Nadia Galloway is a mompreneur who has always had a passion for children, the arts, and innovation. As a proud wife and mother of two children – Benjamin, 12 years old and Nola, 2 years old – she always understood and valued the importance of discovering natural gifts, a quality early childhood education and protecting children’s hearts and minds through love and safety. Nadia is the founder of PillowSheets, innovative sheets for babies that recreate the womb, helping babies sleep more comfortably and safer while giving parents peace of mind.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I knew from very early on that I was built for business. I never pictured my future working at a corporation. However, I realized that it was important to understand how business worked so I worked for one. I always had business and product ideas I knew could generate profit, solve problems, and enhance experiences and realized I just needed to take that leap of faith and begin with one!
After I started my first business, The Benjamin Preparatory School of Academics and Performing Arts, I realized that combining a passion for what you love, executing the vision in excellence, believing in yourself, and partnering with the right team, was certainly the secret sauce that I could apply to all of my ideas and businesses. Hence, I was inspired to begin PillowSheets with the same determination.
Armed with knowing the current safety practices and also the issues that parents and caretakers faced every day, my motivation was to invent a product that could help babies get the sleep that they needed and help parents get the rest they desired and deserved. So I created my brand called, PillowSheets.
Tell us about your business.
The Benjamin Preparatory School of Academics and Performing Arts is a unique educational institution where children’s artistic talents are nurtured as vigorously as their academic abilities.
Our research-backed system aims to cultivate child’s cognitive and motor development through daily exposure to the arts, academics, athletic and a bilingual curriculum. As early education is fundamental to youth brain development, we discard the cookie-cutter approach to traditional early childhood education.
PillowSheets is the perfect answer to a good night’s sleep for EVERYBODY—parents and their babies. According to the golden rule of bedtime advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should lay their newborns face up in a bare crib or bassinet with nothing other than a snuggly-fitted top sheet.
With bed sheets being the only recommended crib accessory, PillowSheets was designed to cradle your baby in a snug embrace, mimicking the womb environment. Our polyfill pillows are stitched securely in place on our bed sheets, providing comfort and gentle head elevation.
The polyfill pillows are strategically positioned to mimic a womb-like enclosure; and they are reinforced with double stitching to ensure the filling won’t shift, even after a lifetime of use.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
PillowSheets is offering some great coupon codes for 20% off on our Facebook Page. Also, we have some giveaways coming up with Healthy Mom & Baby Magazine.
I personally have been nominated for top 40 under 40 by The University of Georgia and have received numerous accolades for being a top Mompreneur.
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
To get the business started, I had to take my sketches and ideas to a seamstress that could make my product come alive. At that point I sought the assistance of a patent professional and filed for a patent search as well as a provisional patent to ensure that my idea would be protected once I started to shop for manufacturers.
I had to obtain Non-Disclosure Agreements as I looked for potential manufacturers. From there, I tested the product, got sample groups and mom’s babies to sleep in my product to see what worked what did not, then I had to choose the best quality design.
From concept to conception, I had to do a lot of research, planning and executing. Obtaining appropriate licensing, patenting, designing, prototyping, sampling, marketing, manufacturing, were initial steps to launching our brand.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
The most effective way of raising awareness has been in our results, customer demonstrations, thorough product knowledge, trade shows and various media outlets. Once our consumer is educated about our distinct services and products, we tend to gain our customer base. We find that happy customers bring other happy customers!
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Some of the biggest challenges was finding a manufacturer that could simulate and duplicate the product that I wanted. Working with the manufacturer probably was the longest process.
Samples went back-and-forth for months trying to get the product exactly the way that I wanted. It had to capture the exact vision and essence of how I wanted Pillowsheets to be presented.
Then after the marketing company I hired got the messaging and branding together, we worked on the website and got business cards and marketing materials printed. The rest is history. We officially launched our brand at the ABC Kids Expo in October.
How did you overcome these challenges?
We were able to overcome these challenges by being diligent in our pursuit to not sacrifice the quality or standard in which we were seeking. Additionally, we had to ensure that the quality of the product was exactly what we were looking for in the value, quality, craftmanship, and negotiating manufacturing price points and ensuring the products were uncompromised by testing and sampling. With all of these things in mind, we had to ensure that margins and profitability could be achieved.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
My faith, inspiring music and quotes, allow me to remember that every setback is certainly a set up for my success.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Don’t compete with other people. Compete with yourself by offering solutions and innovations to unique offerings that only you can offer!
What is the best advice you have received recently?
It is always great to be driven and have goals, but do not ignore the ones that you have already accomplished.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
- Identify your natural gifts
- Discover your passion
- Believe in yourself
- Equip yourself with knowledge
- Become an expert in what you do
- Have a plan
- Align yourself with the right personal and professional people
- Invest in yourself
- Never give up
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I absolutely love researching. Searching the world wide web is a wonderful resource for me. Looking at what products exist, the global marketplace, consumer trends, parents blogs, and ongoing experts in the field. Google has become a close friend of mine.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“Invent It, Sell It, Bank It” by Lori Greiner.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Networking with buyers and our ecommerce opportunities.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Our goal is to make Pillowsheets a household brand that literally redefines “sleeping like a baby”. We would like to educate our consumer about safe sleep practices and increase product sales. We are certainly looking to get our products in some choice big brand stores that we feel align very well with the Pillowsheets brand.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.