14 January 2020 | NEWS
Since the very early ages, sleep has aroused much interest. Since the 12th century, the study of dreams in the West was likened to witchcraft and those who studied their significance were persecuted. Thus, the study of sleep was, for a long time, kept a secret. Today, this area concerns everyone and the sleep market is a flourishing one, with an increasing number of sleeping aids. Our modern era deprives us of essential hours of rest that we cannot recover, and we pay a heavy price for our hyperactivity.
In such a complex world, how has an SME like Elite been able to go through the decades without losing any of its DNA? Such a long period could have worn down our determination to offer ever more peaceful nights to the most demanding sleepers, yet after 125 years of activity, Elite is still in tune with the times in which it evolves. This position has allowed us to be the privileged witness of unprecedented evolutions in the sleeping habits of modern society and to respond to them in an increasingly personalised way. By demystifying the assumptions about sleep, we have been able to highlight the importance of adapted bedding for good sleep. At the forefront of our competitors, we understand the importance of innovation, balancing it with the authenticity of our artisanal production. While we often seize the opportunity to inform our consumers about the importance and impact of sleep on their health, we also have always aspired to share awareness about ethical issues, local Swiss artisanal production and the environment. A good night starts with a good mattress, but not only: it begins above all with an awareness of one’s needs and, naturally, to achieve this, we are concerned for your well-being.
As our exceptional 125-year celebration looms, it is essential for us to remember where Elite places, and indeed has always placed, its values. In this light, we would like to take the opportunity to reveal the craftsmanship of the various in-house trades, the “little hands” of our Swiss workshops who make, sew, assemble, garnish and decorate, with age-old expertise and the utmost of attention, the beds, headboards, bed bases, box-springs and mattresses destined to integrate the privacy of your bedrooms. At Elite, the quality of your sleep depends on the time spent by our production line to manufacture your mattress with care.
The true specialty of our craftsmen is customisation; this added value means that even your most whimsical desires take shape to create your own ideal bed, down to the smallest detail. We are proud to present 4 of our craftsmen and women, these precious and highly-qualified hands that make Elite what it is today, Swiss made with Swiss quality.
I began with a four-year apprenticeship as an upholsterer and I have been working in my profession for 15 years. A good upholsterer must be very skilled with his hands. Special attention must be given to the finishing touches, ensuring a perfect job that customers appreciate.
At the rate of 4 to 5 headboards per day, the workshop produces twenty or so per week. This figure sums up Elite well: quality over quantity. In upholstery, everything depends on the fabric: simpler fabrics take the least time to fashion, while fabrics with complex patterns require additional precision, especially for custom orders.
What I like most about my job is the variety of fabrics we work with: silk, linen, cotton and even leather. I am always happy to adapt to new constraints. Thus, every order is a new challenge.
I have been with Elite for 29 years. I have worked as a mattress maker in the workshop since the company was taken over by the current director, François Pugliese, 13 years ago. Today, I am responsible for the mattress department. My days are far from monotonous, given the amount of varied things there are to do. Moreover, I am a jack of all trades; I am as interested in mechanics as I am in sewing. This is useful because the sewing machines with which we work are sometimes capricious and we must take great care of them.
The Soprano and the Maestro, our star mattresses, are the ones we manufacture the most. At Elite, we use high-grade and durable raw materials: Swiss wool, cashmere, horsehair and more. Of equal importance, it is to be noted that all our production is based in Aubonne, Switzerland, thus ensuring that our reputation of Swiss-made is truly authentic.
A mattress maker must be meticulous; I once completely unstitched a mattress, after discovering that there was a 10-millimeter gap between two seams. This might sound trivial but it is not: precision is one of the pillars of the quality of Elite mattresses.
I am very happy to be with Elite, otherwise I would never have spent the last 29 years here!
I joined Elite a year and a half ago. I make a lot of bed base trims and ruffles. One might think it’s a repetitive task, but nothing could be further from the truth: I have the opportunity to work with sublime and diverse fabrics. I regularly get special requests for curtains and other decorative items. The variety of fabrics I work with means that almost everything always looks new and fresh.
The devil is in the details: my job requires precision, down to the millimetre. The doubled ruffles are the pieces that I prefer to make. I get this feeling of complete accomplishment when I see them on the beds!
It is great to have the opportunity to create unique pieces with my own hands. In the morning, when I get to the workshop and I see all these fabrics, I feel like I am in quilter’s paradise!
I joined the carpentry workshop team 7 years and 4 months ago, to be precise! Carpentry is a profession which fascinates me, and I feel lucky to practice it every day.
Carpentry is physically exerting, and one mustn't make mistakes, from the calculations, to cutting or execution. You have to be especially vigilant with your fingers! Most often, I make large pieces like box-springs in 2 parts, made with high-quality solid pine wood.
What is Elite in a nutshell? Ambition! It is the recipe for the success and longevity of the company. Without it, there would not have been so many innovations and great changes within the company in recent years.
I work in a friendly atmosphere. The team organisation and cohesion within the workshop make for a very pleasant working environment, because everyone knows their position and the way they contribute to the perfect operation of the production chain.
This is just a glimpse of the professionalism but above all of the magic at work behind the confection of each bed and mattress. We also highlight the precious contribution of our craftsmen in our brochure, Eliteness: more than just a simple communication medium, Eliteness is the culmination of the values we hold dear and a channel to transmit them to the world; it is a simple format which encapsulates the essence of our work. Today, the quality of our products needs no longer to be proven.
Elite presented the Hotelite range and the ingenuity of Smart Lease at the SIA show which was held from 9 to 11 October in Rimini.