Guest blogger, Caryn Sowell
Portland Showroom Manager
Wow! Can’t believe it has been almost 2 months since we opened our Portland showroom – it has been a whirlwind for me. Our Grand Opening at the end of November went off without a hitch. Many thanks to Sarah Johnson (my colleague here in Portland), Jonathan LaPlante from Sleeptek (makers of our exclusive Naturally Organic line), Troy Landers (from our Flagship store in Kittery, Maine) and last but certainly not least – our fearless leader, Chris Chamberlin.
The biggest hug and heartfelt thank you goes to Laurel Folger our 'Money Honey,' aka 'Accounting Guru.' We were under the gun time-wise to get into our space and set up for Grand Opening Day. When I saw all the boxes, bedframes, mattresses, office equipment, fixtures etc. stacked nearly to the ceiling, I had a little panic attack – I felt truly overwhelmed. Laurel saw the look of horror on my face and immediately sprang into action. She coordinated all the delivery and set-up crew, beautifully executed the floor plan and basically ran a well-oiled machine.
We started the Grand Opening day festivities with yummy croissant and pastries and gourmet coffee. That day, and in those since, we have had so many wonderful people stop by to say "hello" and offer best wishes. Quite a few young families, single professionals and seniors had heard about our opening and came in (and continue to come in) to see what organic is all about.
I love my customers
Even I, the expert, learn something from them. I notice that they are buying for their children first. I, of course, make them lay down and test rest mattresses for themselves. I know that after the children are equipped it will be their turn. They also realize that if your body is fighting off toxins during sleep instead of being restored and rejuvenated problems will arise. The seniors are my favorites (maybe because I am one…..well not sure I am one yet….does an AARP membership count me in as a senior?) Yes, yes it does and I am proud! I can relate as we are used to doing so much for the people that once depended on us and now it is our time. Well, the minute they lay on one of our beds their faces smile wide and they have that exhale "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh" moment. I love that. They can concentrate on treating themselves to not only the most comfortable mattress but a healthy one to keep enjoying their years ahead. It truly warms my heart.
This community is just spectacular with a capitol "S"
I can’t tell you how many local businesses have come by to introduce themselves and say “Welcome to the Neighborhood!" Lauren, from Fiddleheads Flowers not only decorated my front window for the holidays, she brings me beautiful arrangements weekly. I had two ladies pop over to say "howdy" that live across the street in a beautiful building. So many other local shop keepers pop in to say "hello." It is so welcoming, I am truly overwhelmed. There is a very strong sense of community here. Everyone has made it clear that their primary purpose is to help each other. I am so proud of being a part of this big picture!
Portland is truly a working waterfront
On my way in on Commercial Street I buy my fish right off the boat. Right down from the fish market is myriad of artists, potters, glassblowers, herbalists and some of the best restaurants in the country. Lots of you may know I’m a foodie, (see my other blog), but local is a must for me. Farm-to-table whether by sea or land is the gateway to optimum health. Call it serendipity, but a world famous sushi chef opened a restaurant right across the street from our showroom, called Miyake…thought I died and went to heaven! During Grand Opening, Chris, Sarah and I had homemade ravioli at Paciarino. I had squash-filled ravioli with a balsamic hazelnut drizzle. They have a big picture window and you can watch them make the pasta. All of this and we haven’t even left the street!
Exhaustion has set in
All this talk of food is making me tired. Glad I have a fantastic mattress from The Clean Bedroom on which to rest and rejuvenate. Please, if you are in the area of 477 Fore Street (also known as Two Portland Square), please pop in to say "hi."
Until then…sleep healthy. sleep better. stay well.