It took less than 24 hours for co-founders and friends Sara Cuthbert and Ashley Weldon to reach their $10,000 Kickstarter goal.
The Centennial residents launched their campaign for the adJust For Me Pillow, an adjustable pillow for people who sleep on their side, on Oct. 23. As of Monday, Cuthbert and Weldon had raised $18,451 from 95 backers with three days to go.
“It felt like we were gambling,” Cuthbert said. “We just sat in front of the computer after we launched and watched in awe.”
Cuthbert, a sleep coach and former massage therapist, never had a good answer for her clients who were frustrated with their pillow and overall sleep experience.
“I have spent many hours of my life looking for pillows for myself and my family with clean, non-toxic materials and a really healthy sleep solution, but it didn’t exist,” Cuthbert said.
Throughout her research, the sleep coach found that 70 percent of adults prefer to sleep on their sides. So, in 2018, Cuthbert decided to design her own adjustable pillow for side-sleepers that would provide support for your head, neck and shoulders all night long.
She then asked her longtime friend Weldon, a freelance graphic and web designer, to help her bring the product to the market.
“Neither one of us has ever done any kind of manufacturing or retail product creation, so this has been a real learning curve for us to say the least,” Cuthbert said.
Most adjustable pillows on the market now, such as Cushion Lab’s or Coop Home Goods’, use shredded memory foam for comfort, but Cuthbert said she was frustrated with how the material “sinks and bunches during the night.”
The adJust For Me Pillow, on the other hand, is made from three organic latex layers with removable cotton liners that offer a customizable sleep. There’s also a shoulder cutout that fits to the sleeper’s body and protects the arm from falling asleep.
“This is a pillow that can last you eight to 10 years,” Cuthbert said. “The natural latex is such an incredible material because without any chemical at all, it resists dust mites and mold. It’s also hypo-allergenic and naturally cooling.”
The founders plan to retail the adjustable pillow for $199 on the company’s website, along with a $25 pillowcase for the unique shape. The duo eventually hope to sell their product in high-end mattress stores, as well as through local doctors’ offices.
“One of our primary goals with this pillow is to offer pain relief,” Cuthbert said. “A friend of ours is a stroke survivor and has lived with severe chronic pain, and she’s never been able to sleep through the night. After she started sleeping with this pillow, she said it has completely altered her experience, which really motivates us to keep going.”
Cuthbert and Weldon used Kickstarter as a way to gauge a larger audience outside of their already interested friends and family. They said they weren’t surprised to reach their $10,000 goal so quickly because of the initial marketing they had done within their own social circles.
Prior to the launch of the Kickstarter campaign, Cuthbert and Welson started writing a blog about their product and created social media profiles for the adJust For Me Pillow across platforms. They asked their friends, family and work associates to share the product pages amongst their own personal networks. The entrepreneurs also sent targeted emails through Mailchimp to let customers know when the campaign was starting and how to navigate Kickstarter.
The founders have invested around $15,000 of their own savings, along with an additional investment from an angel investor which they declined to detail. They have also ordered around 500 pillows and plan to use the Kickstarter funds to invest in inventory and marketing, they said.