The inside story of how we developed the Easy Zip up Bed Sheet and launched our pandemic baby: Marylehome.
It was May 2020, just around the beginning of the pandemic. It was something the world not anticipated, and we were all forced to stay at home. But this also meant that we had extra time. Time to chill? Work out? Time to just loiter around the house? Or maybe launch a new brand...
It was this loitering around the house that gave us an idea. Anitika (my partner) and I decided to look around to house to see things that could be improved. Almost every item in sight had gone through a dose of innovation in the recent past. But why had no one updated bedding yet? It is a chore that we need to do regularly, but one that people absolutely despise. Why do we have to lift the mattress up each time we wanted to change bed sheets?
The next day, we sat down and started thinking, and then we started sketching. None of us had ever designed a product before. We just drew what we thought was okay, from an end user’s perspective. Our mission was to solve a problem that not many had thought of solving yet, but I can bet that many had experienced the pain of it. We wanted to make changing bed sheets easier… The main question for us was: How can our bed sheet solve an old annoyance without compromising on quality? It took us a few days to get a design that could work.
Next, we wanted to develop a sample as quickly as possible. We started off on Amazon. I ordered 2 basic fitted sheets and a 50m roll of zip. Once they arrived, I asked a local tailor to come over, and explained to him what needs to be done. At first he was confused, but then he said something which literally translates to “Whatever, if you want it, I’ll try to make it”.
A few days later he came back with our very first prototype. Our eyes opened wide, and jaws fell to the floor. We could see it, right there in front of us, our vision came to reality!
We used it for a few days and made some tweaks. Once we were convinced that this is it, it was time for the next step: manufacturing. We had absolutely no background in bedding. But I knew that India is a global hub for good quality bedding, and I thought that with some asking around I should be able to get a pair of sheets made. Sounds easy right? Wrong.
I made a list of some bedding manufacturers in India and started calling them. Explaining this concept to people over the phone is a mess. Especially to busy people who are already making sheets. “Who are these people, telling us how to design sheets?” they wondered. For our part, we did not want to work with someone who did not understand our vision or believe in the concept.
Fortunately, we did find a great family-owned manufacturing facility, who had all the necessary certifications in place and who really took the time and patience to understand our concept. After a lot of going back and forth, a lot of samples, tweaks, alterations, and maths (oh, the maths…), we eventually developed the final working prototype which could be manufactured at scale. We did some budgeting, sourced the fabric and zips and gave the go-ahead for production. We also designed and sourced the packaging and labels at this time.
The second half of 2020 and first half of 2021 was spent in 2 things: getting our inventory made and shipped to the UK, and developing the sales and marketing channels for launch (again which we had no experience of). In this time, we also teamed up with a great fulfilment partner in the UK who would hold our stock and deliver any orders we received.
It took some hard work to develop our online store and social media channels. We had to learn web design, copywriting, SEO, photography, content creation, ads, and many other things. But we had more time than budget, and free YouTube tutorials were calling our name…
We were initially due to launch around Christmas 2020. But the ongoing pandemic caused a lot of delays in both production and shipping.
We finally launched on 21st July 2021. Marylehome easy zipper bed sheets were available for purchase. This was our pandemic baby: Marylehome. Since then, the sheets have been bought and loved by countless number of people.
When Arthr got in touch and said that our sheets might help people with Arthritis, we were like ‘wow’. Throughout the whole of the previous year, when we were sketching, designing, manufacturing and launching, we just thought we were creating a product that saves time. We did not know that something that we designed might help people with Arthritis. That was our proudest moment ever.
We are now in the process of designing more products and also improving our sheets. We believe our products are the future of bedding. In today’s stress-laden society, time is more valuable than ever. We want to continue inventing and innovating, with inspirational new ideas that save time, effort and money. That’s why we focus on creating products that offer the utmost convenience, along with all the luxury and quality.
Anitika & Saurabh