WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) — A mattress store in Waynesboro is changing some things, while keeping others the same, amid the coronavirus pandemic. For more than 30 years Ernest Shaver, the owner of Sleep on It, has helped customers find the perfect bed to climb into when they turn their lights out and head to sleep.
Now, he’s working tirelessly to make sure he can keep the lights on in his business.
“The biggest thing that I can say, to keep my mind, to keep me going, is this too shall pass. There are lots of ups and lots of downs. We tend to remember the downs, but they pass,” Shaver said.
In the late 1980s, Ernest Shaver was a mattress store employee with a dream.
“Mostly deliver water beds and then around '87, '86 actually, the owner approached me and asked if I wanted to buy it and of course I did. I jumped in,” he said.
Shaver has had to adapt his practices due to COVID-19. When customers lie on the bed to test it out, there is a more intense cleaning regime than ever before. He is also adapting his delivery methods.
“If you want us to just to leave it on the front door, that’s where we leave it, on the front door. We have several of our suppliers who ship directly by FedEx, these are the beds in a box type of thing, we can do that,” Shaver said.
While all of the changes have not been easy to make, he’s not taking anything lying down.
“The hardest part that we’ve adapted to is being able to fit you with a mattress over the phone, it’s not ideal, but we can talk you through it," he said.
While the coronavirus has meant lost business, Shaver is not sleeping on the support he gets from the community.
“It’s customers that have come back to us and brought friends to us and family to us and bought umpteenth beds from us that A., keep me motivated to be here and B., get us through the bad times,” Shaver said.
Shaver is also cutting store hours starting this week as a way to keep the doors open in the long-term.