Lightheaded Beds anything but nodding off
February 8, 2012
Summit County local Jerry Sanders had the perfect gift in mind for his goddaughter, only he needed to figure out how to make it. The idea was simple: create a bed that has a light built into the headboard that acts as a nightlight or reading lamp, and to top it off the lighted picture could change as the child grows up. Now more than three years later, Sanders has turned that simple idea into a growing business.
"I think I see this as a creative outlet," Sanders said. "It’s a remarkably fun, creative way to play with your bed, this typically bland piece of furniture."
Sanders partnered with another Park City local, Dennis Forchic, who moved to the area a few years ago after retiring from his East Coast printing company. Developing the bed into what it is today wasn’t easy for the two. After 30 safety tests and a number of alterations, the product was approved by the Consumer Protective Services.
"Someone asked me if it was our patents that would be the barrier for competition," Sanders said. "I told them, ‘No, it’s all the tests.’"
Their diligence paid off. Lightheaded Beds recently partnered with Disney, giving the local company access to thousands of copyrighted images from the media powerhouse. Alongside the company’s more traditional mountain scenes and wildlife image options, Lightheaded Beds plans to sell Disney images too from movies like Cars and Cinderella.
"Having a brand like Disney give us their support is a massive step forward for the whole company," Sanders said. "It’s a massive breakthrough for us, and it shows how wonderful the beds really are."
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Interest hasn’t slowed yet for the new company. Furniture retailer R.C. Wiley picked up Lightheaded Beds several months ago. The popular primetime show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition expressed an interest in featuring Sander’s beds in an upcoming episode.
"When we started out the beds were very simple," Sanders said. "Now we have crown moldings, distressed treatments and sleek designs. We can make anything."
While it took a few years to get off the ground, Sanders said he is proud of where the business is headed. It is a product he believes in. So much so, that he doesn’t hesitate in taking a hammer to the light portion to demonstrate its safety. He can give all the tech details, whether its the 80,000-hour life span of the lights in the beds or the noiseless feature of the LED lights or the fact that the wattage used to power the headboard is a mere 12 volts as compared to the typical nightlight that uses 110 volts.
"These beds go well above what is necessary for safety," Sanders said. "There’s no reason any parent should worry if their kid wants one of these beds. A child could change to image by themselves if they wanted."
Sanders plans on taking the business farther than children’s furniture. Plans are already in the works to develop an adult version of the beds. Sanders is also speaking with hotels that have shown interest in the idea. He is even looking into office furniture and retail needs for the light system the beds use.
"I’m so proud of this idea," Sanders said. "I really feel like this is a very special product, a product that children can grow up with."
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