Shelbyville natives Grant Sparks, left, and David Howell own Relaxerie Sleep Shop in downtown Shelbyville. What started out as a mattress business, the re-branded Relaxerie has grown into a quality home furniture shopping store.
Jeff Brown photo / The Shelbyville News
Grant Sparks and David Howell have known each other longer than each can remember.
They grew up together, went to school together and have even traveled together. So owning a business seemed like that next progression in a lifelong friendship.
The Shelbyville natives now own Relaxerie Sleep Shop, 112 S. Harrison St., in downtown Shelbyville.
Formerly known as Mattress Chick, the branding change directly reflects the ability to fully service customers looking for home furniture, including bedroom sets and mattresses.
“We needed a name that more represented what we actually do – all things sleep,” said Sparks. “A large percentage of our business is bedding and pillows. We wanted to be more inclusive with our name.”
What started out as a simple money-making venture of selling mattresses on Facebook is now approaching $3 million in revenues over the last three years, according to Howell.
“For people that came a couple of years ago, that’s all it was,” said Sparks of being just a mattress store. “There would be 50 mattresses and you walked out with the best deal in town. That was all we did. We never really wanted to do brick and mortar but it started taking off. This town has really supported us.”
Sparks has worked several jobs including banking and construction while trying to find his path in life. That’s when a friend suggested a side job.
“We had a friend that did this,” he explained. “So we bought 10 mattresses on a whim and sold them in a couple hours on Facebook. So it became, ‘Let’s buy some more.’ And then it kind of took off from there. When we really realized we had something by the tail is when we got in this building.”
In 2016, Sparks and his wife opened Mattress Chick. Now divorced, Grant and David are building a new brand – both within the store and online.
“We literally have any need you have for your home furniture wise, probably centralizing on your bedroom, anything bedding, anything in the way of sleep, mattress, bedding, pillows, sheets and furniture it would be on. And we have access to a lot more furniture than we can sell in here. We have anything that any major furniture company would have.”
Relaxerie features side-by-side showrooms with several setups as options. And true to the first name of the store, there are many mattress options.
“I think we have 17 different types of mattresses on the floor right now, from traditional pillow top to more modern foam mattresses and hybrids,” said Howell.
The business now has seven employees, including Sparks’ brother, Jordan, and nearly all of them are from Shelbyville.
“Usually, this time of year we run two (delivery) crews on the weekend,” said Sparks of the delivery and set up part of their business.
With their success, there is already talk of adding more storefronts in the coming years. For now, though, being in downtown Shelbyville – their hometown – is exciting.
“We really wanted to invest here in downtown,” said Sparks. “It is important to us. I know there are buildings elsewhere but there is something cool about the vibe of downtown. I think things are trending. People are wanting to invest in the downtown. That was kind of our thinking and it’s been really cool for us.”
To learn more about Relaxerie, search for it on Facebook. A website, relaxerie.com, is currently under construction and should be operating soon.
The business is focusing on a “Grand Opening” on April 3 as part of downtown Shelbyville’s First Friday celebration.
*Reposted from the original article in The Shelbyville News, March 2nd, 2020.