Remember the last time you shopped for a mattress? Chances are it wasn’t a fun experience. The mattress you ended up buying might have brought a lot of restful nights but the task of choosing one likely was more a chore.
Visit Sleep Bedder, on the corner of El Cajon Blvd and Utah Street in North Park, and you’ll find eco-friendly mattresses that conform instantly to your body and help you get a better night of sleep. You’ll also find numerous unique and locally sourced items from artists. Sleep Bedder seduces you with the same kind of charm that an old-world boutique in a small European village oozes, where cobblestones pave the way to magical treasures you’ll take home and cherish forever. “I went away from the big brand names and sought out vendors that were independent, local, and eco-aware,” says owner Sonia Weksler.
As I browse, I can’t help but wonder how long it must have taken to create what feels like such an eclectically curated museum of so many things to see, and all with a history of sustainability. The entire store was made without buying a single piece of wood. An area where community events are hosted, referred to as Camp Kitchen, has a very creative story, which, like the rest of the store, was Weksler’s brainchild. “Camp Kitchen was made from lath that came from a wood scrap box at La Mesa Lumber and the countertops were made from the demolition of the bar across the street that’s now called Barn. The lath backsplash is dyed in Indian spices like turmeric, cayenne and paprika,” says Weksler.
Her father gave her the long-time family business, which was located elsewhere in San Diego and had a more traditional “mattress store feel”. However, Weksler had a different vision. She found her current location, which was part of a city revitalization project, aligned with her core values and passion. Now Sleep Bedder is nestled in a corner of a strip mall that forms an eco-friendly community of business owners, including an organic butcher shop, a cold-pressed juice bar, and a hair salon that uses natural and non-toxic products. “I have eco and indie mattresses. It was the perfect completion of this complex,” says Weksler.
Sleep Bedder combined the family business with her other passion which she cultivated in her former business – a pop-up farmer’s market stand, that sold upcycled, eco-friendly, handmade local goods, such as earrings from reclaimed leather, organic essential aroma therapy, and natural laundry detergent. “The premise was that the choices we make today about what we do, buy, eat and wear will stand us in good stead in the future,” explains Weksler.
The people who come here form a community with a common goal of improving themselves and the environment. Sleep Bedder offers yoga classes, kombucha classes, poetry readings, art exhibits, acupuncture, and hands-on art projects. Every third Friday of the month, there is a live art exhibit, music, and a pop-up food market in the parking lot to help “bedder” lives.