Calgary-Based Black Sheep Mattress Company Opens Store in Toronto; Eyes Further Expansion and Sustainability Initiatives [Interview]

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After twelve years of operations, Black Sheep Mattress Company, a premium mattress brand based in Calgary, opened its second location in Toronto this past summer and is looking to expand to four or more stores in Canada within the next five years.

The brand is passionate about creating sustainable mattresses to Canadians as all products are made with high quality materials, have zero chemicals, and are also handcrafted in Calgary.

Christian Schmidt

“We are passionate and pursue the idea of natural materials more than others as we have wool springs, natural latex from the rubber tree, our mattresses are non-toxic, and handcrafted. We have been in business for twelve years and have only been in Calgary – and Toronto was the next step for us as it is our second biggest market,” says Christian Schmidt, the owner of Black Sheep Mattress Company.

At both locations, shoppers can find a variety of mattresses, toppers, headboards, bedding such as organic cotton sheets, and bedding accessories. The brand provides options for adults, but also options for kids and babies. All products are available for shipping across Canada.

Shoppers can find the Black Sheep Mattress Company at 601 Manitou Road in Calgary and the second showroom which opened this past July is located at 287 Davenport Road in Toronto and is 1700 square feet.

Same Mattress, Different Needs

Image: Black Sheep Mattress Company
Image: Black Sheep Mattress Company

One way Schmidt says the company is different from other mattress brands is its level of customization.

The Black Sheep Mattress Company offers consumers the opportunity to customize their mattress to their likings – even if it is only their half: “We can customize each half of the mattress quite a bit in order to accommodate different partners, different needs, and different levels of support and comfort.”

In addition to mattresses, headboards also have the option for customization – giving your bedroom a more personalized look and feel.

In the past couple of years, Schmidt says because of the lockdowns during the pandemic – they were quite busy.

“It has been different. During Covid, we were actually quite busy and I think a lot of the home furnishing places were seeing more interest from people as they were home a lot. Then last year, we noticed it has toned down a little bit and it has been more back to normal, which is okay. Along with that, we are definitely able to get supplies back on a normal schedule and timeline.”

Sustainability

Image: Black Sheep Mattress Company

One of the main focuses for the brand is to continue and evolve its sustainability measures and this includes its programs of recycling, tree planting, and reducing its carbon footprint.

While making mattresses the brand uses any leftover material to make other products such as wool dryer balls, decorative sheep, raw natural materials, and sells sheep toys for kids. Consumers can find these products in-store or online under Upcycled Products.

When the lifespan of a mattress is over, consumers have the option to use the brand’s mattress recycling program which is free of service. Currently this program is only an option for consumers who use the local delivery service. When a mattress is recycled, the company will “break it down into raw materials” and will be recycled or reused for different uses such as moving pads. In 2021, the company was able to save 170 mattresses from ending up in landfills.

Black Sheep Mattress Company also partners with Wearth Farms, a local Alberta company, for its tree planting program. For each mattress ordered, the brand will plant a tree with Wearth Farms, helping the environment with one mattress at a time. Black Sheep Mattress Company also looks at reducing its carbon footprint by using BullFrog Power which uses “a blend of wind, solar, and low-impact hydro power.”

Expansion Plans – Where To Next?

Image: Black Sheep Mattress Company

Although Schmidt says he is focused on the Toronto location currently and wants to see how well it does before expanding further – he would like to expand the brand with possible locations being Edmonton as it is close to Calgary, or Vancouver.

“Toronto is the first step and we will look at a bit of a balance between East And West and then once this location gets its legs – we will start to look for the next location. I think probably Edmonton or Vancouver even perhaps for next year as it depends on how well Toronto does – it is something we are considering.”

Within the next five years or so, Schmidt says he would like to expand the brand by opening around four or five locations and might even look at expanding internationally in the United States, “but that is a whole other challenge that will be looked at later.”

Image: Black Sheep Mattress Company

As it looks to continue to expand in Canada, Schmidt says the number one thing he is after is awareness and product expansion.

“The big thing is just getting awareness out there, making connections in the community for Toronto and continuing to evolve both the existing product, but also add new products. Such as products that complement the bedroom such as headboards, bases, dog beds, and accessories – just expanding the lineup a little bit. We are excited for the Toronto space and we continue to focus on Calgary of course as that is our home base and now we are just getting the word out.”

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala is a Retail Insider journalist currently based out of Toronto. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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