A nationally known brand focusing on elevating life and being a force for good rests along the Virginia Beach oceanfront. A direct-to-consumer mattress company, Leesa inspires people to focus on their wellness one night (or mattress) at a time.
When starting Leesa, Jamie Diamonstein and David Wolfe wanted to create an intentional sleep experience that makes a difference in the world.
At the heart of the operation are a mattress and an intelligent team of Makers of Good bringing a good night’s sleep to people around the world through wellness, design and sustainability.
How It All Began
Jamie, a native to the area, has skill and passion for designing and building sleep products, and David, an Englishman who moved here 25 years ago, is a thought leader and entrepreneur who thrives on bringing ideas to life. When the two met, they chased the idea of disrupting the mattress industry by bringing a high-quality mattress straight to consumers.
As the business model was crafted, the naming process began. The team had a couple of name ideas in mind but hadn’t committed to one. David explains, “Everything was waiting for a name. The website was built and we were supposed to launch in a month.” Over the weekend, they went to dinner with a mutual friend and local school teacher, Leesa—who ironically happened to be at dinner the night Jamie and David met.
The team continued to rack their brains over a name, and David’s wife laughed and suggested, ‘why don’t you just call it Leesa.’ The idea made its way to the whiteboard where it quickly became a top contender as the Head of Design at the time drew the logo almost exactly as it is today. The handwritten design displayed the name which appeared similar to the look of a bed. Jamie says, “I remember the moment specifically. When he put Leesa on the board with the platform underneath, it was done. Everyone in the room knew.”
The Virginia Beach headquarters serves as a retail store, team office and an innovations lab.
The Leesa Experience
With cutting-edge technology, Leesa is committed to supplying the best sleep products on the market—from mattresses and frames to pillows, sheets and duvets. Their mattress line is simple with a good, better and best model. These three mattresses include the Leesa Original, Leesa Hybrid and the Leesa Legend. The Leesa Legend is the newest mattress to the collection and provides an elevated sleeping experience by using advanced materials. With an innovative cover made from organic cotton, merino wool and over 70 recycled water bottles, the development process included rigorous testing and was nurtured over a two-year timeframe. “The biggest thing I am looking for in our products is to provide appropriate support and comfort,” Jamie says. He continues, “I am always looking at new components that can bring something different to our product offerings.”
A Certified B Corporation, Leesa is dedicated to its promise to make an impact in the world. To date, they have donated over 36,000 mattresses to shelters and organizations around the world. “That is over a million sleep nights a month we are donating,” David says. This is made possible by Leesa’s customers, as one mattress and pillow are donated for every 10 sold.
Makers of Good
A purpose-driven brand, Leesa has honed in on being Makers of Good. David describes, “There is this general feeling in the world that we need to take care of each other.” He continues, “Everything starts with ‘what is good for me, good for my family, good for the community and good for the world. It is all driven by people.”
Leesa hopes to leave a positive impact and experience on its customers and surrounding communities. “I want [our products] to change lives,” Jamie says. With an emphasis on the importance of sleep and what it brings to our performance and daily function, the brand’s mission is two-fold: bring a good night’s sleep to the community and help communities who do not have a place to sleep.
The local community has been massively supportive and was a draw for them to open Leesa in Virginia Beach. David explains, “The community was really important and solidified the belief that you could build a forward-thinking, socially responsible company in this market and attract people to this market.” The makeup of their team is about 50/50 local versus transplants. “You will see a tremendous number of people who have moved here to be a part of what we are doing,” David says.
Jamie expands, “We talk about the local community and giving back a lot. Many of the 36,000 mattress donations have been in the local community.” He continues, “It speaks volumes for who we are as a B Corp organization. [Giving back] has been in our DNA. It is from the heart.”
Proudest Moment & Biggest Obstacle
The proudest moment for Jamie was the day Leesa went live. “It was very early on in the direct-to-consumer mattress industry,” he explains. They were proud to be one of the first in the game. His biggest challenge has been navigating the overly crowded, competitive sleep category.
As for David, “It is a million little things that make me proud.” This feeling of watching one thing after another come to life. He describes the relationships Leesa has helped him build and the social impact they have brought to life. Furthermore, seeing the reviews online makes it real. He says, “for years, Jamie read every single review.” Similar to Jamie, the biggest obstacle for David has been the competitive nature of the business. “We are driven by a desire to make a difference and to inspire others to make a difference too but there are always hurdles and bumps in the road.”
Advice for Aspiring Business Owners
These wise and experienced gentlemen offered a great deal of advice to us for aspiring entrepreneurs. Jamie explains, “Keep yourself in check and know what is real and what is not. Do not think you are invincible. Be humble and be real with people.” He also opens up on the importance of giving back after an experience at the Bowery Mission in New York: “We all walk the same path in life. People just take different turns.”
David says, “You have to have the courage to [start a business] in the first place and allow the benefits of building something from nothing outweigh the risks in your mind.” He continues, “Then surround yourself with great people.” At Leesa, they invest in their team and value the strategic and creative work their team has brought to life on behalf of the Leesa brand. Jamie and David give major credit to their teammates who helped them accomplish all they have today.
Future Goals + Forecasting
Most recently, Jamie is excited about the launch of the Leesa Legend mattress and is eager to read customers’ reviews. He is also looking forward to the challenges they will continue to face as they grow and develop as a company. “We are always working on innovation. It never stops.” They are in a good place with their good, better and best models now but Jamie emphasizes, “To provide customers the latest and best-performing products, we have to stay at the forefront of materials and the science of sleep.”
For David, he is looking forward to seeing consumers’ continued commitment to the brand as time passes. “I believe we need to go through one or two mattress replacement lifecycles. Three years from now, I hope people know what brand of mattress they are sleeping on, and I hope Leesa is the favorite.” He continues, “When we sell mattresses, we want to become our customers’ choice for the rest of their lives. We are trying to build a deep and forever connection.”
The path they are taking will surely lead them there. ‘It has changed my life’ is the feedback they love to hear. This is a true testament to the vision Jamie and David have built alongside their creative and innovative team.
How to Experience All That Leesa Has to Offer
Experience Leesa’s products yourself at the company store in Virginia Beach or visit their website to shop their products. You can also find their products at the West Elm in Town Center and the Macy’s at Greenbrier in Chesapeake.