About 18 months ago, Tom Williams, 64, and Irwin Pearl, 67, both of Lido Beach, started a Long Beach-based green mattress company, BioPosture Llc, after raising about $500,000. They expect sales this year of between $500,000 and $600,000, and possibly a $30-million company five years from now.
About two years ago, Williams visited a chiropractor, who asked him what type of bed he slept in. The conversation put a bug in his head.
He got hold of Pearl. The two have been exchanging ideas for businesses for years. At the time, Pearl was an American representative for an Italian mattress company.
"We came up with a design we thought would sell," Williams said.
BioPosture's mattresses, they say, are comparable in performance to Tempur-Pedic mattresses, a brand based on NASA research and brought to market by Kentucky businessman Robert B. Trussell Jr. Williams said BioPosture's mattresses are made from a plant-based foam material at Anatomic Global that has clean-air emissions during the manufacturing process and that can be rolled-up for less-wasteful packaging. The mattresses, compacted and shipped in biodegradable bags, are covered with an eco-friendly bamboo fabric.
BioPosture sells the mattresses through a network of 200 chiropractors across the country. There are no retail sales.
"The retail market is a nightmare," Williams said. "My partner and I are in our mid-60s. We didn't want to go through that. Our wives think we should be retired." But, Williams said, "We can't stop running yet."