For­mer Gray­stone Fur­ni­ture on Paseo to get new life as Moun­tain Life­style

The Taos News - - BUSINESS - By Cody Hooks chooks@taos­ The Taos News

Death and taxes may be life’s guar­an­tee, but lo­cal en­tre­pre­neur Mary Domito is ex­pand­ing her re­gional fur­ni­ture and mat­tress busi­ness to bring more Taos-area res­i­dents a cov­eted and all-too-elu­sive good night’s sleep.

Domito is branch­ing out from her an­chor store, Taos Life­style in the Al­bert­sons shop­ping mall. She has leased the for­mer Gray­stone Fur­ni­ture build­ing, 815 Paseo del Pue­blo Sur and, come De­cem­ber, plans to launch Mat­tress Mary’s Moun­tain Life­style.

Be­sides of­fer­ing a se­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture and mat­tresses to out­fit va­ca­tion homes, Domito is pitch­ing the new store as fill­ing a void for af­ford­able, en­try-level fur­ni­ture in the Taos mar­ket. She said so­fas will start around $500 and kitchen dinette sets at about $400. A ba­sic twin mat­tress will run about $100. Domito plans to have a large se­lec­tion of chil­dren’s fur­ni­ture, too.

“As a long­time Taos res­i­dent and an ac­tive mem­ber of the com­mu­nity, I’m ex­cited to bring this vi­sion to life and to new prod­ucts to make any house feel like a home,” Domito said.

Domito told The Taos News she plans a “to­tal re­model and up­grade” of the 10,400-square­foot Gray­stone Fur­ni­ture build­ing, which is lo­cated near Wal­greens and El Taoseño on Paseo del Pue­blo Sur. Jude Ann Gochee, who started Gray­stone in 2002, passed away in Au­gust.

Taos Life­style started in

2004 as Sleep Sanc­tu­ary. Domito was in the cor­po­rate mat­tress in­dus­try in Cal­i­for­nia, she said, “learn­ing my trade from the best.” Burned out, she made the move to Taos. “I thought I was go­ing to have a lit­tle sleep shop.”

At the time, Domito said, the mat­tress se­lec­tion in Taos con­sisted of box frames still wrapped in plas­tic, leaned against the walls of older shops. Domito wanted to bring “big-city pro­fes­sion­al­ism with the down-home feel,” she said.

Since then, the busi­ness has ex­panded through­out the re­gion. Sleep Sanc­tu­ary be­came Taos Life­style in 2012, mov­ing to a larger space in the same shop­ping cen­ter in Taos. Be­tween 2008-2012, Domito also had Toto Home. About three-and-a-half years ago she opened Alam­osa Home in a his­toric down­town prop­erty in Alam­osa, Colorado; the store has since ex­panded. And two years ago she opened a lux­ury mat­tress store in Santa Fe with busi­ness part­ner Sharon Scott.

Still, Domito notes the ways the mat­tress mar­ket has changed in the 14 years since she started her busi­ness in Taos. Top­ping that list of shake-ups in the in­dus­try is the rise of “beds-in-boxes,” mat­tresses from start-up com­pa­nies that are sold di­rectly to con­sumers on­line. Those mat­tresses are typ­i­cally de­liv­ered through UPS or FedEx, an at­trac­tive op­tion for peo­ple with­out their own ve­hi­cles or who live in far-flung ru­ral ar­eas.

The rise of those mat­tress com­pa­nies, she said, has cut into her mat­tress busi­ness by 5 to 10 per­cent, which is con­sis­tent with trends across the in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to a 2017

Forbes ar­ti­cle on the ex­pan­sion of on­line shop­ping habits.

Still, Domito said peo­ple are buy­ing bet­ter-qual­ity mat­tresses from her Taos store, which has made up for the loss.

Open­ing Moun­tain Life­style is one way to get to larger swathe of the Taos mar­ket, be they younger fam­i­lies who are used to shop­ping on­line or folks who don’t want to spend their dol­lars in Al­bu­querque, where big-box fur­ni­ture stores some­times set up shop right across the street from one an­other.

Taos Life­style is to re­main in its cur­rent lo­ca­tion and keep the same se­lec­tion. Moun­tain Life­style will of­fer a large se­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture brands that in­clude Lib­erty, Mayo Uphol­stery, Best Fur­ni­ture, AAmer­ica, Flexs­teel and Poly­wood, Domito said.

Pho­tos by Cody Hooks

Mary Domito, also known as “Mat­tress Mary,” is ex­pand­ing her re­gional fur­ni­ture en­ter­prise to the for­mer Gray­stone Fur­ni­ture build­ing on Paseo del Pue­blo Sur. She plans to open Moun­tain Life­style in De­cem­ber, fol­low­ing a “to­tal re­model and up­grade.”

Var­i­ous ac­ces­sories, in­clud­ing th­ese lo­cal met­al­works, dot the shelves of Taos Life­style, which has been in its cur­rent lo­ca­tion since 2012 but has em­ploy­ees who’ve been with the com­pany for 10 years. Domito opened Sleep Sanc­tu­ary 14 years ago and has since ex­panded busi­ness into Santa Fe and Alam­osa, Colorado.

Domito fo­cuses on mak­ing sure Taos sleeps com­fort­ably.

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