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"As veteran travellers, empty-nesters Joanne and Andrew Marchand have seen the world, or at least most of it.
On holiday or on business trips, they’ve slept in vacation homes, houseboats and four-star hotels. But it was only after they arrived at Caerula Mar, an isolated Bahamas resort run by contractor-designer power couple Bryan and Sarah Baeumler from HGTV’s Island of Bryan, that they noticed the quality of their sleep had changed dramatically. After a long day of travelling, they slept, only to wake and notice this trip was not like the others.
“It was the morning after the first day we arrived, and we noticed how good our sleep had been,” says Joanne Marchand, who lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
For the first time in years, Joanne’s usual hip pain was gone. Joanne, a petite four-foot-11 inches tall, is a light sleeper while her six-foot-two husband Andrew is not. But each felt rejuvenated in their own way, she adds.
“The bed was incredible and the sheets were amazing. We got up in the morning, and said, oh…wow,” says Marchand. It was clear that their shared mattress was the key. “Within the hour I was googling this mattress and the manufacturer.”
She found out the mattress was from Haven, a Kelowna-based company which produces mattresses by hand and to order from Calgary and Mississauga. The Baeumlers had equipped every bed on the resort with a Haven mattress, and have been spokespeople for the brand.
Back home, the Marchands ordered the same Haven mattress model they’d enjoyed at Caerula Mar for their own bedroom, plus one for each of their grown kids and encouraged friends to purchase their own made-to-order mattresses, bedding or bed frames from the company.
“Good sleep makes for a good marriage,” says Haven founder and CEO Scott Amis. “A 100-pound versus a 300-pound sleeper will have a dramatically different feeling on the exact same Haven mattress.”
Amis sets Haven apart from all the established players in the crowded boxed-mattress market by offering custom specifications for each customer, integrating a charitable social ethic and crafting each hand-made mattress from sustainable, organic materials.
Where big-box companies sell mass-produced products, Haven focuses on communicating with each customer to design a made-to-order mattress based on their body’s needs and sleep style, Amis says.
“Front sleepers require additional support while side sleepers need more pressure reduction which we achieve by zoning the mattress. Back and combo sleepers need enhanced lumbar support,” says Amis, whose family has been in the mattress business for 35 years.
“The lighter the sleeper, the more plush we can make the mattress to allow them to experience that ‘sink-in feeling.’ With our popular split king design, for example, we allow couples the option to have each person in the bed help with the custom-design and the firmness specifications for their own side.”
That custom “one-size does not fit all” approach helped the company in 2018 when it acquired a chiropractic certification by the Canadian Chiropractic Association. Unlike the majority of beds sold in Canada, Haven made a significant investment in higher grade materials to promote proper spine alignment to achieve the endorsement.
Amis says he’s seeing more consumers basing their major purchase decisions on comfort, lasting wear and sustainability. Every bespoke mattress is made of 100 per cent vegan and cruelty-free materials, including breathable aerated latex which appeals to those who are sensitive to chemicals and strong odours — often found in synthetic products.
“We are thankful that consumers are now willing to ask the questions that matter of the brands they shop with,” says Amis. “How do you decide how to source locally; how do you define social impact; what steps are you willing to take to be a steward of the planet while you’re delivering your goods to market?
“We seem to be gathering momentum among folks who want more for their investment in sleep,” he says.
Marchand, who for 25 years worked for Family and Child Services caring for at-risk youth in group homes, says she appreciates Haven’s sustainability aspect, though she was particularly interested in Haven’s approach to social responsibility and charitable giving.
Since its conception in 2016, Haven has been committed to making a positive impact through SafeHaven, its social impact campaign. For every 10 mattresses sold to the general public, one is given freely to a charitable organization within Canada. In B.C., Haven has donated mattresses in partnership with Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society which provides community and wellness services for Indigenous youth and families in Kelowna; Covenant House youth shelter, and Mamas for Mamas, a national charitable organization that helps single mothers and caregivers in crisis. "