Made in St. Louis: Cushion protect little ones from hearth

2012-05-13T00:00:00Z 2012-06-11T09:46:36Z Made in St. Louis: Cushion protect little ones from hearthBY KAREN DEER kdeer@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8239 stltoday.com

What they make • They make the patented Jack-Mat Hearth Safety Cushion. Their home-based business, Hearth and Home, is located in Pevely. You can view their items at jackmatllc.com. To reach them, call 314-583-8333 or 1-800-385-3730. Also visit etsy.com/shop/jackmat. The Jack-Mat is also available at CBennet, Hackman Lumber, St. Louis Home Fires, Child Proofers of St. Louis, Fireplace and Grill Center, Hechler's, Hearth and Home Inc. of Washington, Mo., and Hearthside of Belleville.

When did you start your business? Stacy: We started making Jack-Mats when we purchased the company from a family friend who was ready to retire. Jack-Mat has been in St. Louis for over 15 years. My background has been sewing, and for many years I created custom children's clothing. I began making cushions four years ago and was lucky enough to sew the bedding for one of the children's rooms in the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" show for a company when it was in St. Louis.

What type of cushions do you make? The Jack-Mat Hearth Cushion is a custom-made cushion to fit any shape or size hearth to protect children and the elderly from the sharp edges around the fireplace. The cushions also provide additional seating and can be made to match any décor. We also make custom cushions for window seats, benches, kitchen banquettes, pours and more.

How many employees do you have? We have six people on staff, which includes myself, my husband and our three children. We do have a wonderful part-time seamstress who sews cushions as well.

Why did you decide to make a hearth cushion? The hearth safety cushion is near and dear to our heart. Our youngest daughter was born with many health issues that have caused her to have 15 surgeries. Our goal is to keep her surroundings safe as possible, and when we found the opportunity to build the Jack-Mat, we were excited. Our kids' grandparents had one for 12 years once our son was born. The upholstered cushions were a progression from client requests and my love for sewing.

What types of fabric do you work with? The Jack-Mat uses all fire-retardant designer fabrics. We have about 200 fabric selections.

How long does it take to make one hearth cushion? From design to completion, it takes two hours to build a Jack-Mat, depending on the complexity of the hearth. We have made some very large hearth cushions with crazy angles that took all day.

How do your kids help? The kids definitely help with the business. Our 10-year-old daughter enters purchase orders and sales orders. She's awesome. Our son helps with boxing the cushions and shipping. He's also trained on running the surger. Our youngest likes to organize the fabric and test the cushions.

How many orders a week? We average about 15 to 20 orders per week and, no kidding, we work about 60 hours a week.

• Your prices? The Jack-Mat starts at $250 for a 5-foot cushion. Bench cushions start at $94, and chair pads start at $69.


ROB KRUSE and STACY KRUSE

Ages • He's 38; she's 36

Home • Pevely

Family • The married couple have three kids: Blake 13, Emma, 10 and Riley, 7

 

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