When a bird needs to make its nest, it gathers the natural and available materials in its general vicinity to build a safe place to sleep.
That was founder, Joe Alexander’s inspiration for naming Nest Bedding.“I imagined a company where I could choose materials from small, local vendors to make awesome sleep products,” Joe told us.
But Joe didn’t get his start in the mattress industry. For years, he worked in music.
“I loved the music business, but I worked in wholesale and retail and that business model was quickly drying up with the advent of online and digital music purchasing.”
So in 1999, Joe went to work as a sales manager for his friend’s 100-year-old mattress and furniture store.
“I found a love for working with customers, consulting with them about their health and sleep issues and how the proper mattress could help with those issues. So, you can say I fell into the bed business.”
Building a ‘Nest’
Fast forward to the summer of 2012 – the summer Joe lost his job.
Nest Bedding had been somewhat of a pipe dream for about a year prior, but Joe didn’t have the cash to make his dream a reality.
“On the day they let me go, they offered me a severance package with barely enough money to either pay off some bills or start my own company on a shoestring.” Just forty-five days later, Joe unlocked the doors to the first Nest Bedding store.
When it comes to life, “you can either get your ass kicked or grab a board and paddle with it,” as Joe once said.
You can either get your ass kicked or grab a board and paddle with it.
Designing the Nest Mattress
Nest Bedding offers six different mattresses that vary in materials and firmness levels, including their best-selling memory foam mattress, the Alexander Signature Series, as well as the Alexander Signature Hybrid, the Love & Sleep, and more.
From the very beginning, Joe decided to launch multiple mattress models – a trend that’s just starting to take off with other players in the category like Casper, Leesa and Tuft & Needle.
“I thought launching more than one mattress model was a no brainer.”
Mattresses are not a “one size fits all” item. “One bed is not right for everyone,” Joe explains. “If that was the case, we would never have returns!”
One bed is not right for everyone. If that was the case, we would never have returns.
From click to brick: “Welcome to the party! Where were you guys?!”
The online mattress industry continues to grow at an incredible rate. Not only are new players latching on to the bed-in-a-box craze, but many category leaders are beginning to bring their offerings to brick-and-mortar stores. However, Nest has somewhat of an edge, having been here for a while.
“It’s good to see people finally figuring out that while it’s nice to have the option to order online, the vast majority of consumers still want to test and feel the beds. In fact, with a massive offering available online now, it becomes even more important to have the store option,” Joe tells us.
Despite the success of Nest’s e-commerce operations, 40% of their sales come from their stores.
Between a growing partnership with AirBnb and the creation of their new flat-pack furniture, exciting things are happening at Nest! Joe gives us a glimpse into the plans on Nest’s horizon.
Partnering with airbnb
In the summer of 2016, Nest Bedding launched a partnership with AirBnB with the goal of placing 1,000 Nest mattresses and pillows in the most popular AirBnB rentals across the country.
For every mattress purchased via a host’s referral, the host receives a percentage of the sale. The best part? Travelers that fall in love with the Nest mattress can get a discount code from their host.
“The AirBnB partnership has been a smashing success! It has introduced our beds and bedding to thousands of people.”
The interactive and personal environment of AirBnB opens up the opportunity for hosts to discuss their accommodations with those who pass through, including, talking up their beds. You can now find Nest in about 75 AirBnBs cross country. Not a bad trial run.
Nest Bedding currently operates several brick and mortar stores out west and plans to open more this year. If you don’t live near one of their retail locations, you can shop their beds online at nestbedding.com.
For more information on Nest Bedding mattresses, read our reviews of the Alexander Signature Series, Alexander Signature Hybrid and the Love & Sleep.
Get to know Joe
What makes a Nest Bedding mattress different than the others?
“We are one of the first omni-channel mattress companies, and that gives us a distinct advantage over many of our online and brick and mortar competitors. Of course, having our own well priced, high quality branded products produced in our own factory really sets us apart. All the products in our stores are either hand picked or created by me, with many years of real world experience.”
What do you hope your mattress accomplishes for your customers?
“I want our products to be known as the best, and I want our customers to solve their sleep issues and feel that they got more for their money with my products than any other company.”
What do you most enjoy about running your own sleep company?
“The daily interaction and emails and calls from customers whose lives have been impacted in a positive way by the products I have created. There is such an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment that goes along with it.”