When David Wolfe and Jamie Diamonstein founded their mattress company, Leesa, in 2014, they knew from the beginning they didn’t want the Virginia Beach-based startup to be focused solely on products and sales. Instead, they wanted to couple their products with do-good initiatives that would have the power to change lives. The founders wanted to “create a product they could be proud of and do good with,” Leesa Head of Social Impact Jen-Ai Notman told The Business Download.
According to Business Insider, Leesa was centered around three main “pillars of action”: which had “been in place since the company’s inception in 2013.” These included “donating one mattress for every ten sold” (“One-Ten”), “planting one tree for every mattress sold” (“One-Earth”), and “giving time and resources to local and national organizations” (“One-Community). “You have to be as passionate about your social impact program as you are about your product,” said Wolfe, who is also the company’s CEO.
Leesa rolled out a mattress donation program with its launch. It was established that for every ten mattresses sold, the retailer would donate one to someone in need, and as mattress sales soared so did donations. “We wanted to provide those disadvantaged with something as simple as a good night’s rest–something we take for granted. That was the first phase of Leesa,” the company’s Head of Social Impact Jen-Ai Notman told The Business Download. By 2018 the mattress seller had donated more than 30,000 beds to recovering addicts, homeless individuals, domestic abuse survivors, and others in need. “We kind of coined the word “bedlessness” as an issue. A lot of the impacts of that are pretty hidden. People may have a roof over their heads, but they don’t have a bed in their home,” Notman said.
At the end of 2018, the company began to focus its mattress donation program on children. This shift stemmed in-part from the fact that in the U.S. a family is at risk of losing their child to Child Protective Services if they cannot provide their child with a bed, Notman said. She also emphasized the many consequences children who do not get a good night’s sleep may face–something echoed on Leesa’s website. Notman said that the retailer relies on its partnerships with organizations like Thrive AZ, a foster care prevention and reunification non-profit, to make its donation program possible. “By the end of this year, we will have kept 2,000 children with their loving families in Phoenix, Arizona through our partnership with Thrive,” Notman said.
During its first few years, Leesa also worked in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant a tree for each mattress sold, and by 2019 the company had planted over 300,000 trees across the U.S. The retailer has since pivoted toward incorporating sustainability into its products. The retailer’s Virginia Beach headquarters runs on renewable energy–one major way the company has lived up to its belief that sustainability should be built into the company. “Sustainability shouldn’t be an initiative, it should be a part of the company which is reflected in the Leesa Legend,” said Notman.
The Leesa Legend is the brand’s eco-friendly mattress which is “built with a dual pocket spring system that uses recycled steel from cars and a cover made from a blend of recycled water bottles, merino wool, and organic cotton,” Notman said. The retailer also offers three other mattresses, all of which are American made, and a variety of bases, bed frames, pillows, duvets, and additional bed-related products. “All of our mattresses are assembled in the U.S. and we work with suppliers in historically low-income areas. We’re proud to supply jobs in those areas through partnership with our suppliers, said Notman.
Today, the environment, community, and the company’s team are Leesa’s three main focuses. Leesa continues to donate mattresses to children and families in need and the company stresses that it prioritizes “the wellness of our Leesa team, through competitive benefits, an on-site gym, and complimentary sleep products.” But perhaps the greatest value in being an employee of the company comes from knowing that it was built on a foundation of doing good–a promise it has upheld since the start. “Leesa is on a mission to elevate life through better sleep, both for our customers and children experiencing bedlessness,” Notman said.