4, 2010 -
Southern Waterbeds & Futons
owner/operator Lynn Hardman of Athens,
Georgia, is celebrating his 35th year of
owning his retail business.
He began his career in 1975 in a 12' by 12'
booth in the old Athens Flea Market, located
where the Classic Center is now. The
original shop carried a variety of products
including parts and accessories for
waterbeds. That venture grew and expanded
with the focus being on waterbeds to become
Athens’ first waterbed specialty store and
now Southern Waterbeds is the oldest
waterbed store in the state of Georgia.
The business was moved to a strip shopping
center on the Atlanta Highway in order to be
next to the new Georgia Square Mall when it
opened in 1981. The store moved again in
1987 to its present location across from the
Mall when Mr. Hardman had the opportunity to
purchase that property. Futons were then
added to the product mix and incorporated
into the business name. Building an onsite
warehouse for his backup inventory in 1997
also allowed for a showroom expansion to
accommodate more sleep selections including
memory foam and innerspring mattresses.
Other new product categories that have been
added include bunk beds and platform beds
along with University of Georgia room decor.
Mr. Hardman has developed his online
business presence at southernwaterbeds.com
and he has been a member of the Specialty
Sleep Association since its formation in