“Are you sure you want to quit your job and open up your own store?” That question may have followed Beth Lee Toto-Schlendorf around recently. But a month into her new job, as well as her new life, there are no reservations or doubts about her new career.
Bliss Sleep Center, an all organic mattress and bedding shop, opened its doors for the first time last May 2, making Toto-Schlendorf an official shop owner. The service-centered shop in Water Mill is the fruition of a life-long dream; however, even Toto-Schlendorf didn’t always realize she was destined to be in mattresses.
For over a decade, Toto-Schlendorf worked in the banking world, personally helping people financially plan their future. She worked for 11 years at CitiBank in Hampton Bays, building the branch from the ground up, in addition to working at two separate Astoria branches. And although it was never meant as a life-long career, the job did come with the bonus of getting some private motivation and honing some vital business skills.
“Two years ago I had no idea—no clue—about indoor air quality… and just how many harmful chemicals are on your mattress,” says Toto-Schlendorf when revealing why she entered into this business.
Nowadays, so many of us have made a commitment to eat organic foods, so why would we sleep on anything else? But terms like natural, pure or eco-friendly are misleading, because the product may not be organic. It’s difficult for green-minded consumers to distinguish what truly is “organic.”
And this is where Toto-Schlendorf’s adventure began.
Over a year and a half ago, she and her husband purchased a new memory foam mattress only soon realize how many toxic chemicals they were sleeping on.
“I, then, spent the following year or so researching and reading up on mattress and bedding products,” says Toto-Schlendorf. “But what I learned soon became a passion to educating other people…
“It has been my dream to open my own store—not a mattress store at first—but I became passionate about this… and felt this was the right thing to do.”
The store she dreamed of would be a combination of new and old—a neighborhood store with customer service, showcasing products that are of the highest quality, with function and design that you can’t find in the traditional chain or department store. It would be a place for all looking for a good night’s sleep in an area that lacks organic options.
In recent decades, most mattresses have been made either with metal springs sandwiched between layers of polyurethane foam, or with just foam. Most of the chemicals in these mattresses are there to act as a retardant to fire, but many contain over 40 various types of toxic chemicals.
Mattress and bedding accessories sold at Bliss Sleep Center only use 100% organic wool, because it acts as a natural fire retardant without the harsh chemicals. The majority of mattress manufacturers refuse to disclose the chemicals that are used in making mattresses, and Toto-Schlendorf does not bring in mattresses and bedding accessories that she has not extensively researched.
Bliss Sleep Center even offers a diverse selection of organic dog beds as well.
The store’s mission is to provide the utmost in customer satisfaction, where happy customers’ word-of-mouth, proper networking and the quality of products will create a positive mantra for the stores all across the East End.
What are some advantages of organic bedding? Organic cotton or wool is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility by excluding the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers, while building a biologically diverse agriculture.
Both organic cotton and latex foam are hypoallergenic. Also, organic materials absorb moisture from our bodies in a more efficient way than polyester products.
Besides the health benefits that you will enjoy from your organic sheets, there are other environmental advantages of organic bedding, including supporting the organic farming industry. This encourages agricultural methods that do not harm the environment.
“I am excited about the vision of the store,” says Toto-Schlendorf. “My goal is to open two more stores in next few years…but we’ll grow into it.”
Visit Bliss Sleep Center at 103 Hayground Road in Water Mill. For more info, call 631-885-0075 or visit blisssleepcenter.com