Hammocks add to outdoor lifestyle offerings
By Keith Loria
The oldest hammock in the world — a gold-crafted hammock from the seventh century — is on display in Bogota, Columbia, representing the importance of family togetherness and the relaxed way of life in Latin America for centuries.
In 1991, Alexander and Dorothee Grisar, living in Germany at the time, came up with the idea to import hammocks from El Salvador and bring the South American hammock lifestyle to Europe. The couple focused on the highest standards in regards to nature, the environment and human interaction.
It didn’t take long for the business to take off, and they soon turned their family garage into a hammock warehouse, officially starting La Siesta Hammocks.
“There’s a long tradition of hammocks in South America and Latin America; people sleep in these hammocks, and every town has a different style,” says Maximillian Grisar, who runs the company with brothers Leonid and Cornelius, all sons of the founders. “We feel the traditional South American hammock is the best you can buy.”
La Siesta capitalizes on that tradition by offering bright, striped patterns in a host of hammock sizes and hammock chairs, all made from certified organic cotton.
Today, La Siesta has operations in Miami, Germany and Spain, and delivers hammocks to retailers across the globe, offering everything from classic hammocks to spreader bar hammocks (where a bar at each end spreads the hammock to its full width), to travel hammocks and hammock chairs.
“We started a U.S. market in 2013 because retailers would fly to European tradeshows and order from our warehouse, so we knew we had to come closer,” Grisar says. “We’re getting lots of new customers and happy customers who see that our hammocks are different.”
The company has recently branched into pool and hot tub stores, and Grisar says the hammocks are the perfect complement to spas.
“It’s a beautiful product to have around the hot tubs because it offers a similar lifestyle: doing something good for yourself to improve your life,” he says. “People might not go into a store thinking about a hammock, but once they see our products, they start to envision another component of outdoor living.”
La Siesta has a unique tree display available, which doesn’t take much space in stores and showcases a number of styles and sizes.
Ian Fyffe, owner of Harbor Hot Tubs and Sparking Pools in Southampton, New York, has been carrying the La Siesta line of hammocks for a couple of years and feels it’s a “cool product.”
The store utilizes the well-crafted display La Siesta provides and tries to build up interest by keeping it in front of its customers. “We also have some hammocks set up outside hanging from our pergola,” Fyffe says. “And we have a hammock set up on one of their hammock stands.”
Grisar says many people who lie on a hammock are doing it the wrong way. While typically, newcomers lay lengthwise in the center, this causes the fabric to close tight around the body, and doesn’t allow one to look at the surroundings.
“By laying diagonally, the body opens up the fabric so you [can look at] the sky or keep an eye on your surroundings,” he says. “Laying diagonally also improves the swinging experience, as you do not move from right to left but back and forth like in a rocking chair.”
The company’s slogan — The World of Hammocks — represents La Siesta’s commitment to sustainable practices that ensure that its products are manufactured in a manner respectful to both humans and nature. The chair models are made from certified organic cotton, while the spreader bars are made using 100 percent FSC-certified wood from sustainable forestry.