Bill Bradley in the mattress showroom at 220 E. MIllard St. (Tony Duncan/Johnson City Press)
Bill Bradley’s mattress company, BedInABox.com, may be moving into a smaller building, but the perks of its new location in downtown Johnson City — including job creation and reducing company costs — is worth the move.
BedInABox.com, known for shipping high quality memory foam mattresses to customers across the U.S. and in Canada for approximately six years, relocated in mid-May from Piney Flats Industrial Park to 220 E. Millard St.
Bradley, owner of Bradley’s Machine and Welding on Water Street since 1976, said his involvement with the company began after a former partner came to him to build a machine that would compress the company’s variety of memory foams enough to put it into a box for shipping.
“We started our business in January of 2007. We first started our business in Johnson City and we outgrew the small building that we were in and moved to Piney Flats into a 150,000-square-foot building,” he said. “We eventually sold that building and this building was available. It had high visibility from the interstate, which we were interested in. It reduced the cost of building coming here, because I was in a building that was twice (as large) than we needed. I have a machine shop just across the street from this building and that has been a really good thing for me, because I’m right here at both of my businesses.”
Bradley said a lot of modifications have been done to the building that was once a Giant Foods warehouse, including removing fencing inside, fixing the flooring, putting in a sprinkler system, putting in a lighting and power system to meet city codes and placing signage that could be seen from Interstate 26.
“We actually, in order to put the signage that we wanted where we wanted it, we had to change the address of the building. It (the building) was originally 119 King St. and ... we had no access to King Street,” he said. “We were on Millard Street ... so the city changed the address to 220 E. Millard St.”
Bradley, who said the company has had a steady growth of around 35 percent so far this year, said he hopes the new location will bring around 25 to 50 new jobs to the downtown Johnson City area soon.
“Some (of the new jobs) ...would be actually packaging, but many of them are in the sales force and in the IT department. We’re growing more and more that way,” he said. “We want to talk with every person that puts in an order, whether they put it in themselves or not, we’d contact them and talk with them personally. They will be good, high-paying jobs.”
According to a news release, BedInABox.com, focuses on Internet sales and does approximately 90 percent of its business online, which Bradley said they intend to continue doing, as well as expand retail options for local customers to come in and test out the mattresses in their showroom.
“I feel fortunate being in Johnson City. Great town,” he said. “(I’ve) been in business here for a long time. My family is from here and so we just love it.”
Mitch Miller, interim CEO for the Washington County Economic Development Council, said Bradley’s company moving downtown will have many positive impacts.
“It’s just great to see private investment like that happen in downtown. That’s really important,” Miller said. “It’s a great impact, so it’s a big effect on what happens down there. What’s really important for downtown to be successful, is you have to have public and private investment. Seeing folks make the commitment to do the private side investment only is going to generate even more opportunities for other folks to come in and be part of the progress of making downtown better. It’s a great example of innovation. I’m just glad he chose downtown Johnson City.”