No time to rest for adjustable-bed supplier Ergomotion

While adjustable beds are most often found in hospitals and retirement homes, one Santa Barbara company is trying to demonstrate that the beds aren’t just for the sick and elderly.
Ergomotion is a global adjustable bed supplier that is expanding to 203 Chapala St., according to marketing director Katie Cauzillo.

“It still has that stigma,” she said. “Sometimes when we tell people we make adjustable beds they assume they are for old or sick people. We’re pushing to show that it’s not that kind of bed. We’re redesigning our website to show how good this bed looks standing on its own. It doesn’t look like something you find in a hospital with bed rails and wheels.”

The company outgrew about 4,000 square feet of space at 19 E. Ortega St. and 118 E. Ortega St. and will expand to a 9,656-square-foot location at 203 Chapala St. The new space will house about 21 employees, including the customer service department, research and development, the marketing and design team, and parts distribution.

Ergomotion subleased the space from Kaseya Development, which moved to a different location, and will retain its headquarters at 19 E. Ortega St.

Entrepreneur and industrial design graduate Alain Clenet founded the company in 2006, which designs and manufacturers adjustable bases for beds. Clenet, who worked in the automotive industry, brought on his son, Kelly, to form partnerships with large mattress manufacturers such as Serta, leading to the company’s recent growth, according to Cauzillo.

“We developed programs with companies that have solid reputations like Serta,” she said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

Ergomotion, which manufactures its bases in China, has grown to more than 40 employees and is still looking for more to occupy its new location. The adjustable bed concept has sold well overseas and on the East Coast; its sales increased significantly from 2010 to 2011, Cauzillo said. It’s also the largest Santa Barbara commercial lease in terms of building square footage so far this year, according to Hayes Commercial Group agent Christos Celmayster, who represented Ergomotion.

“Ergomotion is in an exciting phase of rapid growth,” Celmayster said. “They needed both more space and different types of space to suit the various aspects of the business, and 203 Chapala St. offered the versatility they were looking for while allowing them to remain downtown.”

Cauzillo said companies are producing more adjustable-friendly mattresses; Ergomotion bases are sold in 26 countries. In terms of the company’s success, she said it all had to do with timing and design.

“I think it was a solid vision from beginning. Alain figured out the segment that he expected significant growth and sold products that stood out from the competition because of their design,” Cauzillo said. “It was just the right time. People started seeing the benefits of an adjustable bed.”