by Theresa Sirois, Social Media Marketing Manager
Here at The Clean Bedroom, we choose the brands we sell very carefully. Rather than getting a trade show sales pitch, we visited the factories of the organic industry's leading mattress and bedding manufacturers. We needed to know how they handled the materials; how clean their warehouses were; how many people they had on staff, etc. In doing so, we learned the quality of their construction, met some amazing people, and have heard some incredible stories.
One of those stories is the amazing and inspiring start of Ogallala Comfort Company, started in 1986 by Herb Knudsen, whose journey began as a seemingly small project involving milkweed.
Milkweed is indeed, a weed, that grows primarily in the Midwest, but you can find it throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada along the North American Monarch migration route. There are over 800 varieties of milkweed worldwide.
Milkweed is the sole food source of the Monarch Butterfly.
So what do butterflies have to do with bedding?
Herb tried to sell "syriaca clusters" (the silky fibers of the milkweed) to down companies to be used as a blending product. After being laughed out of many meetings, Herb got to thinking about starting his own company, and Ogallala Comfort Company was born. The company remains true to its roots, making its products in Ogallala, Nebraska, a rural ranching community of 4,500. It is family-owned and operated, and has been in business for 27 years.
Coining the term "Hypodown," Herb worked to prove how Hypodown is actually better than down alone. It increases fill power, is hypo-allergenic and transfers moisture away from the body better. Over twenty years later, Ogallala is known throughout the industry as having the finest down products available.
Syriaca is not a synthetic, nor is it used as a down filler. It is the natural fiber from milkweed and is non-treated. Milkweed traps and suppresses allergens found in down that cause allergic reactions, making the product naturally hypo-allergenic. Syriaca makes the down more breathable, more durable, and helps the body regulate temperature.
More than just a better night's sleep
When you buy milkweed products, like those from Ogallala, you are helping to save the near-endangered Monarch population. Monarch Flyaway, Herb's dream that birthed Ogallala Comfort Company, is still very much the heart of Ogallala. They strive to protect the Monarchs in many ways:
- We are a for-profit business that creates products from sustainable, wild-harvested milkweed collection points
- We believe that increasing demand for milkweed raw materials will increase Monarch habitat throughout North America
- We partner with Monarch scientists, gardeners and enthusiasts to create awareness and educate the public
- We know we must help preserve over-wintering habitats in Mexico and California to protect monarch migration
- We create a symbiotic relationship between nature and humans by encouraging people to provide money for their families through protecting wild milkweed stands and harvesting pods
So go ahead, we urge you to visit any of our showrooms across the US and try out the Ogallala Hypodown products we have available to you. In addition to a healthier you, you'll be helping to save the Monarch butterfly.