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Take a trip with me, ja? We start our trek on a Swedish highway through lush green landscape. The highway gives way to a rural country road filled with farms, fields of yellow rapeseed, and small roadside shops. We even spot a moose and his mate. As the road meanders towards our destination in a small fishing village, the anticipation of experiencing a new culture is at its peak. Tranquility is just ahead. Our van barely squeezes through the village’s tiny cobblestone paths; we turn a corner and there it is…the beautiful and picturesque town of Lysekil, Sweden, overlooking the peaceful Gullmarsfjorden that empties into the North Sea on the west coast of Sweden. This was my first experience with Sweden, and the beginning to one of the most rewarding adventures of my life.

 

I’d like to back up just a bit, if I may (and don’t worry, I’ll get back to Sweden!). This past year, my store was chosen by Carpe Diem Beds of Sweden to be their exclusive retailer for the mid-Atlantic region, a great honor indeed. Carpe Diem is Sweden’s most popular brand of bedding, has taken over much of the European bed market, and is now expanding its reach into the US. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to be one of the first Carpe Diem retailers on the East Coast. The Swedish viewpoint on sleep is very much the same philosophy we at Gardner’s preach. Swedes place high value on their health and well-being so sleep is of utmost importance. They know that a great night’s sleep leads to a great day and invest much more in a bed that will fulfill their sleep needs.

This past June, Carpe Diem invited my wife Lindsay and I to Sweden to tour their factory and experience a bit of Swedish culture and lifestyle. I’m writing this on the return flight home and I can safely say that I miss Sweden already. The people of Sweden are so welcoming and generous, our hotel and spa was luxurious, and the beds we slept on were incredible. Can you guess what kind of beds I slept on? Much to our excitement, they were Carpe Diem Beds. And let me tell you, were we exhausted from the long overnight flight, a bit of sightseeing, and some sales training on our first day. Because of an early appointment at the Carpe Diem factory the following morning, we only had about 6 hours to sleep our first night. However, I can say with authority that the Carpe Diem bed provided some of the best sleep I have experienced in my life. I fell asleep quickly and woke up very well rested with no aches or typical sleep pains. Hmm…I sleep well on my Tempur-Pedic currently, but I think I know what my next bed will be.

After that great night’s sleep, I was on my way to the Carpe Diem factory in Lysekil (LEE-se-sheel), Sweden. Across the fjord from our hotel, Lysekil is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. The views of the surrounding islands are stunning. 

In fact, the islands are actually very important to the Carpe Diem story. Each of the 6 Carpe Diem Beds we carry at Gardner’s were inspired by and named after the most beautiful islands in the archipelago. The company was conceived in 1995 by a chiropractor, Börje (BEUR-yeh), and his best friend Jörgen (YEUR-gen), an entrepreneur. Börje had just purchased a luxury Swedish bed for himself and found it to be quite disappointing. A short while after this purchase, he was relaxing on one of the islands outside Lysekil and happened to stretch out on a patch of heather, which is quite prevalent on the islands. You might be thinking –  a heather bush? Absolut (as the Swedish say). In fact, there is evidence of heather being used to cushion beds dating as far back as 2000B.C. The heather was so conforming and relaxing that Börje had a sleep epiphany – why is this heather bush doing a better job than the expensive bed I just bought? There had to be a way to build a better bed. Börje and Jörgen began experimenting with unique bedding components based around these 6 core values – Conformity, Pressure Relief, Craftsmanship, Quality, Design, and Environment. Early on in the process, they aligned with the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, specifically the spinal and burn units, to see if their new mattress creations produced the desired outcome. The results were outstanding. After two years of research and development, Carpe Diem was introduced to the European bedding market and in 15 short years, Carpe Diem has become one of the most popular brands in Europe, demanded by both travelers and hotels.

During my visit, I had the distinguished honor of being their guest for a factory tour. Jörgen arranged for one of his longest tenured and most skilled artisans, Rosa, to build one of their best-selling models, the Malö. To see her work is absolutely amazing. I’ve been through many mattress factories, but I’ve never seen a bed hand made with such meticulous detail. I took a video of her making the bed which I will post soon!

I’ve run out of time on this post, but I’ve got so much more to talk about. In the upcoming weeks, I will be posting a photo blog of my trip, the video of Rosa making a Carpe Diem bed, and much more. Stay tuned!

For more information or to request a Carpe Diem Beds of Sweden catalog, please contact me at (717) 299-6228 or email me at ben@GardnersMattressAndMore.com

Click here to learn more about Carpe Diem Beds of Sweden.

 

To your better health through better sleep,

Ben