Sleep & Dream in the Santa Fe New Mexican
By Dennis J. Carroll
For The New Mexican
Want to sleep like a queen? At Sleep & Dream in the Coronado Center, you can lay down $2,500 to $7,500 and slumber on a mattress made by Hypnos, the English company that makes sure Queen Elizabeth II rests her royal countenance in luxury, no matter which palace she and the other royals are bedding down for the night.
The high-end mattress store on Cordova Road was born out of “huge, huge need,” according to Mary Domito, one of two partners in the business — a need she said that people “right now might not quite know they are missing.”
Domito, who also owns mattress-home furnishing stores in Taos and Alamosa, Colo., opened the Santa Fe store in January with Sharon Scott, a bedding sales expert, to offer what they said mattress buyers can’t get at the chain stores in town — “the highest quality natural product for their money,” Domito said. “What we are doing here is something completely different.”
Among those differences, she said, is that the bulk of the mattresses at the other stores contain chemical fire retardants that are woven into the threads. The lion’s share of the mattresses at Sleep & Dream are “100 percent natural,” and use latex, wool (as a natural fire retardant) and cotton. Some of the less expensive mattresses, around the $1,000 mark, however, do use some gel memory foams, Domito said.
Still, she said, “It’s the best $1,000 bed money can buy.”
If a customer can afford to spend $20,000 or more, they could well be sleeping on variously adjustable beds with layers of mohair, cashmere, silk and alpaca. But if you have the dough, why stop there? As one climbs toward the $100,000 sleepers by such manufacturers as Sweden’s Hastens and Visprings of England, the hand-crafted mattresses could well be stuffed with the fleece of the South American vicuña, a small, llama-like member of the camel family.
Domito said materials such as cotton, wool and horsetail — “like you might have seen in grandma’s old sofa” — help eliminate the moisture given off by your body and help ensure a long-lasting mattress. “If you take care of the mattress, it will last you an absolute lifetime.”
Scott and Domito figure that many in the Santa Fe market are ready for and can handle the expense of a good night’s sleep on a bed crafted with all-natural products, even if it does cost more than a mattress they would find at the numerous chain stores around town. “It’s a whole new thing that’s getting traction,” Domito said.
The pair also offer discounts to designers and decorators to build loyalty and expand their market. “We work real well with designers,” Domito said. “In the upper-end stuff … you have your choice of legs and wood styles and colors and so forth. It feeds right into it.”
Domito earned her mattress stripes working for many years with a large outlet in San Francisco, where she was known far and wide as “Mattress Mary.” She became entranced with Northern New Mexico during a visit to Taos about 15 years ago, and never looked back.
Scott had been a mattress shop manager and salesperson in Baton Rouge, La., for nearly 30 years and most recently was a sales rep in New Mexico, where she met Domito. When Scott lost her Serta job during a shake-up in the mattress industry involving Serta and Simmons, she joined forces with Domito.
Not one to hold back on a sales pitch, Domito described the partnership as “a couple of women with an incredible amount of integrity and connections in the business.”
As for the future in slumber town: “We are the future,” Domito said. “The future is getting back to nature and basics. We are the answer to the thousands of customers who come in literally crying, saying, ‘I bought this $4,000 or $5,000 bed two years ago, and it’s sagging. They don’t make beds like they used to’ But yes, they do make beds like they used to, and that’s what we carry.”
She added: “We don’t sell mattresses, we sell sleep.”