Most people spend one-third of each day exactly the same way: in bed. We’re with our mattress more than our cars, office chairs and sofas. But how much do you really know about where it came from? The bedding experts at Holy Lamb Organics not only sell top quality mattresses but make them locally in their historic Oakville production facility.
A mattress is more than simply a sleep surface. Today’s can be customized to ensure more restful sleep and address a variety of issues or preferences. Research shows that “The global mattress market is expected to grow from about 30 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 to over 43 billion dollars by 2024” because “As many as 164 million Americans struggle to get some shut-eye on a weekly basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even dubbed it a ‘public health problem.’”
Holy Lamb Organics offers unique, organic mattresses made from wool, latex, springs or a supportive combination. And unlike many companies, the work is done not far from their Olympia showroom.
Holy Lamb mattresses are hand-crafted with skill and love. “We have 11 local employees and are supplied by other local companies that have a combined team of 60 people,” says Jason Schaefer, who owns Holy Lamb Organics with his wife, Mindy. “Our wool comes from 40 ranches on the west coast, from Northern Washington to central California. Every time someone buys from us the money is largely staying in the Northwest.”
And the benefit extends deep into local communities. “Additionally, pretty much everything in our business and supply chain is done in rural areas, so the money is going to areas that really don’t have much else going on,” Jason says. “Holy Lamb is the biggest employer in Oakville where we manufacture our products.”
“Our carbon footprint from shipping alone is trivial compared to competitors that have items shipped from China, India or the South Pacific,” he continues. “We are getting our latex out of Guatemala—rubber trees can’t grow in the USA because of they need an equatorial growing zone—because it’s a shorter distance and thus less carbon produced as a result of shipping.”
Making a Holy Lamb mattress from start to finish is a team effort. “We buy our wool from The Woolgatherer and their Eco Wool program, which is as close to a guarantee as you can get without an auditor that the wool came from ranches that participate in environmental, animal and social practices that are dictated by the Global Organic Textile Standard,” explains Jason. “We get the wool batting, sometimes from me driving down there and back in a day, cut it to size and layer it for the appropriate height then sew it into our sateen encasements. Once they are sewn up, we hand tuft each item to keep the wool from migrating. The item is finished (loose fibers or threads removed) and then it’s boxed up to be shipped or delivered to its new home.”
And this is no machine- or robot-driven process. “Rhona and Mary are our seamstresses who sew every stitch into the products we make,” says Schaefer. “Charlotte cuts all the fabric and wool by hand to make sure the weights and measurements are perfect, she also hand stitches our happy lamb fleece (called that because no sheep were harmed in making the fleece). Kylie, Corrine and Shae fill and tuft all of the comforters, pillows, toppers and mattresses with wool then tuft them all by hand.”
Then there’s “Shirley, our special projects guru who’s been helping us figure out custom jobs for folks outfitting their RV’s as well as semi-truck drivers looking for more comfortable sleeping options in their trucks. Lisa handles the finishing of the products to make sure they go out looking beautiful. Ann and Larry handle all the shipping and receiving for the company. And somehow Mindy keeps track of all the insanity and keeps folks on their paths.”
Every one of these represents a friend, neighbor, cousin, team- or classmate in their hometown. Their hard work supports the local community and benefits organizations throughout our region.
As with many things, the mattress industry has changed over time. Trends in size, support and added features come and go but Holy Lamb’s commitment to green, organic practices is timeless. “We used to spend the bulk of our time explaining why social and environmental practices were important, knowing most people would go buy a cheap knock off made in China or India,” explains Jason. “Now folks are coming in saying ‘We saw you online and love that you are so environmentally conscious, and your products are beautiful!’ This has been a crazy year, but the silver lining is, it’s gotten people to slow down a bit and think about what their values are, or what they want them to be and as a result they are making their purchasing decisions based on those values rather than random impulses.”
If you’re ready to purchase a new mattress, visit Holy Lamb’s Olympia Bed Store or browse their online catalog. Then call 360-273-9400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with staff about the options that are right for you. They even offer delivery. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for gorgeous photos.