Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.
The way you feel while you are awake depends in part on what happens while you are sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development
Along with good nutrition and exercise, sleep is now recognized as an important contributor to good health. Lack of sleep and poor quality sleep contribute to depression, poor concentration, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It is also associated with mental illness, road deaths, and reduced productivity costing an estimated $5 billion annually to the economy.
And of-course it is also rightly said “In order to achieve higher, you must have high dreams, and in order to have high dreams, sleep better”
Today we are presenting the exclusive interview of a young startup The White Willow. The White Willow has been conceptualized by a dedicated team of out-of-the-box, innovative thinkers, who have come together to build the vision of providing a restful slumber and a gift of smiles to its consumers and their families in India and worldwide by bringing at your doorstep- a unique range of only superior quality Luxury Home Products- i.e. Original Memory foam Decorative Bed Pillows, Specialty Support Pillows, Finest Luxury Mattresses and for the very first time in India, Decorative Memory foam Cushions, which will bring the ‘magic of comfort’ to your home spaces.
Lets see what the founder has to say about the venture and how they are helping their clients to be more productive and energetic by giving them solutions to better and deeper sleep.
Research shows that around 1 in 3 Indians suffer from poor quality sleep and one important factor that contributes to a good night’s sleep is the right mattress. Considering we spend around one-third of our life in bed it is worth doing some research into getting it right.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
A. Our Brand is The White Willow. We conceptualized The White Willow, as White for us symbolizes calmness and peace and Willow is the bark of a tree, which is part of the nature like being close to home. Thus, we wanted to offer a range of Luxury Home products that would make others feel relaxed, calm, comfortable and feel at home anywhere they reside.
2.Who is your target Audience/clients?
Anyone who is seeking comfort that is well suited to their body needs such as preference of size, height, shape and comfort. We offer customized products, which provide comfort that is loved by all.
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target area?
Our Brand is purely an Online only brand that caters to masses from all parts of the world.
4. What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
In today’s day and age, numerous people suffer from back problems and other body discomfort due to long hectic office working hours, wrong siting at home, not exercising enough or getting adequate sleep. All these factors add up to long terms issues which we work towards resolving through effective sleep solutions and providing a vast range of products – Memory foam Pillows, Mattresses and cushions that have been beneficial for all.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
Although my Father is a foam manufacturer, my involvement with Memory foam started quite unexpectedly. A friend, whose old pillows were causing back pains and their doctor had recommended a change, approached me for guidance. At that time, I was doing research on Memory foam and learned how good and comfortable the pillows were as compared to other materials like Polyfill or microfiber, which sag or become uncomfortable after few months of usage. I also found that such comfort doesn’t come cheap as the prices were high as Rs 14,000-15000 and were unaffordable for many. Having already spotted the opportunity and gap in the market, I discussed this idea with my father and so, our dinner table conversations started revolving only around starting a brand, that would sell Memory foam products which would be of very supreme quality and price friendly. This eventually led to the birth of my brand, The White Willow, with an objective of not just selling pillows but creating smart and aware consumers who can understand the importance of using the right kind of pillow well suited to their sleep and comfort.
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
Today, with the growing demand of Memory foam, many traders and small sellers have entered the online game, where they try to sell Memory foam products which are cheaper, but do not bring the quality we offer. However, with sweet pricing, and discount offers, customers are lured into purchasing substandard products, which create customer respite, and dissatisfaction and often discourages them to buy products. Such sellers create stiff competition and also disrupt the market with their fake products. We try our best to make the customers aware and help them choose the right product, which is of good quality, and at a good price.
Our biggest differentiator is the customer service and the satisfaction rate we have experienced. I personally speak with most customers and resolve their queries. We spend a lot of time understanding the requirements of each customer. Most of our conversations are about suggesting to the customers the most suitable product according to their needs.
7. What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
We plan to explore the international market and look at expanding into offline space.
8.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
We are looking at development of new products, identifying new markets working on research and development.
9.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
No. We are completely bootstrapped.
10.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
A major challenge we faced was how to figure out the right thickness of pillows, which could help the consumers by relieving neck pain and other bodily discomfort and ultimately providing comfortable sleep. Memory foam greatly depends on the quality of raw material, the right composition of chemicals, and the density.
Since memory foam products are bulky, finding the right logistics partner, who could deliver the pillows to consumers in a timely manner, was another challenge. Memory foam is also costlier than other microfiber or traditional filled pillows, which made it hard to convince customers to go for it.
Highlighting the benefits of memory foam after conducting extensive research and creating the right product helped in overcoming these challenges.
11.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Being an entrepreneur is a 24-7 Job, which never ends. Our roles are never completely defined, as we have to wear several hats, and be flexible about changing and evolving our roles with the need of the hour. Working for someone, is like having an anchor, who would stand for you if you fall, but an entrepreneur is someone with no anchor, we have to sail our ship singlehandedly, and be the leader to guide the team towards success. With a business like ours, we are always short of time, and the work requires us to be highly dynamic and proactive. Entrepreneurship is about taking ownership, full responsibility for the effective running of the business.
12.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Like I said, being an entrepreneur is a 24-7 Job, even though sometimes our business requires long working hours, but the flexibility of running an online brand, makes it easier for me to stay connected with family and friends. A good entrepreneur is someone who knows the art of balancing their personal life with work life.
13.What is your USP, which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains?
Our USP is that we only sell products developed with 100 % high quality filler-free foam and imported materials.
14.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
Meghna Abhishek Jain
Founder & CEO
The White Willow