On the night before Christmas — and every other night — Betsy Mikesell and Angie White have visions of children nestled all snug in their Beddy’s. Parents can join the fun, too, in their own adult-sized Beddy’s, the zippered bedding that Mikesell and White created.
As often is the case, the Utah duo’s innovation sprung from necessity. Mikesell was desperate for a way to motivate her twin boys to do a chore every child hates — making the bed. She worked with her own mother to create bedding she hoped would do the trick and then recruited her jogging friend White when she saw the potential for something more. With digital assists along the way, they developed a business around their trademarked design.
The first big break came on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. They raised $108,000 for the initial merchandise order, a proud moment for the brand. Beddy’s then took the sales pitch straight to consumers via Facebook, Google and Instagram ads.
The company has a big audience on Pinterest (3.3 million monthly views), Instagram (251,000 followers) and Facebook (67,000 fans). YouTube videos are a key part of their marketing because there is a bit of a learning curve to using and cleaning nontraditional bedding.
The Beddy’s team manages its social media content through Planoly. Other valuable digital tools include FreshDesk to handle product returns, Podium to interact with customers. “We live in a digital world and need to be able to communicate with our customers 24/7. These tools give us the ability to do that.”
100 percent of Beddy’s orders come through their website, which processes transactions with Shopify. The bedding is expensive to ship, but the company still does 5 percent of its business globally — in Australia, Canada, England, Mexico, and New Zealand.
Five years after its founding, Beddy’s directly employs 15 people and indirectly created a few dozen other jobs. The company also donates bedding to a homeless shelter and backs other causes like amputee rehabilitation and the Festival of Trees.
Those jobs and charitable causes could be at risk if the technologies they use become more expensive as a result of new laws or regulations.