We recently spoke with Jamie Cantalupo, the President of Nook Sleep Systems about her passion for breathable, safe and natural crib mattresses to enhance baby’s sleep.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself
This is always a hard one! My husband and I are blessed to have to three beautiful, funny and strong children. In addition, we are the proud parents of two very rambunctious and spirited Golden Retrievers, so our house is busy and full of lots of love! We live in the South Bay area of Los Angeles and spend a lot of time at the beach and enjoying all that the South Bay has to offer. It’s such a great place to call home. Before I became a mom to my girls, Nook was my first baby. I have run the company for six years and live and breathe it every day. There isn’t any role that I cannot or don’t enjoy to do. Whether it is creating a new product, designing new packaging, answering a product question on the phone or driving the forklift- I feel so lucky to call Nook my “job.” I think that is what makes me love it as much as I do. I get to have my hands (and heart) on every aspect of the business.
What inspires you as you lead Nook?
As corny as it may sound, when you truly feel you are making a difference, work doesn’t feel like work. Nook is able to be part of such a special time in most families’ lives. Bringing home baby, is exciting but it can also be a very stressful and overwhelming time. I believe we eliminate some of that stress and worry by offering the highest quality products that are safe for baby while functional and easy for mom and dad to use. While I am the “President” at Nook Sleep, I am first and foremost a mom. I still love talking with expecting moms, dads and grandmas on a weekly basis about our products. For me – that is what it is really all about. In addition, I have an amazing team that is as passionate for the cause as I am. As we say in the office, we are helping the world (or homes) one pebble at a time.
How are Nook mattresses different than other crib mattresses?
I think what makes our mattresses, and all Nook products for that matter, so great, is that we keep it simple. At Nook – breathability, firmness and safe materials are what constitute a SAFE crib mattress and crib environment. Take our Pebble Pure for example, made of Coconut Husk, Natural Latex, Unprocessed Organic Wool, Organic Cotton and Eucalyptus. These are all very simple and straightforward materials that are safe and easy to understand. There is much to learn when prepping for baby, but at Nook we try our best to educate parents in a very honest and simple way.
In what ways do Nook mattresses help babies and toddlers sleep better?
In short, breathability and air flow help little ones sleep better and longer. However, in order to best answer that question, I really have to go back to the beginning. One of the driving forces behind Nook Sleep was a couple that saw a major lack of safe and quality options within the crib mattress category and for the love of their own children; they found a solution. At that time, the only options most parents had to choose from was a metal spring based mattress encased with a crunchy vinyl liner. Does that sound comfortable to you? Research shows that inner-springs are really not ideal for growing bodies and vinyl/plastic materials cause overheating. Throw in the fact that most of those materials expose baby to harsh chemicals- it was a no brainier that something had to be done. By thinking outside of the box, the Pebble Organic was born. No inner-springs, no plastic covers. Just simple, safe materials. All Nook mattresses since have been developed with the same focus in mind; ideal firmness and structure for a growing body and spine, temperature regulating materials which promote restful sleep, breathable composition that allows for optimum airflow and of course a soft and snuggly surface for comfort.
What are some unique features of the Nook crib mattresses?
Color and texture! While many of our Nook parents choose Cloud (our white) and opt to incorporate bedding, we have seen our beautiful Pebble Palette used in so many different types of nursery designs. Traditional to Modern, Shabby Chic to Minimalistic, the Pebble really has a place in every nursery. It also allows for our other pieces like the Pebble ChangePad, Niche Feeding Pillow or LilyPad Playmat to be worked in to the nursery design as well. I think parents love that it comes crib ready and crib sheet/bedding is optional. And lastly, I know for a fact so many parents find peace of mind that their babies, the most special beings in their lives, are sleeping on the safest space, other than being in their own arms of course.
Can you tell us a bit about your new toddler pillow?
One of the many things we are proud of here at Nook is that we have the best community of retail partners and loyal customers. We respect and honor their opinions and feedback and often find they are the inspiration behind the products we bring to the market! For some time, our customers and retailers have been expressing that when it came to toddler sleep pillows, what was available on the market was truly lacking either in materials (i.e. best case scenario was a pillow with an organic cover but questionable fill) or size/longevity (i.e. it was too small/too large/too full or the window of use was too small). LIGHT BULB MOMENT. Nook needed to offer our Nooksters an all-organic option, with our amazing pebble fabric and just the perfect construction that was suitable for toddler and kids. Bam! The Pebble Pillow Jr. was born!
What tips do you have for parents when shopping for a crib mattress?
I often get calls asking which of our three mattresses is the “best” and I always say “what will work for one family, may not work for another.” Although Nook is known for our Organic Pebble Pure Crib Mattress, we also offer other options with great benefits at different price points. While my kids sleep on the Pebble Pure, my best friend chose the Pebble Lite for her baby girl because she preferred its lighter weight and eco-friendly materials. When making the decision on a crib mattress, I always encourage parents to make sure it is breathable, made of safe materials, has quality construction for longevity, fits taunt in the base of your crib and of course is protected by an organic mattress wrap.
Visit nooksleep.com to see their entire product line.