1976 - Suzanne Diamond made the first hand-made Japanese style cotton futon in Boston as a student at the Boston Museum School of fine arts. Michio Kushi a reknown macrobiotic teacher suggested the health benefits of sleeping on natural fibers instead of polyurethane foam. Futons are lightweight easy and portable. Artie Diamond purchased the staple cotton and wool for the futons and Suzanne hand–made them with a friend Maya Edwards. These futons were made in all sizes from twin, full, queen and king to also accommodate custom sizes and these futons are suggested for use directly on the floor without a frame. The thinness of the handmade futon made it ideal for rolling up for storage during the day.
1977-1979 - Artie and Suzanne Diamond moved to Los Angeles California in 1976 and continued to make hand made Japanese style futons for customers in the Los Angeles area. The Diamonds were part of the beginning of the health food and healthy and alternative lifestyle of the mid 1970’s. Artie worked for Erewon Health Food Stores, organic produce farmers and they manufactured natural cotton clothing as well futons. The futons were mostly sold by word of mouth within the natural food movement. The customers buying futons wanted natural fibers on and around there bodies as well as organic food in there bodies.
1979 - The Diamonds moved to San Francisco and opened the first official store selling futons to the general public in San Anselmo California called The Futon Shop (TFS). This was the first official futon store in America. Suddenly the spirit of natural fibers was gaining in popularity and futons started to become more mainstream bedding.
1980 - William Brower a Boston architect who enjoyed working in wood, designed a beautiful black walnut hardwood futon frame that folded in three parts. This futon frame was displayed in the Arts and Craft museum next to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The Diamonds started offering these frames in Bebinga, black walnut and warm cherry to the general public in California. The Diamond’s opened there first futon showroom selling futon mattresses and futon frames in San Rafael California. So many Californians wanted futons that the Diamond’s opened a factory in Corte Madera California.
1981 - Around the same period of time Peter Kloos a wine barrel maker (copper) who lived in Napa Valley made on of the first American made Pine folding and flat futon frame in a few different styles. Peter originally from Amsterdam, worked in a beautiful stone building In the heart of Napa Valley. He is still there with his family and has a furniture store in downtown Napa.
1980 - The Diamond’s expanded there futon stores to Berkeley and San Francisco selling William Brower hardwood futon frames and Peter Kloos’s pine futon frames and platform beds as well as there very special all natural hand-made futons.
1981 - The Futon Shop was so busy that a new factory was opened in the mission of San Francisco and the Diamonds had over 30 employees. There futon and frame line was expanded on to include a larger variety of futons and futon sofa bed frames, natural fiber futon, futon frames and washable cotton slip covers where all manufactured in Boston and California.
1983 - The Diamond’s opened another futon store in Albany California and Oakland California.
1984-1991 - By 1991 the Diamond’s had opened a total of 22 futon stores in California from Los Angeles to Sacramento. Still manufacturing quality futon mattresses right here in San Francisco.
1992 - The Futon Shop purchased a felt Garnett Machine to process wool cotton and all natural fillings for their futons. This machine allowed them to purchased organic and natural cotton and wool from local American farmers and supported greater control of quality and consistency of their futon mattresses.
1993-1995 - The Futon Shop opened 3 franchise stores in Tallahassee, Ft. Walton Beach and Jacksonville Florida and a 800 square foot franchise futon store in a shopping mall in the heart of Singapore.
1994-1997 - The Futon Shop became frustrated with the poor quality of the futon frames that were available so they purchased there own woodworking oak factory and manufactured Solid American made Oak futon frames from Southern California.
1998 - The Futon Shop was invited to partner with JETCO Japanese Economic Trade Commission to introduce American futons to the Japanese public and wholesale agents. The Diamond’s shipped their 1st container of futons to Tokyo, Japan.
2000-2007 - Through the ups and down of the 90’s and into the 21st century the Diamond’s continued to innovate and make the best quality natural futon bedding for over 2 million happy customers throughout the world. The Futon Shop still manufactures and offers 24 quality futon mattress in 8 sizes, hundreds of washable and removable futon covers, folding foam beds, and a huge selection of futon frames.
2008 - The Futon Shop introduces Soy-based foams into all their hand-made mattresses. The Diamond’s still believe in natural fibers and natural living in all areas of their lives. From 1976 onwards the Diamond’s have promoted natural futons and proudly offer them at their 11 retail stores, and through selected retailers.
Future - TFS continues to enjoy working with the best team and strive to innovate & manufacture America's best natural futons mattresses. We are currently working towards being totally Green by the year 2012.
About The Futon Shop
The Futon Shop's home is San Francisco, California where we hand make premium futon sofa beds, organic futons, futon mattresses, covers and organic bedding since 1976. Starting today you can join us and make a difference in the environment, our earth’s soil, water, air and for countless living things. Simply by going organic when you purchase a new organic futon, organic futon mattress or sofa bed; and in what you wear, sleep on, wash and dry with, and what you consume, you can help replenish our planet and safeguard its future abundance. Until about 50 years ago, cotton-growing mainly involved sustainable techniques; it did not permanently deplete resources or create a health hazard. Today, however, the pesticides used on 'conventional' cotton increasingly threaten people, wildlife and the environment. Most pesticides were originally developed as toxic nerve agents during WWII and it is no wonder they have been linked to many forms of cancers.