One-in-three Americans suffer from poor sleep, and considering we spend one-third of our lives sleeping, this is bad news.
Matt Potter used to be one-in-three Americans who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. After years of have neck problems, he and his wife decided to create a better pillow for better sleep. In comes Luxe Pillow: a pillow made with 3C technology to help you fall asleep faster and rest deeper. Because when you invest in your sleep, you’re investing in yourself.
Read more from Matt below:
The spark that inspired the birth of your concept: I was having neck issues and after a few weeks of physical therapy realized that my neck issues were not being caused by work or exercise but actually because of a poorly made and old pillow. I asked my physical therapist, friends and family if they had any pillow recommendations and no one knew a brand to recommend or even the name of the pillow they slept on. I figured there had to be a better pillow but we couldn’t find it. So my wife and I set out to create a pillow that would support the natural alignment of your neck and would help you fall asleep faster.
The problem it solves: Sleep can impact every area of your life from your overall health, to your productivity and even your mood. But many people don’t get great sleep or can’t sleep very well. The CDC released a study that one in three Americans suffer from poor sleep. There can be a variety of reasons for this but one reason is that most people are sleeping on pillows they’ve had for years and in a lot of cases they aren’t good pillows.
How you are different than your competition: Our pillows are made with 3C Technology which means they are constructed in three different layers. Our pillows have a core and then two additional filled chambers with only the finest fills including goose down or opened synthetic gel, so you get support, structure and softness. Plus, we only sell online so we’ve eliminated the hassle of going to a department or mattress store. We also offer a 30-day no risk sleep trial and free shipping and returns.
The best thing about being an entrepreneur: Getting an opportunity to spend your time and effort on something that you are creating. You get a chance to make the decisions that will ultimate lead to success or failure, but they’re your decisions. You also get a chance to learn so much as you live and breathe your product or brand. It’s just a lot of fun!
The biggest surprise in your entrepreneurial experience to date: The biggest surprise is how hard it is to get the word out about your company. As a small company with a small marketing budget it’s not easy to make people aware of your product. It gets really expensive to try and spread the word so you have to be really creative when you don’t have a lot of money to spend.
Your biggest success: Our biggest success has been the launch of the company. From an idea, to actual execution, it took a lot of time as we were researching the industry, trying different designs and fill types, and then product testing and getting customer feedback. We launched last summer and have had some really great sales numbers and are excited about the future and where we are headed.
Your failure story and what you learned: We are still learning every day. One mis-step we had was using most of our early marketing budget on social media influencers. We thought we could really spread the word that way but that channel wasn’t as effective as we had originally thought. So we’ve changed it up and now use social media in a different way. What we’ve learned is that you have to adapt. If one way of thinking is not working, you have to regroup, and explore other options that might be more successful.
What keeps you up at night: Trying to figure out how to keep the business growing. As a self-funded company we have to make sure that we become profitable quickly. We don’t have a very long runway, so what keeps me up is making sure we are growing, spending our money in the right way, and that we can continue to produce a product that really does help people get better sleep.
Your #1 piece of advice for a budding entrepreneur: Start now. Being an entrepreneur is fun, exciting, scary all at the same time. I’ve talked to a ton of people that have great ideas but unfortunately many of those people never act on them. My advice would be to enter the arena. Be a doer.
The #1 book you would recommend for a budding entrepreneur: The Obstacle is the Way (Ryan Holiday). This is a great book not only to help you build a business but also just for life in general.
What wild success looks like: We just want to put our pillows under the heads of as many people as possible. Our tag line is Sleep Better. Feel Great. Achieve More. And it’s really true. When you get a good night’s sleep your days become better. You feel better, you work better, your relationships are improved and you can accomplish more. If we can help people get better sleep our success will follow.
Your favorite local business: Wow we have a lot of favorite local businesses. So I’ll name a few, but Barre3 is one of our favorites because my wife used to work there and still works out there. I spend my time trying to get in shape at VC Crossfit so that is another one we love. Also, Commissary is a place where we spend a lot of time, they have great coffee and food. We love these places not only because they offer quality services/products but because they are part of the community here in Portland that we love.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: Well like a lot of young kids I wanted to be a pro basketball player when I grew up. I played at Sunset High School and then played for a year at a junior college in California called Santa Ana College. I realized very quickly that my skill level and athleticism was not NBA caliber. But the great thing about being an entrepreneur is that in a lot of ways its similar to athletics. The more work you do and the more effort you put in, the greater your return. With time and effort you build more skills that help you become more successful.
Is Oregon is a good place to start a business? I think it’s a great place to start a business. I’ve found that there are many people here who truly want you to succeed. I feel like Portland in general is a community where you have access to smart people that want to help and I don’t think you’ll find that everywhere.