ROMULUS (WJRT) -
(05/14/14) - If you had a good night's sleep last night, it could be you slept on a Made in Michigan mattress.
Although Serta makes mattress around the country, one state-based company has been putting its customers to sleep for more than 100 years.
Not far from Detroit Metro Airport, 120 employees at Serta-Restokraft have no time to lay down on the job. They turn out thousands of mattresses and foundations every day so you're comfortable when you lay down your weary head.
The first thing needed to make a good mattress is the springs. There are 16 sets of springs in this foot-high bundle.
"Because Serta uses all tempered wire, tempered means it has memory. We're able to take crates like this and open them up," said Steve Sterling, of Serta Restokraft.
By carefully releasing the pressure, the stack expands more than 10 feet high. The company that became Serta Restokraft sprang up in Detroit and grew like this stack.
"The business was started by my grandfather in 1913. He was producing mattresses in his garage, crawling inside, burlap sacks, stuffing them with corn husks," said Larry Kraft, CEO and president.
The company moved into a new facility in Romulus in 2000. They had offers relocate in northern Ohio, but turned them down.
"One reason, the people," Kraft said.
They wanted to stay loyal to their workers.
"I think our crew here has a terrific work ethic," Sterling said.
When the company made the move, most of the workers followed.
"Very, very little turnover. I think that adds to the quality of our product and the overall success that we've had," Sterling said.
Serta Restokraft also believes in supporting the U.S. economy. Most of its material comes from American suppliers.
"We really believe the more we can support America and the state of Michigan, it's better for our economy on a local basis," Sterling said.
The mattresses and foundations carry special tags.
"Designed and built in the USA because we really believe that's very important," Sterling said.
That commitment has resulted in a lot of business for the company. There's no time for a test nap on the production floor.
"On an average month, 20 to 25,000 pieces pass through the factory; mattresses, foundations and adjustable bases," Sterling said.
You'll find these Serta products all over Michigan and northwest Ohio in stores like Sears and J.C. Penny.
"Skaff Furniture, Lapeer Furniture in Flint. We do business with just such a wide variety of local Michigan retailers as well as the national accounts," Kraft said.
You can also find them in many hotels. Mattress technology has improved a lot since they were stuffed with corn husks. Gel-infused material can make for a great night's sleep.
"It really changed the industry," Sterling said.
Serta Restokraft says the future looks promising.
"Serta has catapulted to the number one mattresses seller in the United States in the past several years. Our design and research center in Hoffman States, Illinois consistently come up with great new products for us that I believe are going to keep Serta thriving over the next several years," Sterling said.
So the next time you crawl into bed to catch a little shut-eye, check the label on the mattress. It could be Made in Michigan.