YEDaily: Christian Schmidt and Chris Bayer

Christian Schmidt and Chris Bayer are the co-founders and worksmiths behind Black Sheep Mattress Company (which has one of the best designed websites we’ve ever seen for their industry, by the way). Since starting their business earlier this year, they’ve solved sleep issues for numerous clients thanks to their eco-friendly and customizable mattresses. Find out more about these purveyors of the snooze in today’s YEDaily.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
We sell comfortable, customizable, eco-friendly mattresses using natural materials, made locally by yours truly.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
It started with purchasing a bed and then being interested in the world of mattresses as a result. We both worked in the industry for a time and spoke to many people in the business, and had this idea that we could improve on what was available.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The Best is either seeing a finished mattress after all the hard work, or hearing from a customer how great they’re sleeping from having purchased one of our mattresses. Most challenging? Probably dealing with the greenwashing and misinformation; there are some really outstanding people in this business and some slightly less desirable.

Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
Our “BHAG” is not so big really: a nice, well run shop with a core of personalities who really enjoy coming to work, and customers who are over the moon both with our products and service.

What does success look like to you?

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Christian: After working for a few years, returning to university and completing a Masters in Sustainability Science with like-minded people in Sweden. Incredible, incredible experience.
Chris: Establishing an innovative take on a business that I enjoy coming to every day.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be open to things that are off the radar. There are a ton of niche products and markets that you might never consider normally.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Our operation is wind powered, and we support uEnd:poverty and the all great work they’re doing. Check them out!

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone and not-so-smart phone.

How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
You mean besides a good night’s sleep? Physical activity, the great outdoors, and simply trying not to take ourselves too seriously.