NTE Podcast: Tim Masters, Healthy Mattress Maker

Tim Masters, Healthy Mattress Maker

We preach all about healthy building and making the bedrooms the  healthiest rooms in the home. So it’s time to talk about mattresses. Tim Masters, owner of My Green Mattress in Illinois, has been in the mattress making business his entire life. While they have always used high quality materials, the switch to organic and chemical free was the result of a personal family crises. I met with Tim at his manufacturing facility recently to discuss his story and how now it benefits all of his customers.

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About My Green Mattress

Established in 2007, My Green Mattress is America’s original, certified organic mattress factory. The materials and operations in the family-owned factory are certified all-organic by the Control Union. Each mattress is handcrafted with Earth’s finest materials including GOTS certified organic cotton, American-sourced and ethically raised organic wool, and GOLS certified organic latex. The company’s organic certifications can be found here. All mattresses are naturally hypoallergenic and free from flame retardant chemicals. Each mattress comes with a risk-free 120 Night Sleep Trial and a 20 Year Warranty.

In 2007, Quality Sleep Shop’s owner, Tim Masters, launched an all-natural, organic line of mattresses called My Green Mattress when his daughter Emily was diagnosed with eczema and allergies. Masters created a hypoallergenic crib mattress made with organic materials for her, and soon after he developed MyGreenMattress.com where customers across the country can purchase safe, healthy, and affordable mattresses for the entire family. For a virtual tour of the factory and for additional information, please visit: MyGreenMattress.com

 

Transcript

NTE Podcast: Tim Masters, Healthy Mattress Maker

Tim Masters, Healthy Mattress Maker

Andy Pace :

Welcome to Non-Toxic Environments, your source for information and news about healthy building common sense home solutions. Well, hello everybody. This is Andy Pace. Welcome back to the show. Thank you for listening today. We’ve got a great topic today. We’re actually going to be interviewing Tim Masters, who is the owner of My Green Mattress store. Tim has been in the industry of mattress making literally all of his life. And I got a chance to go down to the factory in Illinois and take a tour. Tim was just gracious to allow me to walk around and see all the equipment and speak to a lot of his employees and really had a great time. But more importantly, I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to tell you about the product, My Green Mattress. Now, just so you know, if you go to their website, mygreenmattress.com, if you use the code NTE, stands for Non-Toxic Environments, you’ll get yourself a nice little discount on your order.

Andy Pace :

So with us today, will be Tim Masters. And then we’re going to listen to a little bit of audio from the manufacturing facility. I will let you know that it is a little bit loud in there. So you may have to turn up the volume a little bit. I apologize for that, but it’s a working manufacturing facility, and I think the information that Tim gives is well worth the inconvenience of having to turn up the volume a little bit. So without any further delay, here’s Tim. Tim, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate it.

Tim Masters:

Oh, you’re welcome. And thank you for having me.

Andy Pace :

Of course, of course. So I’ve just been intrigued by the entire story of My Green Mattress and the history of it. Your experience in this field, in this industry. Tell us all a little bit about that and how you got things started?

Tim Masters:

Well for the My Green Mattress, and I am a mattress maker down to my shoes. I started here as a teenager with the company, like a local neighborhood mattress factory.

Andy Pace :

Wow.

Tim Masters:

And ended up acquiring the company when I was 25 years old, my boss retired and purchased a company. But then a few year later, my wife and I had started our family. We had a daughter named Emily. And Emily had all kinds of allergies and my wife had asked, can you make her an organic crib mattress? And I said, sure. So then I made an organic crib mattress and we expanded our product offering for moms and dads, kid’s first bed, and just kind of grew from there. So I don’t know. It’s kind of neat. That’s about all I know about that.

Andy Pace :

Well, it’s interesting. I talk about this all the time on the show, how most people don’t really know about chemical sensitivity until it affects somebody personally in your family or yourself. And so you had that aha moment when your own daughter Emily had these issues that you had to create an organic mattress for. And so I’m curious after you did that, and you saw such a positive effect that had on her, is that when you said, if this helps her, this has got to help other people.

Tim Masters:

I think it was almost in just researching the materials for the crib mattress,

Andy Pace :

Right.

Tim Masters:

I would build like an organic bed, like onesie, two-sies, throughout the late 1990s, early 2000s. Like it was mostly like older hippie people come in, I need an organic mattress. Can you make one? I would source the materials and I would make them an organic mattress and I never thought twice about it. But once you started looking into the materials, what’s the healthiest thing for a person to sleep on and it’s like, wow, it is organic cotton. It is organic wool. It is these materials that make up an organic mattress. It just turns out to be the healthiest for people.

Andy Pace :

And that’s a rabbit hole for people to go down into. People will call me all the time and say, I’ve been doing my research and I don’t know where to start now. And so this is something you’ve been researching since the 90s and actually practicing in your business. And then you decided at some point, this is a good direction for everybody. It doesn’t have to be for people who are just looking for organic, this is good for everybody because obviously your quality of sleep is dictated on what you’re sleeping on.

Tim Masters:

Yes, and your skin is your largest organ and it soaks up everything. So, if you are on something that’s chock-full of chemicals and you perspire at night, like you’re soaking up all that in your bloodstream. And that’s not good for you, a lot of the stuff that are in like standard mattresses today, for sure.

Andy Pace :

Oh, for sure. And you think about the flame retardants and the pesticides and yada, yada, yada, all that that’s found into a traditional mattress. And of course in a healthy home, these are things we’re trying to avoid in our building materials so it makes sense to try to avoid these things in what we try to get six to eight hours of sleep a night. We hope to. And if you’re being affected by the chemicals from your mattress, and electromagnetic fields and particulates in the air and so forth, I mean, all this makes for horrible sleep. And if our cells can’t renew at night, how do we fight what comes against us all day long?

Tim Masters:

You get it for sure.

Andy Pace :

Yeah. You were so kind to allow me to come down and talk to you, and I’m really excited because I’m going to get a chance to actually go through the manufacturing area and I’ve actually never seen a mattress being made. So this is going to be a lot of fun for me. And I’ll warn folks that this is a working factory. And so there’s machinery that gets to be loud throughout the audio. But I think that it’s going to be very beneficial for people to learn. You’ll actually get a feel of what it’s like to be there and so let’s take a listen.

Tim Masters:

Yeah, when they walk in showroom, we may have X amount of beds on display, but I’m like, nope, this is one for them, but I have got to let them pick it.

Andy Pace :

Sure.

Tim Masters:

Also educate them on why.

Andy Pace :

Well, and that actually brings me to another question is there are all these new mattress manufacturers that have popped up in the last 10 years. And I understand just due to the economy of what’s happened in the industry, but as a manufacturer of a product that is very specialized from person to person, it can be anyway.

Tim Masters:

Yeah. Yeah.

Andy Pace :

And you looked at me in two seconds, said, this is what you need.

Tim Masters:

Yeah.

Andy Pace :

How do you translate that through a website, through phone calls? I mean, how is it not something you have to see person to person?

Tim Masters:

Well, it kind of is. And what we’ve developed for the masses is what works best, generally speaking.

Andy Pace :

Okay.

Tim Masters:

Is it the best fit for everybody? No, but what I put into these mattresses is so much thought. I’ve been doing this for 30 years, since I was a kid. And if I make a mistake locally, if I sell you a bed, I can adjust that bed to make it fit you. I’ve been through the wringer with customers. I’ve learned what works, what doesn’t work. And it’s a lot of the older people, especially I need a good firm mattress. Well, years ago I’d build them a good firm mattress. Two weeks later, they come in, my arms are numb. My legs are numb. What can you do for me? I got you. So then I adjust the mattress to fit them better.

I see a lot of the mattress companies online and I go nuts, because I’m like, they’re doing it wrong. They’re doing it because of marketing. It sounds good and it looks good on paper, but the functionality is horrible. And I go nuts. I’m like, man if people only knew. I love this spring system. This actually is the best test results in the bedding industry. And this spring system is designed to work with the human body and really keep, I would say 90% of the people, full grown adults properly supported. Younger people are very linear people like, they’re thin and narrow, eh, probably not the right one, but for the average person now this works. And what I love about it, see how these rows of coils here are in a line, see in the center, how they go offset?

Andy Pace :

Oh, right. There we go.

Tim Masters:

They nest those coils through the center third. And then it goes straight towards the shoulder area again. When they nest the coils in the center, it’s 5% firmer. It takes that pressure off your shoulders. Mattress is always wear in the hip area. It won’t let your buns drop. As soon as your buns drop, if you’re sleeping on your side or your back, or even your stomach, if your mid-section drops down your muscles around your back are fatigued all night. So this gives beautiful lumbar support.

Andy Pace :

So I was going to say, that’s the lumbar support you hear about and-

Tim Masters:

But it’s not overly done.

Andy Pace :

Right.

Tim Masters:

It’s such a perfect amount.

Andy Pace :

Right. It seems to be a wider swath.

Tim Masters:

It is.

Andy Pace :

Then it is with normal mattresses.

Tim Masters:

Yes. And it’s we do this purposely. It has to cover the honey hold section of your body, where you carry most of the weight, when you rotate the mattress head to foot, it’s going to keep proper alignment for a wide variety from like a 4’10” woman to a 6’4” husband or whatever you got going on in the bed. It really covers them nice.

Andy Pace :

That’s a great point because you have individuals of all various heights, so you have couples of various heights. And so if you have this one swath of-

Tim Masters:

That’s narrow.

Andy Pace :

Lumbar support that’s narrow.

Tim Masters:

You miss it or.

Andy Pace :

One person’s going to miss it, right?

Tim Masters:

Yes.

Andy Pace :

And then one person complains that they’re not getting good sleep and the next person says it’s great for me. So I like that. About how long does it take to make a mattress?

Tim Masters:

That’s a great question. Just the assembly process, like I could put a twin size mattress together in 20 minutes. And then to do the finish sewing is about another 15 minutes. So maybe 35 minutes on the assembly. And, but what happens before the assembly end is that quilting, the surging, the cutting, the sewing. So if you factored everything in maybe an hour a mattress.

Andy Pace :

There’s a lot involved. There’s a lot involved in the manufacturing of these. And I don’t think people understand. They look at a mattress in a store and they think, oh, these big machines are just making these things. Well, I see a lot of people putting things together by hand and it takes time. It takes skill. It takes the correct equipment.

Tim Masters:

Yes.

Andy Pace :

And when people wonder why, what a mattress price is, and by no means are your mattresses high price. They’re where there should be for quality level if not lower than what there should be in my opinion, but I believe that when you see what’s all involved when putting it together, there’s no arguments on what the value is.

Tim Masters:

It’s yeah, it’s a lot of work. And at the end of the day, when I first started with this company, there were three of us that worked here and at the end of the day, your tail was dragging. A truck would pull up with 5,000 pounds of cotton and the cotton comes in bales. And if they’re like a 100 pound bales on your shoulder, off the back of the truck, into the garage, you stack them in pyramids. And you get done with that. Well, let’s start making mattresses. Oh, we sold one. Let’s go deliver it. So you’re always moving on. Let’s talk about our fabric.

Andy Pace :

Okay.

Tim Masters:

So we’ll start with the top fabric. This is certified organic cotton fabric. This comes marked. Each roll is marked with a lot number, a SKU number. This is all traced and tracked. When this goes into the quilting machine, we document everything that we’re doing. We document every yard of fabric that goes through that machine is accounted for and logged and goes onto your law label at the end of the day.

Andy Pace :

Really.

Tim Masters:

So each number and letter that’s on the law label, traces back to each component and the date of when that bed was manufactured, the date that we received the goods, the date that the goods were processed and shipped and what farms they came from. It’s really neat. In everything that we get in, we have to get organic certifications. So this comes with its own documentation. Each roll is documented and we keep all that on file and it’s also again on the law label. It’s all traceable.

Andy Pace :

Wow. Tim, like I said before, I’ve never been in a manufacturing facility for mattresses before. This was an eye opener and I’m not sure if it made it on the audio, but I know I said to you, I couldn’t believe how clean the place was for a manufacturing facility. Obviously that just is a testimony to how you run your entire company.

Tim Masters:

Well, thank you for that. Thank you for noticing. I don’t like anything clutter. It drives you crazy. You definitely can move a lot easier and think a lot clearer when there’s not a lot of clutter around you.

Andy Pace :

Well, and if people are like me, I think about where things are made. Everything I put on myself, I think about where it was made and how it was made. And to know that what I’m sleeping on was made in such a clean environment and everybody I met in the manufacturing facility was so kind and so attentive to detail. I hope that comes across in the audio of just how much care everybody has in the process of making these mattresses.

Tim Masters:

Yeah, I think it’ll come through in the audio and we try so hard. I never want anybody to be sad with anything that they purchased from our company. And we really put our best foot forward each and every day.

Andy Pace :

Fantastic. And folks I’ll be linking the My Green Mattress in the show notes. Of course, if you do want to go get a mattress, which I’ll be getting very shortly myself, go to mygreenmattress.com and you can use the code NTE for Non-Toxic Environments, it’ll actually get you a nice little discount off your purchase. And I really hope that folks look into this. I mentioned it when I was out there, Tim, I couldn’t believe how well these are made and especially at the pricing. I think it’s so affordable for everyone to buy a good quality chemical free mattress from My Green Mattress. So thank you so much. And I really hope that someday I can have you back on the show.

Tim Masters:

Well, thank you. Well we sure appreciate the opportunity and thank you for everything you’ve done.

Andy Pace :

All right, Tim.

Tim Masters:

Thank you.

Andy Pace :

Well, folks here you have it, Tim Masters with My Green Mattress in Illinois. And thank you to Tim for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with me, show me around. It was really a pleasure. And I am honest when I say that I will be getting one of his mattresses delivered to my house in the next week or two. And I will certainly report back to everybody on how well it works for us. Very excited to try it out. And if you are looking forward to trying it out, go to mygreenmattress.com and use the code NTE for Non-Toxic Environments, and it’s going to get you $125 off of any mattress order that is a twin size or larger. And please let us know what you think, and we will report back to everyone. Folks, thank you so much for listening to Non-Toxic Environments.

Andy Pace :

I hope you enjoyed today’s interview and today’s show. If you have any questions, please reach out to me, andy@degreeofgreen.com. Please go to iTunes and leave us a rating and a review. We are excited to come to an end of 2021 in the next couple of months, and really looking forward to seeing what 2022 has in store for us. I know we haven’t done as many shows as we would like to. It’s been a very interesting year, very busy. It’s been a record breaking year for us business wise, but also frustration wise, it’s been very difficult to manage things with the pandemic still going on and causing disruptions all over the world with freight and with supply issues. But we are happy to do the work for our customers. We’re very happy to have so many loyal listeners of the show.

So many people have reached out and asked us when the next show’s coming on. And we’re going to get them out as quickly as we can folks. I know that Jay is working on some interviews that he’s doing with some very interesting organizations that he’s interested in, and we’ll probably start getting those up on the air as well. And if you have any ideas of topics you’d like us to touch on, please let us know. Again, andy@degreeofgreen.com. Let me know. I would love to find out from you all, what are the interesting things that you have going on right now? What are you investigating on your own? What are you trying to dig in down to the bottom of? We’d love to take a look at it for you and share with the audience, what we find out. So on that note folks, have yourself a wonderful week and we will be back in touch shortly. Take care, everybody.

 


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