North Shore Bedding owner, Brett Saul, said some former customers have wondered why he moved the 30-year-old business out of Highland Park. He insists the decision wasn't a personal slight against the North Shore community — the old building he occupied was in such desperate need of improvements, it was sold and slated for demolition.
The independent bed and mattress business has been at it's new location in the Willow Festival shopping center, at 984 Willow Rd. in Northbrook, for about three weeks, but Saul says he's already seeing the benefits of the new real estate.
On his first day of business in Northbrook, someone shopping at a nearby store decided to walk in and buy a mattress. Apparently the customer wasn't planning to buy a mattress that day, but she saw the store, remembered she was in the market for something new and found what she needed at North Shore Bedding.
Saul says a spontaneous walk-in purchase has only happened a couple times over the last 30 years.
Among the store's unique selling points is the selection of organic mattresses, which Saul says are still hard to find in the Midwest.
"I've seen more people develop reactions to mattresses over the last five years," Saul said. He accounts the rise of chemical sensitivity on strict, new laws meant to make mattresses less flammable.
These mattresses are made with natural latex rubber core and organic wool or cotton. It's not the kind of latex that's used for rubber gloves, which some people are allergic to, and Saul says the mattresses tend to last two to three times longer than the synthetic alternative. They range from $2,000 to $5,000 and naturally resist dust mites, mold and mildew.
Saul says organic mattresses are fully customizable to fit a sleeper's firmness and feel preferences, and all adjustments are made in-store before they're delivered to the customer.
The North Shore Bedding Experience
"My whole goal is not to have a customer call and complain," Saul said. Over the years, that philosophy has not only shaped his business, but may have improved the way people sleep.
He's dropped well-known, luxury mattress brands because of diminishing product quality. He encourages people to nap on the mattresses. He sells beds made from old, reclaimed, wood from California. He even offers personal advice on customers' sleeping habits to improve their overall health.
"We're here to get you to sleep better," he said. "If you don't sleep well, you don't live well."
The store's next-door neighbor, Art Post Gallery, has art hanging at the mattress store. Art Post's owner, Chris Bates, helped Saul design the shop, right down to the paint color.
"She's amazing," Saul said. "She's an interior design genius."
"I do believe this is the best shopping center outside of Chicago," he added. "We went from the dungeon to the top of the castle."