The National Mattress and Furniture team is seen outside the store at 6235 N. Sunshine St. No. 3 in Coeur d'Alene. The store is celebrating 25 years in business. From left: Dagmar Royer, Brittney Goullette, Michael Oneill, Karla Oneill and Taylor Allsbrook.
National Mattress and Furniture at 6235 N. Sunshine St. No. 3, Coeur d'Alene, isn’t just a mattress store celebrating 25 years in business.
It’s a family-owned company that is proud to give back to its community.
“We’ve partnered with Family Promise, the Newby-ginnings thrift store in post Falls, Children’s Village, Safe Passage, just to name a few,” said Michael Oneill, who owns and operates the store with wife Karla and daughter Brittney Goullette.
“National Mattress also works closely with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare,” he said, explaining how the department will give National Mattress and Furniture vouchers to families in need.
“And they can come pick out a product,” Michael Oneill said.
After graduating from Coeur d'Alene High School in 1980, Oneill traveled the country selling magazines door to door.
He eventually ended up in Gillette, Wyo. working on oil rigs in the Powder River Basin. He got married in Bozeman, Mont., started a family and worked various retail jobs before moving to Seattle in 1987.
He arrived at his work just before Christmas that year to find a note on the door that the business was closed. Four days later, he found work at Waterbed Emporium, where he had his first experiences in the sleep industry.
In 1990, Oneill moved on to Sleep Country USA, which was a startup company at the time. His role as a senior manager was to hire and train new employees in the Puget Sound, Portland, Salemgon markets.
Oneill founded a private Consulting Company in 1994: Service and Referral Insights. He specialized in development of retail management and sales staff with a focus on empowerment and decision making, from ownership to the newest hire. His first major contract was with Sleep Country Canada, for which he helped facilitate the opening of over 50 stores throughout British Columbia and Ontario, Canada. Today, that company has expanded to 265 locations. While business was successful, the travel requirements to Canada took a toll on Oneill, who missed spending time with his family. He began the search for a local job.
Oneill moved back to his hometown of Coeur d’Alene with his family in 1996 and found himself opening four Mattress Outlet stores, specializing in Serta products for Walker's Furniture — three in Spokane and one in Coeur d'Alene. It soon became evident to Oneill that he needed to be his own boss.
“There's a funny story about this that led Michael to open National Mattress,” Karla wrote in a biographical piece about the company.
“At that time, the Mattress Outlet was the only mattress specialty store in Coeur d’Alene,” she said. “Prior to Walker's Furniture, Michael interviewed with Northwest Bedding for a sales position and was told his reputation of being a ‘bull in a china shop’ preceded him — and to this day it still does. Obviously, he didn't get that job!”
Utilizing the same business model he helped develop for Sleep Country USA and Sleep Country Canada, Michael Oneill’s National Mattress was founded Jan. 15, 1999, specializing in Sealy and Stearns and Foster products with an emphasis on delivering a shopping experience that not only met his customers' expectations, but exceeded them. He added three locations over the next two years in Lewiston, Missoula and Spokane, but eventually was forced to close all three because of uncontrolled growth and a lack of working capital. That left the sole focus on the Coeur d’Alene location.
In 2017, after forming a partnership with Ashley Furniture, the company rebranded to National Mattress and Furniture.
“That has proven to be one of the best decisions made to date, giving our customers more of a one-stop shopping experience,” Karla Oneill said.
Kootenai County's growth over the last decade has helped National Mattress continue to grow its business despite online mattress sales taking market share away from brick-and-mortar stores. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Idaho considered mattress stores essential while the state of Washington did not, resulting in a significant spike in sales from Washington state.
Both of Oneill’s children helped with deliveries through the years and wife Karla joined the team in 2014 to cover social media, networking and the company website. Oneill’s daughter, Goullette, is now general manager with the intention of continuing the family legacy as her dad and Karla aim for retirement. Team members Dagmar Royer and Taylor Allsbrook both joined National Mattress in 2023 in sales and deliveries, respectively.
Locally owned and operated since 1999, the National Mattress and Furniture crew continues its dedication to giving customers the support they need and the comfort they deserve.
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Devin Weeks contributed to this article.
The 1989 National Mattress team is seen here in a congratulatory piece from the Coeur d'Alene Chamber. The company is celebrating 25 years in business this year.