About Sleepers

Through its retail store in Saskatoon, Sleepers Mattress Factory caters to individuals and organizations that choose to visit our showrooms for personal consultations and rest tests. Our retail customers are typically interested in products for their home or small business, or one-of-a-kind solutions for their individual situation. Customers can make a selection from one of many house brands, however, we also "build to specification". Most requests for unconventional sizes and materials can be accommodated. This includes custom sizing for your truck, motorhome, camper, 5th-wheel, hide-a-bed, or precious antique bed frame.

our history - from Waterbeds to Factory-Direct Mattress Retailer

1990 Commercial by Thomega Entertainment Inc.

 

Sleepers was founded by Barbara Hodges and Ron van Meenen in 1983. The story of how a fitness advocate and elementary school teacher ventured into the bedding business is too long to tell here. Let’s just say we had an “entrepreneurial moment.”

We were in our early thirties, with two children, age 8 and 13, when we started our business life as waterbed retailers. The family lore is that it took us somewhere between three days and three months to realize that the waterbed wave had crested and that we weren’t going to ride that tide to business success. Timing, as they say, is everything! When in doubt, listen to your customers. As we struggled to position ourselves as specialty sleep retailer during the department store era, our customers planted the seed of an even more unique concept… factory-direct mattress retailer. Now hard could that be?

Well, it was harder than we ever imagined, but the idea of “we make what we sell, so you save,” seemed to resonate with people. We opened a tiny factory in 1988 with the help of Al Collins, a bedding industry veteran from Columbus, Georgia. Al set up the equipment, gave us a week of training, and we were on our way - talk about a steep learning curve!

We quickly outgrew the first factory, and two more, as we immersed ourselves in the sleep products industry.  Continuous improvement became a way of life.   Finally in 1999, we built our current factory, here on Apex Street in Saskatoon’s north end.  It’s a lively place, with customers testing products in the showroom while our staff are busy in the factory just a few feet away.

We truly appreciate the dedication and contributions of our sons, Chris and Rob.  They worked with us from day one (apparently we still owe them a treehouse and more than a few summer vacations).  Chris was instrumental in figuring out how to get things done in the factory.  At age 22, he opened our Regina store and managed it for three years.   Always the man-of-action, Chris was a member of Canadian Navy Reserves and later graduated from Mount Royal College with an Aviation Diploma.  He is now an Air Canada pilot.  Chris lives in Okotoks, Alberta with his wife, Monique, and their two little girls.

Rob is the voice of “Sleepers Radio”. We actually don’t own a radio station, although we might have paid for one based on the amount of advertising we have bought over the years. Rob has written and voiced almost all of our messages. The Mattress Man is a professional actor with credits in theatre, film and television across the west.  He is a veteran of the Saskatoon Soaps, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, is one of the founders of Live Five, and has worked with many other independent theatre companies.  He is also a playwright and producer.  Rob divides his time between our business, theatre, and family life.  His wife,  Angela Kemp,  is an amazingly talented and well-rounded actor.   Three four-legged performers, Bo, Mystery, and Daryl are part of the cast. 

P.S. Have a listen to a few spots from our Radio Ad Bank.  They will give you a pretty good idea of who we are.