ERGOLife iBed , which can be adjusted to provide individually targeted and tailored support to the lumbar area , as well as pressure relieving zones for the shoulders and hips. Controlled by a remote or by a newly introduced app, the iBed contours to each unique individual spinal structure by adjustability and targeted zoning.  Orthex of Canada will be featuring their healthcare inspired Posture Cushions and Posture Pillows, designed to help with back, shoulder, neck and leg pain, as well as sciatica, breathing, digestive and blood-flow issues. 

“AURIA” Bed

“AURIA” Bed

Sleep Research Technologies will demonstrate their “AURIA Climate Controlled Sleep System” delivering cool crisp, clean filtered air so the sleeper no longer experiences heat related discomfort and loss of sleep. The system is designed to give the consumer a perfect night’s sleep. Supernal (Transfer Master Products, Inc.) supporting the “Aging in Place” movement will be presenting their Hi-Low adjustable bed specifically designed with the option to vertically elevate the bed up to 20 inches to assist getting in and out of bed.

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W Silver Products will be highlighting their comprehensive line of adjustable bed bases, bed frames and folding foundations which are made in North America and not subject to the current import tariffs.

Focusing on products and services designed to make the retailer’s business life easier, Select-A-Mat mattress showroom display systems returns to the SSA showroom offering unsurpassed display convenience on the mattress store floor.  Another great service, SmartWerks from Tyler Net will be in the room to take you through their point of sales software program designed to help retailers increase sales, optimize inventory and “make better decisions across the board.” 

Private label, OEM and international import programs are growing in popularity. Long time SSA exhibitor Axiom Sleep Products (formerly known as Rest-Medic) has moved its operation from China to Southeast Asia enabling them the capacity to ship 300 containers a month. Axiom is looking to expand their Original Design and Equipment Manufacturing business with memory foam and hybrid mattresses and sleep products.  Danican, an emerging international private label partner will be presenting their retailer and OEM custom, focused private label programs, which offer container load or less than container load shipping options. They will also be introducing new designs of mattresses, pillows, mattress ticking and packaging designs. One of their new designs will be the Duck feather pillow with the option of either a laser cut or a solid memory foam core. Swiss Bliss Mattress Company will be debuting three new models of Swiss Made sleep products as well as introducing a new mattress cover scheme at the winter market.

Top of bed, pillows, toppers, protectors and all kinds of sleep accessories are on display throughout the showroom.  Bedding Technologies will be featuring their new line of pillows, along with protectors, comforters and bedsheets, as well as their RTA mattress foundation, which can be shipped by UPS.  Royal Heritage, a national leader in the bedding, mattress protection and futon cover industry offers their drop ship program and will showcase their 18 color Solid Collection of futon covers.

A full array of furniture, mattresses, massage chairs, foundations, adjustable bases and a variety of accessories will be shown by SSA veteran exhibitors: Arason Enterprises, Dreamzy Mattress, Electropedic/Body Sense, Grand Rapids Bedding, Innerspace Luxury Products, J P Products, NCFI Polyurethanes, Remarkable Pillow / TMI Molded Foam Tech., U.S. Sleep Products, and uKnead Massage Chairs. 

At this market, the SSA will offer retailers the famous and delicious Aunt Annie’s Pretzels in the showroom handing out fresh, warm pretzels to attendees. “We invite all sleep products retailers to C-1565 on the 15th. Floor in Building C to experience what is new and innovative in the sleep industry, to take in the energy of the room and enjoy our hospitality.  It’s a must-see and fun shopping experience for retailers,” says Jones.

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: InnoMax Corporation gives us an idea of their journey into and through their success in the specialty sleep category

Longtime SSA Member InnoMax® Corporation, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is our Member Spotlight feature this month.  We asked them to send us a company summary, and give us an idea of the steps it took to get them where they are today.  Here is their write-up.

Today one of the largest sleep products manufacturers in the industry, InnoMax was originally founded in 1975 as Rocky Mountain Inflate-A-Bed.  InnoMax began its 43 year journey in a very modest fashion. Knowing there was a better way to sleep than on a set of cold steel springs, founder Tom Lavezzi filled his van with basic vinyl air mattresses and began visiting local bedding retailers to promote the idea of air suspension sleep. Early success offered encouragement, but the “butt-seam” construction on the mattresses proved to be less than ideal for daily use. Necessity is the mother of invention, so to keep the airbed business afloat, waterbed sealing technology was used to repair the air mattresses. This quickly led to adding a complete line of waterbed products to the mix, allowing retailers to join in the specialty sleep boom of the 1970’s. With each new challenge, a product design was improved and more new ideas were brought to life. The company name was changed to InnoMax due to the company’s “Maximum Innovation” mission for product evolution and development.

Waterbeds are ALIVE and well at InnoMax

Waterbeds are ALIVE and well at InnoMax

InnoMax was proud to be a part of the early days of the airbed and waterbed revolution. The company moved to larger facilities and expanded production into all aspects of specialty sleep. With the fervor of the waterbed craze, all types of alternative sleep systems were gaining in popularity, including adjustable airbeds. Soon memory foam and natural latex would join the category and then variations of all types were created.

InnoMax decided long ago to get direct feedback from the consumer to offer real time information to help their dealer network successfully promote these non-traditional products. The retail sales associate in a specialty sleep showroom had to have an immense amount of product knowledge and training to help consumers understand the benefits of specialty sleep products. The specialty mattress and bedding sales floor could not simply be a “pick one and we’ll deliver it Saturday” kind of experience. The products were complex and needed to be explained. In order to assist dealers to be better promoters, InnoMax remodeled some warehouse space and created a testing environment called the Retail Laboratory in Denver, armed with market-tested products, sales presentations and marketing strategies. If the innovative products could be effectively sold in a warehouse district far away from high-end malls, then InnoMax was confident the dealers would find success as well. The term “Hard to Find and Tough to Beat” became a marketing slogan for these products and the great benefits and high values offered to the consumer who searched them out.

The Denver Retail Laboratory

The Denver Retail Laboratory

Effective marketing campaigns were also tested in the Laboratory. For instance, to promote a product with a less-than-favorable set of beliefs surrounding it, a new approach was developed. The company replaced the high energy “Mattress Man” advertising with trustworthy local celebrities whose love of flotation sleep broke down the barriers and myths, and paved the way for a whole new generation of consumers eager to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of sleeping on a waterbed. The company created the name “Mud Bed” to alter the perception many consumers had with the term “waterbed”. Customer after customer would enter the showroom asking to see the famous Mud Bed, not really knowing it was a waterbed. Only after the customer had reclined on the bed to enjoy the relaxing massage and video presentation, would the sleep consultant reveal the true identity of what they were experiencing. The looks of shock and ear-to-ear smiles on the consumer reinforced the viability of this sleep option.

Mark Miller, SSA Chairman and InnoMax CEO

Mark Miller, SSA Chairman and InnoMax CEO

Based upon the premise that air and water can be refined to create some of the most comfortable and exciting products produced to date, InnoMax continues to develop both categories. Mark Miller, InnoMax President/CEO and current Specialty Sleep Association Chairman, continues to focus on product innovation.  One example is the InnoMax Waterbed Day Bed, called the Seaside youth bed, with all six drawers facing one side. This design created a new space saving bed that would fit in smaller rooms yet provide ultimate storage and comfort. They introduced Convert-A-Fit linens that wouldn’t come off until you took them off, solving some customer complaints with early waterbeds. Wooden waterbed frames moved over for the InnoMax Frame Free Sponge Bed. The creation of the Drain Hero Waterbed Maintenance Kit brought long term flotation owner’s the benefit of easy mobility with an electric drain pump and all the accessories needed to move a waterbed without hassle. The Convert-A-Bed modular support system allows each side of the bed to be adjusted to the individual sleepers own comfort level with the choice of Memory Cell, Latex, InnoCoils, Fluid or Air suspension. InnoMax’s latest development is the fully assembled Rolled N’ Ready Freedom Air system that allow dealers to drop ship, directly to the consumer, a fully assembled air bed that is plug-and-go instantly.

Many adjustable bed choices

Many adjustable bed choices

Maximum Innovation is still alive and well at InnoMax. The fast paced heyday of the waterbed may be long gone, but the benefits of specialty sleep are very much alive. In their never ending quest to provide sleepers with the best rest of their life, InnoMax continues to usher in specialty sleep products that offer their dealers a competitive advantage with unique selling propositions, and innovative sleep solutions that allow today’s consumers to enjoy the amazing benefits of specialty sleep for a healthier and happier lifestyle.

 It takes a real passion to love an aardvark, but at InnoMax, the idea of being different just means being better.

This is just one of the fun videos you’ll find on the InnoMax site - click above to watch

This is just one of the fun videos you’ll find on the InnoMax site - click above to watch

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Michael Nermon shares his journey to Ergo Beds

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Michael Nermon is a long time member and past board member of the Specialty Sleep Association. He is Owner and President of Ergo Beds, an 18 year old retail store devoted to the “specialty” side of sleep. We are pleased to showcase Michael and his unique store here for you.

In his own words:

Ergo Beds is a “mattress store” only in the same sense that a Bentley is a “car.” It’s not as though the beds and ergonomic furniture at Ergo have astronomical price tags – they don’t – but presenting the ultimate quality in sleep products, with expertise tailored to maximize each customer’s comfort, is our store’s whole reason for being.

I grew up in the bed industry. My family’s business was manufacturing the adjustable power beds used by major mattress companies. At Maxwell Products our mission was “Adjusting The Way The World Sleeps”. During my 20-year career working with bedding manufacturers in three dozen countries, I found that in Europe mattress technologies were well ahead of those in the United States.

CUSTOMIZED COMFORT

I also had back problems and knew what a big difference a better bed could make. My familiarity with industry technologies and processes gave me the skills to customize my own bed.

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It led me to the vision for Ergo. When we opened in 2001, nothing like this existed. Mattress stores were like supermarkets and selection was based on firmness, price, and brand name. I wanted to offer specialty sleep products with unique benefits and share my knowledge with every customer. I joined the Specialty Sleep Association and aligned myself with the best resources in the industry. Dale Read’s marketing company helped me develop the Ergo logo. 

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A BETTER EXPERIENCE

Our unique showrooms, with soft music, dim lights, and a warm, relaxing décor have earned several awards. More important, this environment helps our customers comfortably spend an hour or more – a sensible approach to selecting a bed. Instead of the dreaded, rushed ordeal experienced in brightly lit, warehouse-like mattress supermarkets, shopping at Ergo is pleasant and leads to the right decision on an investment that will affect the next 10 to 20 years of your life. All products at Ergo meet the highest performance and durability standards. It behooves customers to take their time choosing, guided by the expertise of our Comfort Consultants.

UNIQUE PRODUCT MIX

In addition to being a legacy Tempur-Pedic dealer since 2001, Ergo’s unique product assortment includes the new iSense range of adjustable firmness mattresses; featuring a choice of support systems, Technogel; which incorporates a true gel layer imported from Italy, Ergo’s private label line Silhouette; featuring all-natural materials and customizable design, and our European luxury mattress options.

I’m especially enthusiastic about our Carpe Diem and Jussi beds from Europe. Aside from being esthetically beautiful, their unique design provides a level of support and pressure-point relief that’s impossible to explain. Of all the qualities in sleep products we carry, our Carpe Diem and Jussi beds epitomize the ultimate sleep comfort. The beds can even be custom-ordered with different levels of firmness on either side so couples sleep in maximum comfort.

Ergo is well positioned to accommodate the growing demand for all-natural, chemical-safe sleep products. We’ve offered organic sleep products for many years because their anti-allergenic qualities align with my personal mission to help people get the full, deep, restoring sleep that is so vital to maintaining good health. Ergo features natural and organic sleep products from Naturepedic, Silhouette, Savvy Rest and other top quality producers. 

A CHANGING MARKETPLACE

The internet has drastically changed the dynamics in every industry, and sleep products are no exception. Operating a brick-and-mortar retail business and providing a higher level of service while staying competitive is difficult in this environment. Even exclusive products that can’t be shopped online are a bigger challenge to market to a consumer who is being bombarded by the plethora of information from online companies who profess to be “experts” in a field that they’ve only recently been involved with. These well-financed marketing machines are a real challenge to compete with on the budget of a small brick-and-mortar store operation, especially since the glut of online sellers has driven the cost of internet advertising to unreasonable levels.

Consequently; finding new customers has become a very expensive challenge. It’s been said many times; the best advertising is “word-of mouth” and we are truly grateful for the strong repeat business and referrals that we continue to get from our highly satisfied customer base.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES

We have experienced a lot in our ever-evolving industry, and Ergo has made the difficult moves in this rapidly changing marketplace. Now; after devoting the past 18 years to the retail space I have decided to focus my energies on the manufacturing/supply side of our industry again. I plan to “retire” from operating my small retail business and I look forward to working with both manufacturers and retailers to share my experience and help them build their businesses. We are in an exciting, innovative industry that holds a lot of opportunity for everyone who can dream about better sleep.

Retailer of the Month - from I LOVE MY PILLOW

My Mattress was opened in 2010 by Travis and Ryan Leonhardt.  They offer a full line of sleep products and accessories at multiple price points, from bed pillows and sheets to high end mattresses. They’ve done well with pillows, but since the addition of “I Love My Pillow”, their pillow business has increased substantially.

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One key point to making their business successful is having plenty of pillows in stock. By displaying the pillows in an attractive, eye catching way, they're able to sell a lot of product to customers. They’ve found when people think others are buying the same product, it’s easier for them to make the same choice.