There’s something about a rainy day that makes you want to roll over and go back to sleep so, as our latest storm system rolled through, it seemed appropriate that I found myself at BedCrafters by Michelle in Williamsburg. Just inside, an A-board greeted me with a question: “Waking up tired?” Oh yeah.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve had little success selecting a proper mattress. Like Goldilocks, I’ve tried them all—pillow tops, premium latex, memory foam, and mattresses with enough coiled springs to launch a rocket. Some were too soft; some way too hard; and others felt divine on the showroom floor, only to leave me disappointed months later.
Why is it such a huge mystery finding the perfect mattress? Like the Princess and the Pea, many of us toss and turn our nights away after spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars on our latest beds. BedCrafters owners Michelle Brumfield and Annette Lindsey and their staff have the answers.
Unlike typical mattress stores and warehouses, where dozens of brand named beds are lined up in rows offering a one-style-fits-all approach, BedCrafters works with you individually, accessing your needs from head to toe, to customize a mattress that responds to your body’s unique contours, sleep positions, and desired temperature. Once these needs are met, you can once again experience that restorative night’s sleep you may vaguely recall from years past.
“We call it the BedCrafters difference,” says Michelle. “We have non-commission salespeople so they’re not hungry to sell you a mattress. We take all that off the table so when you walk into our showroom you’re going to be greeted by someone who’s interested in knowing what your needs are. All of our staff is educated in how a mattress is constructed and how it works in relation to a customer’s unique needs.”
Most customers who enter their store know little about how a mattress is constructed. All they know is that they want a hard, medium, or soft bed. It’s up to Michelle and her trained staff to determine what it will take to provide what Michelle refers to as “proper support and topical softness”.
Sleep centers have determined that most people sleep on their sides, so they need softness for their shoulders so as not to restrict blood flow to their arms and hands. When they turn over onto their backs or if they are back sleepers, they need sufficient support for their lower backs. If you have to wake up fully in order to turn over, or clamor getting out of bed, or feel you are reposing in a hammock, you are sleeping on the wrong foundation.
“It’s all about density and compression rate,” explains Michelle, “and each individual is unique. What works for a 160 lb. person is not the same as for a 240 lb. individual. Our customers don’t need to lie down and test every bed in the store. We can look at someone and already have strong ideas what will work best for them.”By custom designing a bed, beginning with a standard Winndom mattress and altering various components—temperature, smart foam, padding, coils, springs, and compression rates—each bed can be configured so that it’s truly unique to its owner.
Want a round bed or need an extra-large bed? BedCrafters can do that too. If a couple no longer sleeps together because they truly have two very different comfort levels, BedCrafters will create
two extra-long twin beds with two
unique comfort levels that can be placed side-by-side to look like a king bed. It’s that level of customization that customers find so appealing.
Michelle’s hands-on approach began years ago as an employee building handcrafted mattresses at Custom Comfort by Winn Ltd. at their plant in Hopewell. One night’s sleep in her Winndom mattress and she became a convert. Having suffered from numerous sports injuries over the years, a good night’s sleep seemed just a memory until that moment. Impressed with the brand, Michelle called the company’s owner, the late Winn Butterworth, and requested employment based on her passion for the product. It was a match made in heaven.
While at Winn, she learned every aspect of what it takes to construct truly quality mattresses using only the best components. Along the way she became intimately familiar with the raw products that comprise a bed and an understanding as to why so many people are miserable sleeping on their mattresses. When she was ready to open her own store, Butterworth agreed to supply her with the Winndom line, her sole brand. When the store opened in 1999, it was an instant hit!
A decade later, when Annette Lindsey went shopping for a bed for her college-bound daughter, she headed to BedCrafters and not only did she purchase a bed for her daughter, she returned later to buy one for herself and her husband. She and Michelle became fast friends and, with shared values for a quality product and customer service, they became business partners in 2011.
Each brings skill sets needed to maintain a successful business and, in doing so, have garnered several retailer awards. While Michelle concentrates
on manufacturing, design, customer service, and delivery, Lindsey handles
the financial matters, oversees the sales staff, merchandising the showroom
floor, and assisting customers. It’s all handled with aplomb.
The 2,300-square foot showroom is a warm oasis of chocolate walls with hints of nautical blues reflected in the art work on the walls, and accessories that lend sparkle to tasteful displays of mattresses shown against a backdrop of finely crafted beds in a number of decorating styles. If you’re looking for price tags, don’t bother. With each bed individually crafted, this is not a one-price-fits-all store either. Yet their beds are surprisingly affordable.
I decide to savor the BedCrafters experience for myself. As a potential customer, I wanted to know what was wrong with my own bed. After determining a number of criteria—my sleep habits, weight, preference for warm or cool, spinal alignment, and any on-going health issues--it isn’t long before Michelle points to the perfect mattress.
Since I am a side sleeper, she immediately noticed that I was placing my pillow all wrong. Really? Although I was adequately supporting my neck and head, my shoulders rolled towards one another, pulling on and tightening back and shoulder muscles, causing my fingers to tingle and grow numb during the night. By angling the pillow towards my sternum, I immediately felt a sense of release. Ah, lovely!
As a sometimes back sleeper, my current mattress is far too soft, allowing my spine to sag or “hammock”, my elevated shoulders and legs applying direct pressure on my lower back. Since my mattress also sits upon a slated platform, the mattress isn’t being properly supported either. The solution? Michelle will come to my home and measure the bed in order to design and build a proper platform for a new mattress. Problem solved!
When your bed is finished, BedCrafters will pick it up at the factory and deliver it at no charge within a 45 mile radius of the store. Once it arrives, if for any reason it doesn’t perform to expectations, BedCrafters will determine what adjustments need to be made, will pick up your mattress, and carry it to the factory to adjust the compression rates, and return it to you the same day.
“We used to say that the average age of our customers was 45-65,” Michelle points out, “but now we are finding the average age to be 36-65. Younger people are doing more research online and because they are making more money, they want to put it into a quality bed sooner rather than later.”
“I had one customer stop me one day in a parking lot and said she had a bone to pick with me,” Michelle laughingly recalls. “Thinking I was about to hear the worst, she told me her husband travels all the time and when he used to call home he’d tell her he couldn’t wait to see her. Now all he talks about is coming come to his mattress!” That’s music to Michelle’s ears.
BedCrafters also offers adjustable bed sleep systems, gel mattresses, custom RV and boat beds, in-home measuring, pillows, mattress protectors, headboards and footboards, frames, and an assortment of adjustable bases.
“We put our horse before one cart and that’s the Winndom product,” Michelle states passionately without qualms regarding her brand loyalty. “They allow us to satisfy the needs of our customers. We are not selling a marketing concept; we are selling a real product for real people who want nothing more than a good night’s sleep.”