I showed up in Charlottesville, after winding through the idyllic countryside (I’m sorry to use that word, but since I learned it in high school I’ve been waiting to use it at the perfect time, and the Charlottesville countryside in the fall is the DEFINITION of idyllic, so forgive me), to be greeted by John McMullen, the Savvy Rest Art Director-Marketing-Specialist-Gentleman-of-Many-Hats (you know, the way small businesses do and ought to work).
John proceeded to walk me through the relaxing showroom, filled with gorgeous, hand-made bed platforms (here’s a peek at my favorite, the Trousdale) and comfortable looking wool and latex mattresses. I got to sit on all of them.
I asked all my questions, squished all the example latex fillers, and got to hear the Savvy Rest story for myself:
The Savvy Rest Store & Business Model
Savvy Rest is the brainchild of Michael Penny. He lived in an ashram for 20 years. When he emerged, he worked for a futon company and gradually learned the mattress business. He picked up on how most mattresses are made, marketed, and sold.
As he learned what toxic chemicals wind up in mattresses, it became his life’s work to create a healthy, comfortable alternative… because he couldn’t find an awesome, natural mattress already…
It doesn’t get more American small business than that!
The idea took over — good customer service, a good attitude, and good products. The company now provides products to 120 dealers across the country, and 4 company-owned stores on both coasts.
People Are the Heart of Small Businesses
The home office is as messy as it is busy — there’s no sense of pretense or corporate inanity in the large rooms that meet in the showroom, and the vibe through the whole place is just good people working hard.
Speaking of good people, you can see on their site they’re a well-rounded group. They are comprised of a yoga teacher, a sailor, an actor, a health editor, musicians—and many more. Can you even imagine what that holiday party is like?
But really, that’s how I imagine I would want to grow my own company. Not by searching through a stack of resumes — but by connecting and bringing real people on the journey with you.
Local? Still Better
The finishing touch to supporting a small business like Savvy Rest is how they manage their testing and production. Their mattresses are manufactured just outside Charlottesville, VA. That means no side-trips through Asia to be sprayed with formaldehyde, and reasonable shipping in-country shipping costs.
Savvy Rest has no secrets about where it sources the mattress parts and where the mattress is produced. That way, you’re sleeping on what you’ve paid for: high-quality, natural ingredients.
We just missed Small Business Saturday, but I think we should celebrate year-round. What’s your favorite local, small business?
Savvy Rest provided me with several products free of charge in exchange for my unbiased review that will be published later this month, but has not otherwise influenced my review or opinion. This post includes a sponsored link, and be sure to stay tuned for a fun giveaway later this month!