Sound Asleep

SAMINA brings mattresses from Austria

Health concerns are becoming more important when choosing a mattress.       

Austria’s SAMINA brand keeps that in mind when offering its healthy and comfortable sleeping systems around the world, including the store in Pasadena Village owned by the husband-and-wife team of Claus and Denise Pummer.

The company was founded 30 years ago by Gunther W. Amann-Jennson, a sleep psychologist in Austria. He noticed his patients having sleep disorders and issues, so he designed his own line of beds. Since then, he has sold to Bulletproof owner Dave Asprey and nutritionist and TV personality J.J. Virgin.

SAMINA sleeping systems are different than other beds. They come in breathable layers, including a slat frame, a wool topper, a grounding pad and a rubber mattress.

The layers have different functions, from providing climate control to reducing sweating to offering support for the spine. Denise says the open-air design is especially important to keeping the bed system dry.

“That’s the really big difference for SAMINA,” she says. “It is a really innovative, smart design. Each layer works independently to address a different need you have at night.

“There are a lot of things from the design perspective that make SAMINA an ideal sleep solution.”

Denise says they are lightweight, making them easier to move.

“I can set up a bed by myself, and I’m 5 feet tall. With even the three layers together, which create the essential part of the system, it is still half of what these current pillow-top, Tempur-Pedic mattresses are,” Denise says.

The slats are adjustable, which can be helpful for couples with different needs or sleeping habits. The systems are made with organic materials, meant to provide an allergy-free sleeping environment.

Denise says the sleep systems offer orthopedic support for those suffering from back and neck issues and other health problems. The sleep systems are offered in twin, queen, king and California king sizes and start at about $5,500.

Denise says the sleeping systems may cost more than some beds on the market, but the benefits are priceless.

“It’s not a luxury investment. It’s truly wellness investment, an investment in your health and your overall well-being,” Denise says. “How you feel from the moment that you wake up is a large determinant of the rest of your day.”

Claus was a supporter of SAMINA many years before he started selling the sleeping systems. Originally from Germany, Claus is a master cabinetmaker. As a result of that job, he suffered from back problems and purchased a SAMINA sleep system 20 years ago.

“He wanted a bed that would give him back relief and recovery. He was looking for a mattress that would support his back the best, and that’s how he initially discovered SAMINA,” Denise says.

With a background in human resources, Denise has embraced selling SAMINA sleep systems because it changed her life. Denise noticed a difference immediately, especially with morning allergies.

“My whole life I told people I was allergic to morning. I woke up, and I sneezed,” she says.

“I was like that for the first few hours of the day until about lunchtime, and then I was fine. It was a cycle that repeated itself. That was just my normal. I never once stopped to think maybe there was something wrong with my bed because this happens when I wake up. About two weeks after sleeping in SAMINA, I remember I was getting coffee in the morning in the kitchen, and I realized I hadn’t sneezed. My eyes weren’t watery, and I hadn’t blown my nose once.” 

Claus first sold SAMINA systems out of stores in Canada and Dallas. The Pummers moved their business to Pasadena in 2016. They chose SoCal because they found during trade shows, many of their clients were from the West Coast.

“When we came out here, the mecca of wellness ideas and devices, where people just value their health and fitness, we had much more in-depth conversations, and conversations where people have a basic understanding of what it takes to be healthy,” Denise says.

The Pummers not only sell SAMINA sleep grounding pads, inclined sleeping beds, orthopedic pillows and duvets. These items are also made of natural materials and designed to promote a healthier sleep.

Claus produces furniture such as solid, sustainable wood inclined bed frames, nightstands, dressers, benches and headboards. Their customers come from different backgrounds, but many of them are focused on their health. Many physicians also refer patients to SAMINA.

“The bad news is once you become a SAMINA sleeper, you will be spoiled, and you may find it challenging to sleep anywhere else but home in your own SAMINA bed,” Denise says.

Denise and Claus are certified holistic sleep coaches, offering education to their clients. They have extensive research on sleep health and often offer advice on best practices for sleeping, including removing electronic devices from bedrooms.

“We talk about the bedroom and what they can do to make it a true sanctuary for their sleep,” Denise says.

“When you think about the word ‘sanctuary,’ it’s a safe place where you can be completely uninhibited, relaxed and naked in your own bed and have deep, restful, restorative sleep.”

Soul Man

Marc Cohen has blended genres during his 30-year career

Early in his career, Grammy Award-winning artist Marc Cohn reached listeners around the world with his hit song “Walking in Memphis.” His drive to keep creating meaningful music, with other musicians who inspire him, continues to motivate him decades later. 

Cohn will perform his R&B-, blues- and gospel-inspired style of music at the Canyon at the Rose on Thursday, April 16. He will even take requests from the audience and share stories about the songs he’s singing.

“It’s usually a very intimate, very off-the-c-uff show that involves a lot of storytelling and songwriting,” Cohn says.

Even then he’s a bit coy. He tries to still leave his songs open for interpretation because he has found that audience members respond to them in different ways.

“I’m often hesitant to say too much because what’s really important is what does it say to them?” Cohn says. “That’s why I don’t say too much about what it’s about. I just like to tell stories about how the first spark of inspiration comes.”

During live shows, he and his band change up the music to keep older songs, such as “Walking in Memphis,” fresh for him and the audience.

“I don’t play my songs exactly as they are on the record. It doesn’t interest me to do that. Those arrangements of old songs are constantly evolving. That’s what keeps me engaged and I hope the audience engaged,” Cohn says.

Concerts also allow him to play some of his more obscure songs.

“That’s a big part of what motivates me to tour. I think I have an interesting catalog of songs, so I’m always anxious to play those, along with the ones that everybody comes to hear,” Cohn says.

Starting out in his career, Cohn produced a number of albums in the 1990s before taking a break from recording from 1998 to 2007.

He came back with “Join the Parade,” an album which featured a song called “Parade,” which was inspired by the events of Hurricane Katrina and his near-fatal shooting during a carjacking in 2005.

In 2016, during the 25th anniversary of his self-titled platinum album, Cohn released “Careful What You Dream: Lost Songs and Rarities,” a collection of unreleased material from before he was signed.

In recent years, he has been writing for, working with and touring with musical greats such as Bonnie Raitt, Patty Griffin, Graham Nash, William Bell, Michael McDonald and David Crosby.

For his most recent album, “Work to Do,” Cohn collaborated with the gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama. The album, which he describes as a “pop record infused with gospel quartet sound,” contains live recordings with him and the group, new songs from Cohn and an old gospel song he reworked to fit his own sound.

The Blind Boys of Alabama is a group that he grew up listening to and admiring.

“It’s the best part of what I do. I’ve had collaborations with some of my biggest heroes, and they are among them,” Cohn says.

He is in the early process of writing songs for his next record and will occasionally throw those tracks in his set.

As a musician, Cohn is best known for his piano, but he started out as a guitar player with his first band in junior high. He says from an early age, he was inspired by music on the radio and found he had a natural ability to write music.

“I had a certain skill set even when I was young, and I followed my passion,” Cohn says. 

He now has a regular lineup of musicians that he has performed with for five years or more.

Playing with an established lineup allows him to change up the arrangements and to continue to evolve as a musician.

“Every time you step on stage, you have a chance to learn something new, and I do about 100 shows a year,” Cohn says. “By the end of those 100 shows, I’ve learned something about my own musicianship, my relationship with the band, my songs, what works and what doesn’t work, how to make a good show, what the arc of it should be, how do I improve that, how do I take care of my voice.”

Cohn doesn’t try to stick to one genre. Instead, he writes and performs songs with something meaningful to say.

“I’m drawn to something that sounds real and authentic. Whatever category that is in is irrelevant to me. Artists like Bon Von Wheelie, Jackson Browne and James Taylor that are making records that sound as good today as they were 50 years ago because they are such authentically honest writers and performers, that’s the music I’m talking about, whether it’s from a rock band, a pop star, a singer-songwriter or an old blues man,” Cohn says.

Many of Cohn’s fans are longtime listeners who know most of his music, including some of his lesser-known material. Cohn tries to reach his dedicated fans as well as new listeners during his concerts.

“The best thing for me is to see people bringing their kids along. They’ve grown up with the music. It’s spanning generations now, which is a wonderful thing,” Cohn says.

As a family man with two grown children and two teens, Cohn has a busy life. He continues to tour regularly, with breaks in between, because of his continued passion for writing and performing music.

“It’s a gift to do what you love, and that’s what I do,” Cohn says.