Colton Mattress Factory owner Mike Emerson has been working in the business since he was a 13-year-old kid. As a teenager he got an after-school job sweeping floors and making deliveries at a small mattress company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“When I was 20, I bought the place,” Emerson says.
Over the next 10 years Emerson expanded the hometown enterprise into 20 stores in five Midwestern states.
“I was good at selling—and growing,” Emerson says of his success.
After vacationing in the Asheville area, Emerson decided to move here a few years ago and semi-retire while still managing the mattress stores in the Midwest.
However, he began to get bored. So Emerson launched Colton Mattress Factory, which he named after his son, Colton. Now his local store stays busy with customers calling and coming in to buy various types of mattresses made using traditional methods in the factory at his shop.
The shop area where mattresses are constructed has a pleasant aroma of wood from the frames stacked and ready for use. A commercial sewing machine is among equipment used to create mattresses, which are hand-tufted, Emerson notes.
“Our goal is to handcraft the highest quality mattress,” he says. “We actually do make them. We’re the only place in Asheville.”
In addition to handcrafted products that are locally produced, an advantage of buying a mattress from his company is that it can be flipped over for even wear.
Many of the mattresses sold by other businesses only have one usable side, which significantly reduces their lifetime, Emerson says.
“So many products today are made to wear out fairly quickly so you have to replace them,” he remarks.
Customers who come to the Colton Mattress Company can choose from a wide selection of styles and materials that include those made with natural latex, cool gel memory foam, high density cushioning and plush quilting.
“We sell a lot of latex,” Emerson says.
Rather than less durable options, Emerson uses Talalay latex, which reduces and alleviates high-pressure areas so that people can get a deeper, more restful sleep, he explains. A product of tropical rubber trees, this latex is also naturally hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant and antimicrobial, Emerson adds.
Other mattress options are those with pocketed coil springs and styles with a heavy-duty ultra support foundation. Choices of mattress covers include organic cotton and bamboo fabrics.
Any mattress at his store can be adapted for an adjustable bed, Emerson says.
The store also offers custom-sized mattresses for antique beds, waterbed replacements, round and heart-shaped beds, cribs, boats and RVs.
Prices of mattresses at Colton Mattress Factory have a wide range from affordable products in the low $100s to those priced at $5,000, depending on a customer’s preferences and price point, Emerson says.
The store also offers a 30-day comfort guarantee in which a mattress can be returned, he adds.
And when people purchase a new mattress from Colton, the company donates to old one to the needy, if it is still usable.
Emerson spends most of his work time at his mattress store on Hendersonville Road. However, he does travel back to the Midwest to check on stores in that region in which he still has half-ownership.
Colton Mattress Factory is at 848 Hendersonville Rd. For more information, visit the website at www.coltonmatress.com or call 828-299-4445.
By Sandra Barnes