Exclusive Interview: Stephan Brown Talks Morning Efficiency With Primary Goods Bedding

Every morning I wake up to find that, much to my dismay, I kicked my top sheet to the end of my bed in my sleep. Somehow, I’m always left with only a comforter. As comfortable as that sheet is, I can’t seem to keep it in place. I can’t be the only one with this problem…right? Last week, I learned about a solution to my bedtime struggle: Primary Goods bedding.

Primary Goods, a luxury bedding company in Los Angeles, has created bedding that is not only extremely soft and comfortable but also innovative. The top sheet snaps to the duvet, which means the sheet stays in place all night. Plus, making the bed becomes a breeze.

Stephan Brown, Director of Audience Development at Primary Goods, agreed to give TheTalko the inside scoop about the company and their bedding restock, which is happening this week on July 6th.

TheTalko (TT): Can you tell me about the start of Primary Goods?

Stephan Brown (SB): Primary Goods started with an idea in 2013: we loved the idea of making our beds, but actually having to do it every morning was just a chore. Life is too short for that, so we asked ourselves: what if all you had to do to make your bed was to fluff your duvet covers? With a solution in mind (but no money to actually act on it), we created a Kickstarter campaign. The idea of not having to make your bed the traditional way, along with the luxurious materials we offered, really resonated with people -- and the campaign blew up, achieving well over 5x its goals.

Soon, Primary Goods was all over the news, being covered by dozens of outlets. But no one on our team had any experience dealing with textiles or manufacturers, and since there was no playbook on how to do this right, we made just about every mistake possible and lost a ton of money (more than $375,000, to be precise) along the way. It would’ve been easy to cut corners then, but we were uncompromising in our vision to bring the best bedding, ever. Turns out caring is [very] expensive… who knew?

Long story short, we eventually delivered our first batch in 2014, and since then, we’ve been growing rapidly -- we’ve grown our team from 2 people to more than 35 now, and have sold more than 75,000 bedding sets to date. But all of this doesn’t matter if customers aren’t happy with our bedding, and so that will always remain the core of our focus.

(Via: Primary Goods)

TT: What makes Primary Goods' bedding unique?

SB: Essentially, we are transforming the way people sleep by letting them sleep with all the benefits of a top sheet, and none of the problems (bunching, overheating, sheets ending up on the floor, messy bed-making process, etc.).

Our duvet cover snaps to the top sheet, eliminating all hassle of having to make and organize your bed. Just fluff your duvet cover every morning, and you’re good to go!

Our bedding is made out of the highest quality hypoallergenic French linen, so it’s not only breathable and airy, but also incredibly comfortable and temperature controlled all year round.

We focus on what really matters to the customers: luxurious comfort, and a hassle-free bed-making experience every morning. While we’ve developed 4 amazing colors with our customers’ input, we generally don’t spend too much time on the things other bedding brands spend their time on (celebrity endorsements, superficial colors and patterns, etc.). We stick to what matters.

TT: What is (are) Primary Goods’ motto(s)?

SB: Focus on what matters: not celebrity endorsements, marketing, or superficial colors/patterns. Our customers come to us because we make the most comfortable and innovative sheets, period. Everything else doesn’t matter as much.

Good values go a long way: you can’t make perfect products, unless those making the products are perfectly content with working for us.

Never, ever, ever, compromise: customers count on our sheets for a better night’s sleep, and in turn, a better day. We won’t take that for granted.

No “designer” prices; just well-designed ones: customers, long at last, deserve the best bedding at prices that’ll help them sleep better at night. We owe it to them to minimize any markups and only take the profits we need.

(Via: Primary Goods)

TT: Can you tell me a bit about your product restock and what this means for customers?

SB: Thousands of people have been waiting patiently for our signature French linens and bedding sets to become available, and we're super excited to announce that the wait is finally over. This month, we're restocking all colors and sizes of our French linen top sheets, including the complete bedding sets with our signature snap design.

No one likes waiting, but the payoff is worth the time it takes to make changes based on customer feedback, manufacture the best possible linens, and ship out the orders. Linen is notoriously difficult to produce, but you can't rush perfection. We refuse to send out anything less than what our customers expect and deserve. We could stock massive quantities like our competitors, but we care more too much about the emotional and physical well-being of our consumers to ship them something of which we're not 100% proud.

At the end of the day, this restock isn't just about fulfilling orders. It's about fulfilling the promise to our customers that with our products, they'll live happier, healthier lives overall. And as always, if they're dissatisfied with their purchase for any reason, we'll offer them free exchanges and replacements -- no questions asked. The demand is high, but we're holding on.

TT: You mentioned that you will only keep enough inventory to last 3-4 months. Why is that? Is this the approach that you usually take with your products?

SB: We're not just a linen and bedding company, we're a health and wellness company. That means our priority is making our customers feel better and live happier lives. There's no way we can achieve that goal without listening to their wishes, and fulfilling those wishes to the best of our ability. We take their feedback very seriously, so keeping a smaller inventory means we can implement their requested changes faster than if we manufactured a massive, 2-3 year supply of our products.

Not only that, but crafting our signature French linens is no small task. If we ask our customers to wait several weeks for our products, we want to make sure we get it right, even if that means taking a little extra time and care.

TT: Can you tell me about the material?

SB: Our bedding is created from 100% French flax linen that is grown and harvested in France. Because of the year-round climate in France, growing the flax linen actually requires no irrigation – just rain!

Before shipping it out to customers, we’ve developed a highly innovative method to stonewash each and every sheet with white volcanic ashes to not only make it even softer, but also create the luxuriously relaxed classic linen look that’ll look great without ironing/steaming.

Because of our linen's high moisture absorbency rate, our bedding not only gets softer and softer after every wash, but just as importantly, it stays cool throughout the year too! The specific linen we use can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture before it starts to feel damp.

Linen, based on our research, is the strongest of vegetable fibers and is at least 2-3 times stronger than cotton. What this means, in reality, is pretty simple: if you buy our linen bedding today, it’d be strong enough for you to pass it onto the next generation.

We don’t use any harmful fertilizers or pesticides in any stage of the manufacturing process.

TT: What makes Primary Goods a sustainable and eco-friendly company?

SB: Finding the right factory was not an easy task for us…in fact, it took over a year of traveling around the world to discover a manufacturer that worked with our vision. At Primary Goods, we believe that high-quality products can only be made under high-quality working conditions. All of our products are produced in a happy, professional and friendly work environment.

We are a sustainable brand that cares deeply about the origin and materials of our brand. Primary Goods uses eco-friendly materials and advocates for fair-labor practices in our factories.

(Via: Primary Goods)

TT: Are there any statistics that the company is proud of and willing to share?

SB: 100% of our returned products are washed and donated to a variety of charities, including the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, The Samaritan House of Denver, Goodwill, Good Shepherd Shelter (focused on battered women) and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center. We don’t do this because it’ll get us more customers, but because we simply think it’s the right thing to do.

Because of our rigorous compliance standards, our factory workers report an increase of 37% in overall happiness and overall work-life balance. Most companies (small and large) audit their suppliers and manufacturers once a year. We do so every 60 days, to ensure they’re still meeting our standards of not just safety and cleanliness, but also happiness and work-life balance.

Our competitors spend most of their time and energy running ads. Until very recently, we spent exactly 0 hours and $0 on marketing, because each and every sale happened organically. Customers love the product, so they tell their friends about it.

Our internal data shows that the great majority of our sales (75%+) are driven from word-of-mouth. We don’t incentivize (either by discounts, coupons, sales, etc.) these referrals, and they happen 100% organically.

If you’re as intrigued by Primary Goods bedding as we are, you can check out their great products here. Keep your eyes on the site for their restock tomorrow!


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