By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)
Last year, our managing editor of sports, Dirk Smith, met and interviewed Bruce and Victor from the Nevada Bedding and Design Center who recently partnered with Compete Sports Diversity. It has since been a year since our initial interview and I, Dirk, wanted to catch up with them leading up to the Sin City Classic to see how things have been going.
Bruce: Indeed! It’s great to catch up again! This last year we moved our store about a block away from the previous location. In this new location we are able to combine the manufacturing and showroom together which makes it easier for us as we shifted to focus more on our custom mattresses and our RV clients. We had a significant increase in RV clients this past year and we’re looking at launching more into the RV space. We’ve got a lot of relationships building with all the RV parks and all of the suppliers of RVs in Las Vegas, which is our biggest focus.
DS: Wow, that is quite a year indeed! Are you still doing work with the hotels and resorts?
Bruce: Yeah, although that has slowed down a little bit with the casino work, now that COVID. So, we’re still doing that, but our focus is more on the RV industry, which is mattresses but also is including upholstery work for the captain’s chairs and the couches as well. The goal is just to keep on increasing that business because it is continually going and there’s always a new client every day.
DS: Awesome! You’ve also been more active in the community, what’s been going on there?
Victor: Well, one of the projects that we are cooking at the moment is an artist’s sponsorship. First Friday is a monthly arts and culture event here in Las Vegas that features local artists to display and show off their work. We’re working on being present in that community by helping local and upcoming artists to expose and promote their work.
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DS: That sounds awesome! What exactly does that entail?
Victor: One of the ideas is to display some of their work in our showroom for our clients to see, also partnering with another furniture store, Lynn’s Consignment / Purple Chandelier Las Vegas to display work there. We’re also contemplating a few other ideas that we hope to work on. We recently became officially certified through the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and are planning to use the local Chamber of Commerce to help the artists network with people and connect with other business owners.
Bruce: We are currently working with two of them. Part of the work with them goes into branding development and helping each artist present themselves to their future audience. For that sense would have an artist that, for example, I like his work and he hasn’t been able to network as much. So then I’m thinking of helping him create a piece for the stage which is on display and then brainstorm some possibilities of how he can create merchandise from it. Such as office tools, from apparel to prints to originals. Make it an affordable product of his work to promote and sell.
Victor: It’s more than just hanging their art on the wall. It’s trying to build the relationship and showing them how to brand themselves so that they can go to that next level rather than just selling a piece of art and done. That’s the goal of the partnership which is what we’re trying to focus on.
DS: That’s awesome! Sounds like a great way to help really support the local community. What else have you been doing, tell me about the “Boys Night Out”?
DS: Really? I am so glad you were able to connect with them at our event last year! What kind of work are you doing with them?
Victor: As you know, SAFY works to help find resources and support for children and families, especially for foster children and children of adopted families. Their work seeks to help children connect with and find a family to be part of. We met them last year at the Compete Sports Diversity Summit and followed up with them afterwards to see what we could do to support their work and organization.
Bruce: We did a meet and greet with them at the factory!
Victor: We called it “Boys Night Out” and it was kind of an entrepreneurship for some of the boys in SAFY, 12 to 18 years old. They came out to the factory for a tour, we showed them how the mattresses and stuff were made and built. We taught them about the work we do, what it takes to run a business, taught them some skills to run a business, things like that. We are planning more kinds of events like them for the future as well.
Bruce: Yeah, they really liked it. They got to see beyond the bed. From the process of the labor to the administrative functions, financials and how the rewarding of hearing your clients tell you all your beds feel so comfortable.
Victor: It was really to show them that there’s something more than just a fast-food place or somewhere they get a job. There’s bigger opportunities and other skills you can learn, take classes to learn to do something more than just trying to survive. They’ve had to deal with so much being foster children, this way we hope to help them find a path to focus on.
DS: And you connected with them at our summit last year at the Sin City Classic?
Bruce: Yes, we joined in on the roundtable discussion they were leading, which was focused on LGBTQ+ children in sports. That’s how we got to introduce ourselves and then collaborate and invite them to accompany us for the Boys Night Out to see how everything functions.
Victor: We also do a friends and family discount for them and offer our services to the organization to help make sure the kids have beds to sleep on at night. While we got a bit busy with our transition, we do reach out to them at once a quarter just to say hi, checking in to see how they’re doing and if there’s anything we can do to help them.
DS: Wow, that is fantastic and much appreciated! I’m really happy that you’ve been able to forge these connections with the community and offer so much to give back. I know it’s going to be great for both you and the people you are helping. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all that!
Check out Nevada Bedding and Design Center at https://nbdc.vegas/