Michael’s Story: Savvy Rest Founder
I never thought that I was particularly passionate about natural living: I simply never considered living any other way. Diet, exercise, sleep, meditation, and work-life balance have informed my day-to-day choices, especially in aging. That’s just what it takes for me to feel happy and fulfilled.
For over 20 years I lived in a spiritual community and renounced worldly life. Perhaps the strongest impact of that is viewing humanity’s similarities more than our differences: Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone needs love. Everyone wants to be part of a dynamic team, develop, and express themselves. Everyone wants to make a positive difference in the world.
After working in a futon store for six years, in 2003 I set out on my own and learned how chemicals from mattresses and sofas wind up in the bloodstream, which ultimately set me on the path to founding Savvy Rest as an organic mattress company. My wife began to wake up with severe headaches from sleeping on a highly touted memory foam mattress (all chemical); within a couple of years of changing to a Savvy Rest mattress, her headaches completely cleared up.
I never cared about building a company or had some dreamy long-term vision. When we needed more help, we hired someone. We learned as we went along, and the universe provided whatever help we needed.
Each new employee who began to work at Savvy Rest was drawn to something. It could have been how we listened genuinely in an interview, or our orientation toward sustainability, or the organic story. I always believed that nothing other than fulfilling one’s life purpose was truly satisfying. Fulfilling that purpose while working at Savvy Rest has been astonishingly successful for many people. As time went on, the lived experience came to resemble some aspects of community living.
Around 2012 one of our wonderful employees said to me, “You know, Michael, the way we sell is really different from anyplace else I have ever worked. We treat people with respect, share what we know and what we have, but there is zero pressure, a sort of mindfulness, and authentic caring.” In my heart I knew it was different, and I developed what I called Selfless Selling, basically a way of treating a customer like a friend or neighbor.
Now that the operations have passed gracefully to younger leaders, I could not be happier with the organization. There are still normal problems that plague any business, but everyone at Savvy Rest is hardworking and capable of facing these challenges head on through communication, teamwork, and passion for the work they do.
I will add that, although skills are critical, the power of connection and caring are transformative and developmental. On a daily basis, I feel the integrity of our CEO John, the entire Leadership Team, and all our teams. I have faith that the company will continue to thrive and grow in their capable hands.