By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
ST. JOSEPH — All Nick Gillespie wants is for people to get a good night’s sleep.
For this reason, Gillespie said, he opened The Rested Pillow Mattress Co. in St. Joseph Township.
Gillespie and his wife, Allison, had a soft opening for The Rested Pillow on Tuesday at 1330 Hilltop Road, next door to The Liquor Cabinet. Gillespie became interested in mattresses when he sold them during his time in college. After spending time at Whirlpool Corp., Gillespie felt it was time to open his store.
“When I got out of college, the owner of the place I worked at was selling his business,” Gillespie said. “I almost bought that business, but I wanted to explore a little bit.”
With no mattress specialty store in the area, Gillespie went to work. After coming up with a business plan, Gillespie completed the lease in June.
Through the summer, Gillespie and a friend were able to create a line-up of what he refers to as “snugs” – semi-private spaces that allow buyers to try out the beds. Above each bed is a large chalkboard that shows the variations of firmness and bulleted items that go into the specifics of each mattress. With an education center in the front of the store and a video being projected on the back wall showing how a mattress is made, Gillespie said their intent is to make it easier on the customer.
“Ever since I’ve known him, for the last eight or nine years, he’s talked about mattresses,” Allison said. “We would go to hotels and he would lift the sheets up, look at the lining and draw my attention to the craftsmanship. If anyone wants to nerd out on beds, they should come see Nick.”
Different shapes, sizes
Gillespie refers to his mattress store as “the craft beer of mattresses.” This is not only because of the look and feel of the store itself, but because the mattresses can be made to order.
In order to do this, Gillespie joined with Capitol Bedding Co. of Lansing to create a full line of beds. He began working with the wholesaler during his job in college.
“Since that time I kept in touch with the owner. He kind of always knew I was interested in this,” Gillespie said. “Capitol Bedding gives you way more bed for your buck. People were really enjoying them.”
The mattresses also have The Rested Pillow embroidered on the ends of them, another added touch by Capitol Bedding.
Capitol Bedding has become well-known as a major vendor of beds for the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and the University of Notre Dame dormitories.
“They are literally made to order. If you came in on Thursday, it would be made Monday or Tuesday and I would have it by Wednesday,” Gillespie said. “And that’s if it’s not in stock. Those guys build their beds. It feels very custom. It’s not been sitting in a warehouse or been on a boat from China.”
Make it easy
Gillespie said buying a mattress should not be as hard as buying a car.
The shop will carry about 20 different beds on display at a time. Gillespie said they will also feature “Bed in a Box” options, a full range of pillows and other bedding accessories.
“Some of the highest dissatisfaction is in the mattress industry,” Gillespie said. “There’s a lot of folks like us who are trying to make it easier. You spend a third of your life in a bed. It shouldn’t be this hard experience where you hope you don’t get swarmed.”
The Rested Pillow showroom will be open noon to 2 p.m. and 4-8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. However, Gillespie said they are still experimenting with their hours to make sure there is enough time for him to also do deliveries.
While the store is closed on Sunday and Monday, Gillespie said they also offer private appointments that allow customers to try out the beds in peace. To make an appointment, call the store’s phone at 982-1188.
The store’s website is in the process of launching and can be visited soon at www.restedpillow.com.