You thought of the idea for SHEEX while you and Co-Founder Michelle Brooke-Marciniak were coaching basketball together. Can you give us a quick overview of how SHEEX started?We basically fell in love with a super soft athletic apparel fabric and thought, ‚Äúwouldn‚Äôt it be great to have bed sheets made out of this type of fabric?‚Äù It made sense to us because the fabric is not only ridiculously soft but it also keeps you cool and dry, which is better for sleep. We went online to buy some performance sheets and no one was making sheets out of performance fabrics. We found a niche market. We then worked with the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina to develop a business plan, patented the idea and started our journey.
How have your experiences as a female athlete and coach prepared you for, or impacted your approach, to running a business?Starting a business is very challenging, as is winning at the highest level of sports. In both realms, you start with a vision for success and then surround yourself with talented and experienced people with the same passion to achieve your goals. Setbacks are part of the journey. It‚Äôs important to learn from the losses and work to get better every day. In sports, you start each season working on fundamentals and grow each day. In business, it‚Äôs also important to start slow and focus on the fundamentals as you crawl and then walk before you run.
SHEEX recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary in the marketplace, what are the top SHEEX moments that stand out most to you?
- Watching the first sales hit our website.
- Flying to Beverly Hills to meet with Bob Damon, the former President of Korn Ferry. ¬†We thought we needed a CFO and Bob was leading one of the top search firms in the world. ¬†In our first five minutes with Bob, he asked us how much money we had raised. We told him and he laughed out loud. Bob later invested and became a dear friend and Board Member. ¬†¬†
- The day Bed Bath & Beyond rolled out SHEEX in 600 stores nationwide.
- The expansion of our products at Bed Bath & Beyond to five different sheet sets, pillows, comforters, and mattress pads.
- Gizmodo.com reviewed our product on two separate occasions and we completely sold out of inventory after both reviews.
- The wild success we have experienced through DRTV after making the decision to ramp up our business through a national television campaign.