It's an engaging
story. Twenty-something sisters, Shari Hammer and Cyndi
Ritger, wanted to hang with their young kids and make a
living. One day the young women were out shopping and spotted
a mattress (what is now called a futon mattress) displayed
on the floor of Depth of Field. No frame. Just mattress.
A new piece of furniture! Discovering there were only
black and white covers available, Shari and Cyndi figured
this mattress needed some style and color. Whoa! A perfect
opportunity for two smart, stylish, artistic and energetic
Around this time, the Futon Association
formed, and it was tiny. Shari and Cyndi were able to swing
a trip to its second tradeshow in Montreal in 1987. In
preparation for the show, the sisters haggled three fabric
samples from a mill. Then they promptly sewed the samples
into three covers. To increase the options, Cyndi and Shari
hand painted futon covers to market at the show. The retailers
(lots of groovy people) wanted to buy the new product, the futon. (This show displayed one of the first convertible frames.) And they were thrilled with SIS's product: Wow!
Covers for the futons!
Shari and Cyndi returned home with a
handful of orders. They set to work sewing covers in Cyndi's
basement and hand painting covers in the backyard along
with changing diapers, wiping noses and kissing booboos.
Between 1988-1990, the futon business exploded, and SIS was in the middle of all the excitement. Eventually, Cyndi left the business while Joe Hammer, Shari 's husband, came on board as CFO. Because of his strong belief in Shari and SIS Enterprises, Joe was willing to give up his successful career in finance to help move the business forward.
SIS's space has grown from 800 square feet to 76,000 square feet and from stocking 150 yards of fabric to 500,000 yards of fabric. SIS has also expanded its product line to include daybed covers, top of bed and window treatments.
SIS Enterprises' history of hard work, good decisions and artistic flair has helped it grow into a key component of the still-burgeoning international futon industry.