Ed Collins doesn’t want to talk about business.
Let me rephrase that: if you’re in the market for a new mattress, he wants to talk to you about his selection of high-end options at warehouse prices. After only five years in business, the company Collins started with his wife and daughter in the garage of their home has grown to seven retail locations in the Kansas City metro as well as locations in Illinois, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Burlington Mattress became the number one volume dealer in the country its first year in business and was able to boast complete—as in 100 percent–customer satisfaction.
And he’ll tell you that as the company has grown so has the staff, but that everyone who works at Burlington Mattress—technically family or not—is treated like family. He’ll tell you that a pure love of what they do is the common thread between every employee, and that team members consistently challenge themselves personally and professionally.
He’ll tell you that Burlington Mattress is more than a business. It’s a family, and every family has a story. Ed is a retired Kansas City Fire Department Battalion chief. His son, Phillip, who now works in the business, is a Navy veteran.
“They give so much,” says Collins, speaking of those who serve. “When Phillip was overseas, it made us think, how many other families are missing someone? Anyone who hasn’t been there doesn’t truly know what they’ve sacrificed for the rest of us.”
To honor those who serve, Burlington Mattress offers a 10 percent discount to every service member or veteran. In November, to commemorate Veteran’s Day, Burlington Mattress gives veterans with financial obstacles a mattress.
It’s on the honor system; veterans are asked to present proof of service—DD214, active military card, or reservist card—and are then given a king-sized mattress. It’s a little thing, according to Collins, compared to what those who serve have done for all of us. To date, Burlington Mattress has given away more than 1,200 mattresses to veterans in need.
“We recognize that without their sacrifices, we wouldn’t have so many of the freedoms that we often take for granted,” says Collins. “We wouldn’t have the opportunity to own a company and to live the American dream. We’re thankful, and this is just one way to show it.”
Veterans aren’t the only folks who have a place to lay their heads at night thanks to Collins and his team; when Loren Halifax of FOX4 called and said FOX4’s Love Fund for Children was looking for a mattress company to work with to purchase beds for children in need, Collins obliged.
“I talked with Lisa Herron (Love Fund for Children’s executive director), and she said they could buy the mattresses, but they needed a place to store them,” Collins says. “We went back and forth about the particulars like quantities and such. They needed about $50,000 worth of beds. That’s how many children are in need of a bed to sleep in. We didn’t sell Love Fund the mattresses; we donated them.
When you realize that kids are sleeping on the floor,” says Collin, “it’s the right thing to do. You know, I’ve been on the other side of that; I’ve seen need as a fire chief, and as a family we’ve been close needing help from others. We’re blessed now with a successful business. We don’t need anything, but others do. Love Fund for Children is a phenomenal organization; if I could encourage anyone to do something to make a difference, it would be to support them.”
Learn more at KCBed.com.