Victoria-Based Resthouse Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Expand Retail Footprint [Interview]

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Resthouse, the Victoria-based sleep brand, has launched a crowdfunding campaign through FrontFundr that will essentially help them expand their retail footprint, further develop product lines, and grow their ecommerce presence. 

“Over the last 20 years, we’ve witnessed the extreme environmental impacts that the sleep industry has had on the planet,” said Chris Manley, Resthouse co-founder.

“24 million mattresses are thrown away each year due to false narratives around re-purchasing bedding. At Resthouse, we have the knowledge, passion, and products to fundamentally break this cycle and the devastating impact it’s having on the environment while helping to educate consumers about how to have the most restful and restorative sleep. 

“Right now there is a tremendous opportunity to reshape the industry and help people sleep better, and we couldn’t be more excited for the launch of our first equity crowdfunding campaign.”

Image: Resthouse

Resthouse launched its first retail store in 2015 in Duncan, B.C., and has nearly $3 million in annual revenues. Today the brand’s home is in a new 3,700 square-foot brick-and-mortar retail showroom in Victoria. The brand is also available online. It maintains a warehouse presence in Duncan as well. 

“It’s all about organic bedding. Organic and natural. We really focus a lot on each individual sleeper. I know the industry. I’m a mattress geek. That’s all I’ve ever done,” said Manley.

“But in 2000 a really brutal thing happened which nobody talks about. Mattresses went one-sided. And so when they went one-sided it basically made mattresses disposable and it’s what’s causing the environmental disaster. One of our biggest things that we talk about is let’s get mattresses out of landfills.”

Resthouse Co-Founders, Chris and Olga

The sleep company has a vision of building flourishing communities by providing people with adaptable and personalized sleep environments while making real and sustainable changes in the sleep industry. Individuals across the country now have the opportunity to become co-owner of the disruptive brand for as little as $500 through the crowdfunding campaign.

Filling the gap in the market for sustainable, high-quality products that respect individuals’ sleeping preferences, body types, and unique needs, Resthouse says it offers an ecosystem of sleep essentials that promote restorative, quality sleep. This includes its own in-house brand of Kakūn mattresses, pillows, comforters, protectors, and toppers, as well as a carefully curated assortment of ethically-sourced sheets, blankets, duvet covers, towels and robes from like-minded brands such as Coyuchi, Obasan, and Holy Lamb Organics.

The FrontFundr campaign will close May 8, 2023.

Resthouse has its own designed and developed in-house brand of Kakūn mattresses, pillows, comforters, protectors, and toppers.

“There’s a lot of passion but my whole life has been sleep,” said Manley.

“We want to expand more heavily into the States. That’s a big part of what we want to do. We just did a whole new website relaunch, changing it to focus on the five sleep essentials. And those five sleep essentials are just really talking about the different parts of our body that are not working in the conventional mattress world. You talk about the pillow, you talk about the alignment, and temperature is huge. Everybody screws up temperature. Most beds are warm because they make you hot and they keep putting ingredients in things like gel memory foam to make them cooler but it’s still just memory foam.”

Those Sleep Essentials include:

  1. Comfort starts with your head and neck;
  2. Correct alignment and shoulder collapse;
  3. Customize your full body support;
  4. Maintain your ideal temperature; and
  5. Top with breathable softness.

“What we want to do with the crowdfunding is grow into the States. We’ll be hiring a proper sales manager for our store because I’m still on the floor. We want to grow the Kakūn brand and we want to expand our retail footprint. We want to have another store in Vancouver in the future. That’s something that’s on the horizon. We haven’t planned it out yet because we’re obviously just doing the FrontFundr, launched the website and moved to Victoria. We’re looking for the investment because we just want to scale. We know we have something that is unique.”

Image: Resthouse

The company says one in three people are sleep deprived.

“Life is stressful and there is a growing awareness of how sleep is central to our mental health and wellbeing. Half of consumers around the world reported a desire for more products and services to meet the need for high-quality slumber,” it says

“For the last 20 years we have been sold cheap, generic sleep products, made of synthetic materials, that don’t respect individual sleeping preferences, body types or unique needs. The result is an environmental disaster, as people throw out their bedding/ products that don’t work and continue to suffer from a lack of sleep. 24.2 million mattresses per year are discarded in North America.

“The vast majority of which will not be recycled. We can do better. Our unique approach to sleep—developed over 20 years of working in the mattress & bedding industry—combined with our sustainable product commitment, ensures our customers are taking care of themselves and our planet.

“We’ve seen all the issues and we’re showing up as Resthouse with our own product line, named Kakun, to fix them. It’s not just the mattress. By considering the whole sleep system, we are able to provide personalized products that accurately target common causes of poor sleep (overheating, misalignment, and improper support).”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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