Founded in June 2017 by Javier and Gretchen Casillas, mattress and furniture store Live Well has been through many changes in its short existence.
The business started as a sole proprietorship and only sold mattresses under the name Sleep Well. They opened a second store—to which they added home furnishings—in Carlsbad, New Mexico in 2018. The business rebranded in 2019 to Live Well Mattress & Furnishing Centres, LLC, and in 2020, amidst the pandemic, the Casillases successfully pivoted, adding a boutique to their Alamogordo, New Mexico store, and increasing online sales.
To get through all of those changes means Sleep Well is doing something right, and the New Mexico Small Business Development Center and Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce seem to think so as well, because they recently honored the store at this year’s “Virtual Roundhouse” series.
The state’s 18 Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) select a “Star Client” business each year. Businesses are selected from every region and state legislators recognize the owners for their successes. Later, they’re honored at the SBDC’s Annual Star Client state dinner with Lt. Gov. Howie Morales.
This year’s events were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Casillas family appeared online and live with members of the 55th New Mexico legislature along with their business advisor, Trish Livingston, in February.
“Businesses can really learn from Live Well Mattress & Furnishing Centres, not only on how to run a small business but how to survive a year full of instability and still prosper,” Livingston says. “They are ideal role models, not just as entrepreneurs but as individuals with great character.”
Javier says Livingston and the staff at the SBDC helped, providing Live Well with good information, useful tools, and guidance all at no cost.
“From lessons on taxes, to advice on shaping our online presence, to marketing and general business advice, the SBDC has helped us avoid mistakes that could have made it even more difficult to survive and thrive during the pandemic,” he says.