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Meet Camilla Kim of Palmpring Organic Coconut Mattress in Old Town Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Camilla Kim.

Camilla, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As a young girl and teen in Seoul, South Korea, I helped my father Dae-Seob Kim at his Palmpring mattress company, which he founded in in 1996. He created the country’s first all-natural mattress without using metal springs. For over almost 20 years, Palmpring has been offering a blissful night’s rest to thousands of satisfied customers, and our mattresses have passed multiple tests for pressure, harmful substances, flammability, and such.

Back then, I never envisioned leaving Korea. But after I had my second daughter Nayoun, I wanted to explore greater territory such as the United States. I felt like the market in South Korea was too small with a population of 50 million compared to the market in U.S with nearly 300 million of population. I was confident and positive that organic Palmpring mattress is competitive enough products and saw a need for more variety and accessibility in the non-toxic sleeping market. Therefore, despite of my family’s dissuasion, I moved to Los Angeles in 2010 with my little girls and husband and opened Palmpring’s first North American showroom in 2011.

What surprised me the most upon arriving here is how few Americans purchasing organic bedding. I saw an opportunity to grow the “organic sleep” movement, and help make organic home products more widely available, and at less costly prices.

In 2012-2013, I introduced several new Palmpring products plus instituted some changes in our manufacturing, launching the company’s first ever certified-organic mattress.

Within 6 years of their arrival, Palmpring has achieved numerous awards and recognition from various organizations such as winning the LA Green Festival Brand Award, and the National Parenting Product Awards. Once settled in the ever-changing Koreatown, the new flagship store is settled in Pasadena.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been a difficult road, especially in the beginning. After arriving and diving right into the US market, I lacked patience. I was a little surprised at how small the organic mattress industry was, and the lack of diversity in the market. Most mattresses are full of harmful chemicals and springs, which eventually lead to off-gassing and sagging. Our mattresses don’t have metal springs and are chemical-free. With every article or commercial promotion being published, I was expecting to receive numerous orders. I eventually realized that some worked, and most did not.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Palmpring Organic Coconut Mattress – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Palmpring’s commitment to a healthful lifestyle has resulted in premium quality bedding. Founded in South Korea in 1996 by my father, Dae-Seob Kim, Palmpring gained notoriety with its unique spring-less mattress comprised of palm coir (coconut fiber) and natural latex. In 2011, I opened the company’s first North American showroom in Los Angeles. With almost 20 years of testing and research, Palmpring’s products provide comfort, chemical-free materials, durable construction, intelligent design and sustainable production.

Palmpring does not use any synthetic materials: all of our products use certified organic materials inside and out – so there are no worries regarding toxicity or the possibility of metal springs emitting electromagnetic fields.  Additionally, the materials used are all hypo-allergenic so mold, bacteria, germs and dust mites don’t settle in.

The main reason to worry about conventional crib mattresses are the flame retardants that are commonly sprayed on all polyurethane foam products to meet national flame standards. These flame retardants have been associated with a host of health concerns including lower birth weight, reduced IQ (similar to lead poisoning), hyperactivity, lost coordination, reduced fertility, birth defects, hormonal changes, and cancer.

The most unique and smartest material for Palmpring mattress is coconut coir. Our organic palm coir (coconut fiber) is woven from discarded coconut husks (material that is often considered “waste” in other coconut material trades), which are recycled and processed gently over time with water as the only solvent. The processed fibers are then woven into a rope which is then flattened into layers and coated with organic latex to create a water-repelling and germ-resistant mattress base. This rubberized palm coir offers natural flexibility and strong support for the body, replacing the need for metal springs.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We plan on educating and expanding our customer base. Our goal for the future is to provide healthy products to the sleep industry market.

 

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