Pay less, sleep better

Brandon Landes co-founds Crash Beds to make mattresses more affordable and give back to the community

Brandon Landes makes custom mattress in the Crash Beds’ Greenwood shop. *Photo by Nicole Davis

Crash Beds is aiming to help Southside and other local residents catch those z’s in comfort, getting a high-quality mattress at a lower price than major retailers.

Crash Beds is a veteran-owned, small busienss. Co-founder Brandon Landes, a graduate of IU Kelley School of Business before spending eight years in the army, decided to open the business after gaining experience in the mattress business. With a wife, Nicole, two kids and going through graduate school, he’s staying busy by adding “entrepreneur” to his credentials.

Landes makes the mattresses for Crash Beds in the Greenwood retail location. Every mattress is customizable, with options such as dual comfort levels.

“I’m excited to just help people get good sleep without paying a ton of money,” Landes said.

Landes originally wanted to use Crash Beds as a way to give back to the community, which he is doing through partnerships with Chin Community of Indiana, the United Service Organizations (USO) and Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation. A portion of all proceeds through the end of December will be given to the USO. He said he hopes to continue that effort through fundraisers with schools or other nonprofits.

Why did you open this business?

I used to work at Temper Sealy. We would have employees come in and try to purchase a high-quality mattress, at the 75 percent discount, and still couldn’t afford it. I know what goes into a mattress, what makes it high quality and have good relationships with suppliers. I figured I could do this at a much lower price. I wanted to do something to give back. We partnered with the Chin Community of Indiana, sponsored youth teams and made mattresses directly for them. We also partnered with the USO of Indiana and Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation to provide them mattresses. Once I realized I could do it for these groups, I could do it for everybody. I started making more and more mattresses on the higher end, memory foam, organic latex, and started expanding it.

What did you do to prepare for opening your business?

I’m in grad school at the same time. This is the perfect way to supplement an MBA program, is go through, take exactly what I’m learning and apply it to a current business. One of the courses I’m in is how to do a startup. Getting all my ducks in a row as far as finances, how to establish a company as far as supplies. The biggest thing is finding a location. (Commercial Self Storage), they were great to work with for a start up.

Who is your ideal customer/client?

Anybody that is looking for a better sleep but isn’t looking for a brand name. A lot of customers come in with back pain or frustrated with the mattress shopping experience. You go into a store and there’s 90 different options, it’s confusing and someone’s pushing you to buy something. Here, I will help them find what they want and not pressure them into anything.

How do you plan to be successful?

Through providing good sleep. People aren’t buying a mattress. They want quality sleep. We have a couple of standard selections but we can also customize to whatever people want because we have those relationships with suppliers and we make them ourselves. Once they’re satisfied, getting good sleep and their back pain has gone away, then that word of mouth is helping us to be successful. Then maintaining low cost is the most important thing from our standpoint. Don’t waste money on marketing or a giant building.

What would we be surprised to learn about you or your company?

We’ll offer complete transparency. You can come in here, I’ll show you how it’s made, how clean the materials are, you can watch it be made and learn about mattresses.