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American Built for America’s Dreams
Some people call John Merwin the “mattress whisperer.”
Two brothers, John and Rob Merwin, began as liquidators but eventually, quite tenaciously and scientifically started deconstructing mattresses and visiting factories to learn how to build a better mattress themselves. The early days, 1995 to be exact, consisted of a refurbished Wonder Bread truck, a Motorola brick phone, and Rob unloading every mattress in his inventory at any house in the Phoenix, Arizona valley, day or night. John—who was about to marry, but whose path to earning a college degree to support his wife and himself in Montana was rather dismal—agreed to help.
Eventually, they opened shop…as in a real retail shop, or two, or three or twelve in the Phoenix valley. But it was really the online business that brought the Merwin brothers onto the national scene.
John, both a family man and visionary, was among the first in the industry to launch the bed-in-a-box concept in 2008.
Owing to his wife’s insistence (and a desire for continual marital bliss), John started selling mattresses on Amazon. The venture was so wildly successful he quickly migrated to selling direct on BrooklynBedding.com.
This involved a “what the heck, let’s go to China” moment, followed by watching three Chinese men hand roll a flattened mattress, followed by a $135,000 purchase of a real machine from Italy that could do it all, followed by John’s now obsessive desire to put everything in a box.
The family actually re-branded the business by naming it after John’s daughter, Brooklyn.
John Merwin went all in on the idea of being one of the few mattress retailers in the country to manufactures its own beds…and built a factory.
John’s oldest daughter Kayli was terribly unhappy for a while, but Brooklyn Bedding is euphonious and sometimes parents have to throw a bone to the middle child. Besides that, the company really does a swift business in New York City.
That rarity accounts for the brand’s affordability as well as its quality. American-made Brooklyn Bedding custom crafts and then sells mattresses direct to customers for a fraction of the price of the big guys because the brand’s state-of-the-art factory is closer and better than China. Brooklyn Bedding also manufactures many of the top private label mattress brands on the market, having opened its first permanent showroom at the Las Vegas Market trade show in 2018. (In this case, what happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas.)
Today, American dreamed, American owned and American made Brooklyn Bedding remains American strong.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way at Brooklyn Bedding.
The company’s celebration of its 25-year anniversary was met by a worldwide pandemic in March, 2020. But John Merwin immediately went to work to transition a portion of his factory to produce masks for essential workers—and develop a hospital bed prototype that was based on a proprietary trucking industry solution he’d invented 16 years earlier. The former was a decision that not only benefitted essential industries, it helped saved jobs during an economic downturn.
In the last two years, Brooklyn Bedding has doubled its production capacity. The company has plans to build a new 600,000-square-foot factory in Phoenix, Arizona where even more mattress can be handcrafted, on demand, and shipped direct to customers’ doors.
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