Meet Colin McIntosh, the brains behind Sheets & Giggles, a bedding brand that’s more than just a clever pun. Launched in May 2018, Sheets & Giggles made a splash on Indiegogo with its unique product: lyocell bed sheets made from eucalyptus trees. These eco-friendly sheets offer a softer, more breathable, and moisture-wicking alternative to cotton, while also using significantly less water in production.
Within just six months of its inception, Sheets & Giggles raked in over 6,000 orders and nearly half a million dollars in revenue. The brand’s journey was marked by success, including winning first place at Denver Startup Week 2018. Targeting a predominantly female audience, mostly in their 20s and 30s, Sheets & Giggles has become a notable contender in the bedding industry.
Origins and Vision:
Colin’s entrepreneurial journey began after a stint at a tech startup that ended abruptly in 2017. This experience served as a catalyst, inspiring him to start his own venture. Armed with a strong network, insights from Techstars, and a passion for marketing and distributing physical products, he decided to embark on the entrepreneurial path. Crowdfunding seemed like the perfect launchpad, given his limited initial capital.
Colin established specific criteria for his new business, including a focus on a large, fragmented market with minimal brand loyalty. He ultimately chose to venture into bedding, with the domain name “SheetsGiggles.com” sealing the deal. The business model was designed first, with the product tailored to fit seamlessly.
Validating the Idea:
To validate the concept, Colin ran Facebook ads to a landing page, targeting crowdfunding lookalike audiences. This campaign resulted in an impressive 46% conversion rate, accumulating over 11,000 emails from potential buyers in just eight weeks. With this validation in hand, Sheets & Giggles launched on Indiegogo, attracting nearly 500 customers and $45,000 in day-one funding.
Designing, Prototyping, and Manufacturing:
Despite lacking textile experience, Colin hired consultants to help design, develop, and test the lyocell sheets. The criteria included sustainability, softness, durability, and social consciousness. The manufacturer was sourced in India, and multiple production runs were undertaken to ensure product perfection. The brand also placed great emphasis on a premium unboxing experience, making it stand out in the direct-to-consumer market.
The Launch Process:
The business was founded in October 2017, with the first few months dedicated to building a brand identity, website, and product designs. A marketing agency was onboarded to assist with the crowdfunding campaign, which was successfully launched on May 1, 2018, with a surge of $45,000 in funding on the first day.
Customer Attraction and Retention:
Sheets & Giggles’ success has been fueled by proactive social media engagement, strong SEO strategies, and humorous email marketing. Purple Friday, a clever marketing ploy, drove significant sales. Exceptional customer service, a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and a robust review system have also contributed to the brand’s growth.
Current Status and Future Prospects:
Sheets & Giggles operates profitably, with a projected $600,000 in revenue for 2018. The brand aims to expand its product line, including new sizes, colors, and non-bedding items. International expansion into the UK, Australia, Canada, and the EU is on the horizon.
Colin envisions rapid growth in the coming years, with plans to enter new sales channels while maintaining a strong online presence. He remains committed to building a well-known brand before delving into physical retail, following a strategic approach to market penetration.
Lessons for Aspiring Entrepreneurs:
Colin emphasizes the importance of validating your business model before building a product. He advocates running initial marketing campaigns to gather leads and investor interest, rather than rushing into product development. He also stresses the significance of an action-oriented approach and the value of responding to customer inquiries promptly.
In conclusion, Colin McIntosh’s journey with Sheets & Giggles exemplifies the power of creativity, sustainable practices, and humor in building a thriving brand. With a strong focus on customer engagement and a strategic approach to growth, Sheets & Giggles continues to make waves in the world of bedding.