The founders of Comfi Vicki Eriksen (left) and Susie Harris aim to be able to provide a child’s bed free to a family for every bed sold.
Farmers in the Taupō region will be helping children around New Zealand get a better night’s sleep, thanks to a new startup business aimed at producing beds made from sustainable materials and sold online.
The Comfi company is a combination of retailer, manufacturer and social enterprise project, and has strong links to longtime speciality meat marketer Simon Eriksen of Neat Meat.
Eriksen and his brother William started the Neat Meat company in 2001, marketing premium locally sourced AngusPure beef to restaurants.
Comfi is the brainchild of Vicki Eriksen, wife of Simon, and Susie Harris, with other shareholders including Jucy rental van co-founder Tim Alpe.
Vicki says the company is aiming to make bed purchasing a more environmentally-friendly, stress-free affair, in a market where consumers will often only spend a few minutes lying on one to assess its suitability.
“Our research shows Kiwis are traditionally risk averse when buying high-ticket items online, particularly beds. Our model is designed to mitigate the pain points of buying a bed online,” Vicki said.
This includes offering a 100-night “rest easy” trial, contactless delivery, sustainable, low allergy wool materials and a 10-year warranty, all at an appealing price point claimed to be half the price of equivalent products in physical stores.
The company is paying twice the market rate for single-sourced wool to support local farmers, many who already supply the Neat Meat company.
Its founders aim to reach a point where they will donate a child’s spring mattress and bed for every one that is purchased.
NZ has one of the highest rates of asthma in the developed world and research indicates children sleeping on old dust-ridden mattresses have a higher likelihood of developing respiratory diseases.
“Quality sleep is essential for the health of children. This charitable initiative is designed to provide some of our most vulnerable youth with a foundation for a healthy life, something most of us take for granted,” she said.