By Karen Sturtevant
How many hours of sleep did you get last night? The National Sleep Foundation says adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should be snoozing seven to nine hours per night. With our over-extended schedules and jam-packed date books, getting the recommended hours of shuteye is but a dream for some.
Between being the mother of two young children and a busy wife, commuting from New Hampshire and owning a business, Jennifer Stygles may be an expert on the subject of sleep. In November, she opened her fourth America’s Mattress store on Harvest Lane in Williston.
The space, renovated by family and friends, is located between Harvest Equipment and the area left vacant by Butter Noodles’ departure. It’s been updated with hardwood floors, fresh paint, a dropped ceiling and tastefully decorated canvas pieces with phrases like, “Experience a better kind of sleep,” and “American Quality American Comfort.”
An accountant with a bachelor’s degree from Plymouth State University, 29-year-old Stygles said she is thrilled to be in Williston.
“With mattress stores, it’s all about location. Right here was fantastic,” Stygles said. Not only is America’s Mattress an exclusive Serta dealer showcasing memory foam, innerspring and hybrid mattresses, the Williston location holds the title of being the New England flagship store for the Serta Sleep Simple concept.
Stygles is keeping exclusive company: of the more than 400 locations of this franchise, the only other woman-owned America’s Mattress is located in Florida. In addition to locations in Williston and Colchester, Stygles owns and operates two New Hampshire America’s Mattress stores in Claremont and West Lebanon.
Stygles said her relatives asked how many more stores she was going to open.
“This is it, I’m happy,” she said. “I don’t want to be a huge corporation where I don’t know every employee’s name.”
Her team is treated as her extended family. “I have family and business. Family always comes first,” said Stygles. “I grew up being a family person, and I’m not going to make my employees work when I’m not. That’s insane.”
Competition for mattress sales is steep in this area. With multiple outlets within a few miles of Stygles, she feels the product support and knowledge she receives and shares, along with old-fashioned honesty will bring, and keep, eager mattress shoppers through her door. Stygles believes in the products she peddles and has strong behind-the-scenes encouragement and backing through the manufacturer.
“Serta’s America’s Mattress success is based on support as far as website development, product training and visits from Serta professionals,” Stygles said.
“I am totally honest with the customer. I tell people, ‘this is what I’m supposed to sell at. I have to sell at this.’ I’ve had so many buy from me because they say, ‘we’re buying from you not because you’re the cheapest, but because you’re honest.’ Most people go for price, but to hear that comment from so many makes me feel good about what I’m doing,” Stygles said.
Heavy online advertising and prime time television ads make up a portion of Stygles’ promotion strategy. A self-professed guerrilla marketer, she has been known to hand out flyers to families with kids that are “at that new mattress age” or husbands sitting in their parked cars waiting for their shopping wives to return, and to employ the occasional slip-the-flyer-under-the-windshield-wiper tactic.
“I’m not a big schmoozer, and don’t like to try and impress people or build myself up on a pedestal,” she said. “I’d rather be silent in the background. I like to work; I don’t like to be known as the owner. I don’t put myself on TV as the face of America’s Mattress. I let someone else do the talking.”
With long to-do lists, never-ending phone calls and emails, and welcome customer traffic, does Stygles get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night? Perhaps not, but she comments, “When I do sleep, I sleep like a rock. I love my bed. I love my Serta bed. I have a pillow top, and it’s like sleeping on a cloud.”