Recently, TheTalko was lucky enough to speak with Alice Chau, the manufacturer manager for Reviv, a weighted blanket that’s been specially designed to help us fall asleep faster and sleep restfully through the night. Chau was nice enough to spend some time with us and inform us on how Reviv is a blanket that can change our lives, starting with our sleep cycle. The Reviv company claims that their weighted blanket helps with reducing anxiety, releasing melatonin or serotonin and can help with providing an all-around deeper sleep leading to an improved mood the next day. They also claim that the Reviv blanket is great for those folks suffering from anxiety disorders, PTSD and autism. Gulping down some coffee, we eagerly sat up and paid extra attention to how we could use a weighted blanket to live our best lives.
TheTalko (TT): How did you come up with the idea for a weighted blanket?
Alice Chau (AC): So basically, our founder is Nicholas Bennett and the idea really came from Nick. He has an autistic nephew and his family went through many different therapies and his nephew’s pediatrician recommended a weighted blanket. From then on, Nick was inspired to design the perfect weighted blanket. Nick used to work for a fabric company so he deals with a lot of different kinds of fabrics and knows the ins and outs of the industry and that’s how he learned about Lyocell bamboo fabric. We bought a lot of different weighted blankets from different companies and tried them all out, tested them. We used Lyocell to make a better weighted blanket. That’s how Reviv came about.
TT: So is Lyocell exclusive to Reviv?
AC: Yes, Lyocell is exclusive to Reviv. If you search online, you’ll find many weighted blankets that use bamboo but many of them are not clear about what kind of bamboo they use. One of them is bamboo viscose (viscose is another word for rayon) and the other is lyocell. Viscose is not eco-friendly and it has a lot of different chemicals which are blended into the fabric. On the other hand, Lyocell only uses one kind of solvent which is FDA-approved, recyclable and eco-friendly.
TT: What lead to the decision to use Lyocell bamboo and glass beads?
AC: One of Nick’s associates works with manufacturing fabric and that’s how he came across Lycocell fabric. The glass beads are not the regular way that plastic pellets, that are used with other weighted blankets, are. Our glass beads are as tiny as grains of sugar, super fine and very smooth.
TT: The blanket and cover set is currently available on Kickstarter. Have you received comments from people who are eager to use their blanket for therapeutic needs?
AC: We have received a lot of different comments from people with autism and PTSD and they would like to try our product. We have product testers now, before the launch, and we would love to arrange a day for the people who have reached out to test our product very soon.
TT: What makes the Reviv blanket eco-friendly?
AC: First, our 100% Lyocell bamboo blanket material. Bamboo also has a lot of natural properties. It’s hypoallergenic and thermo-regulated and made from natural cellulose found in wood pulp. It’s a completely eco-friendly product. Our glass beads are also recyclable.
TT: How can the blanket be cleaned?
AC: We focused a lot on the stitching of the blanket to make sure it’s strong and that there will be no puncture. The fabric will last for a long time. We also offer a cover with the blanket to protect it. It’s a heavy blanket so you wouldn’t want to wash it as often as you wash a regular blanket. It’s going to be a hassle if you wash it too often so people can wash the cover instead. We don’t recommend washing it more than once every 2-3 months.
TT: Do the glass beads give the blanket a cooling effect?
AC: The blanket is highly breathable and thermo-regulated and it can be used for both summer and winter.
TT: The blanket is both hypoallergenic and antibacterial, making it ideal for the elderly and people with allergies and/or immune system problems. Is this blanket also recommended for children?
AC: Yes, absolutely. We offer the 8-pound option especially for children older than 7 years old. Their weight is usually around 65 to 75 pounds so an 8-pound weighted blanket is good for them. We don’t recommend this blanket for very small children or toddlers.
TT: Can you tell us how long the creation process was from start to finish?
AC: Nick started the idea back in the end of 2017. He started to do some market research. We got a big selection of weighted blankets and found that the quality was subpar and the fabric was heavy fabric so you really can only use it for winter so that’s when we started the idea at the beginning of 2018 of making a better weighted blanket. We started with heavy research on bamboo fabric, we talked to a raw materials supplier, found a manufacturer and set up everything before our launch on October 30th so it has been about a year. Our team has 5 people, a CEO, a logistics manager, I’m the manufacturing manager and handle quality control, we have a social media manager and we also have an intern. We’ll start shipping in February.
TT: What is the hardest part of launching a new product into the market?
AC: I would say the hardest part is bringing our product to the customer. Right now, there are many weighted blankets in the market. So we’ve had to figure out the channels that can bring the most attention to people to bring our brand out there. Branding and marketing before Kickstarter have been the most difficult part but it was worth it and we learned a lot along the way.
TT: ... The most rewarding?
AC: For myself, I didn’t know much about marketing before and I learned a lot about the logistics of it. It’s very easy to miss the important details of the logistics. It’s just been a huge experience for us.
TT: Where do you expect to see the Reviv blanket in 5-10 years?
AC: It’s hard to say. Right now, we are currently just on Kickstarter so we are new to the market. We are focused on the next 3 years. There might be a very high potential for us to go to e-commerce based on our crowdfunding.
TT: What makes the Reviv blanket different from other weighted sleep therapy products?
AC: First of all, we focus on the quality of our products. Our goal was to make a better weighted blanket than what was previously on the market. Other brands just have cotton or other products but none have Lyocell bamboo so that’s our selling point. It’s the best quality product in a weighted blanket.
TT: Alice, thank you so much for your time. I enjoyed speaking with you.
AC: Thank you so much for the opportunity. We really appreciate it. It’s our honor.
If you are someone who can use a weighted blanket in their life, you can join Reviv on their Kickstarter campaign. Here's to a better night's sleep and a better mood the next morning!