NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - A Brooklyn-based couple is shaking up the bedding industry. Vicki and Rich Fulop came up with the idea of selling sheets direct to consumer after a weekend getaway. Vicki says they slept on really fantastic sheets and tried to buy them from the hotel, only to find out that they cost $800.
The Fulops decided it was time to make high quality sheets more affordable. They named their New York-based company Brooklinen and got to work learning everything they could about bedding.
Lesson number one: Thread count isn't everything. Rich says thread count is important, but not the most important thing. It's one of several factors that make for a good set of sheets.
What's even more important is where the cotton is from, how it's made, how it's woven, and the length of the cotton staple. A long staple makes for a finer, stronger thread that's really soft, but also stands up to constant washing and pills less.
Vicki and Rich decided to go with 270-thread-count long staple single-ply Egyptian cotton sheets that they manufacture in Israel.
They got Brooklinen going last summer, selling one fabric in six sizes and five colors starting at $99. They launched on Kickstarter with a goal of $50,000 in sales in 30 days, and blew past that, selling 2,000 orders and bringing in $237,000.
Today, Vicki and Rich are still the only full-time Brooklinen employees, but in the last year their business has grown. Rich says they'll soon reach their 10,0000th customer, and they hit $1 million in sales in their first 9 months, working out of their apartment.
They've since moved into a new office space in Brooklyn, and have added to their collection of bedding. They now sell both classic and luxe sheets in 10 different colors. They've also added duvets, comforters, Pendleton blankets, pillows, detergent from The Laundress, and even candles.
Rich says they wanted to take a global approach so they can share stories about where their products are sourced and how they're made. Their blankets are made in the United States, their comforters and pillows are made in Canada, their sheets are made in Israel, and the detergent they sell is made in New York.
So what's next?
They hope to expand and sell products for all areas of the home. Next on their list: towels for the bathroom and the beach.