Custom mattress company fulfills a dream for couple
October 30, 2006
Zyrka Custom Mattress may seem like just another Truckee Meadows small business, but it isn’t. For owners Luis and Rossy Martinez, it’s their dream come true.
They were born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States before they met. They’re the classic example of an immigrant couple chasing the American dream.
“I used to work in a restaurant,” Luis said. “An owner of a mattress factory talked with me and offered a job. He told me that it wasn’t just a job but a profession, and someday I could be in business for myself.”
For the next 20 years Luis worked for the company while he learned all parts of the mattress business, from selling to building the units.
“I didn’t decide to go into business for myself until three years ago,” he said. “We had been selling items at flea markets, bought a used furniture store and then we decided to start this business.”
The result is Zyrka Custom Mattress, which opened a little over a year ago at 4816 Longley Lane in Reno.
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“It was economically hard because we had to buy the machinery as we didn’t have anything,” Rossy said. “It was hard to find the machinery at a reasonable price, and we had to buy the materials from scratch. But we had a lot of help from our kids and family.”
She added that their daughter and son help with the business.
“Our daughter comes over after her job and helps with things like cutting the material while our son helps with everything but sewing,” Rossy said.
The couple doesn’t feel much pressure from competition. Only one other custom mattress manufacturer operates in town, and there’s plenty of room for both of them. Neither Luis nor Rossy feel the larger stores are their competition.
“The stores are very expensive as they are the middle men,” Luis said. “We can give better service and not only do we make standard-sized mattresses but odd sizes are our specialty, including boats, RVs, antique beds and other sizes including round ones.”
Over the past year, the customer base has been slowly building. But at first it was a struggle.
“We didn’t make money for the first three to four months,” Luis said.
Rossy added, “And the phone never rang for the first three months.”
But Luis said, “TV and the phone book were really good for us. Word-of-mouth is another good thing as we build for better quality and use the best materials, but at a reasonable price as we want the customers to be happy.”
Both are positive about the firm’s future.
“I think we can do it,” Luis said. “There are so many people moving here, and everybody needs a bed to sleep in. Now we can pay the bills and we’re almost out of the red so it looks promising.”
Still they feel the rewards out weigh the negatives.
“The best part is working for ourselves,” Luis said. “It was tough in the beginning but when you’re working for someone else all you want to do is be able to finish your shift and get a pay check.”
“Now we’re pushing hard and the whole family is pulling together,” Rossy said. “This is a dream come true for us.”