In early 2013, Ariel Kaye left her job in advertising and a couple weeks later, she was on a plane to Europe working on her brand deck and researching the best fabric mills on the continent. Now she runs Parachute Home.
The brand started with the sheets that are still part of their core collection. When they launched, they sold out in the first weekend. While shopping for sheets one day in a traditional retail store, Ariel had a hunch that she wasn't the only one who felt confused and overwhelmed by the sheet buying process, and she was right.
In this episode of Well Made Ariel gets into the nitty gritty of just what it takes to make home goods that are comfortable and easy on the planet. She talks about the myth of thread counts, the success of the physical Parachute spaces, and the importance of a fabric certification you probably haven't head of.
“I realized there had never been a brand that asked me how I slept.”
Every bed on Parachute.com looks like one that you want to melt into. They're not too tidy, but still fresh, minimal, and comfy. And the comfort of those sheets actually starts with the manufacturing which happens in Italian mills that have been doing it for generations.
With no prior experience in textiles, Ariel had to learn a ton and she spared no time starting with the best mills in the world and meeting up with 15 factories in Europe. She learned about fabrics, dyes, and the sheer space it takes to make a single sheet.
“I definitely wanted [the brand] to feel inspiring without being unattainable.”
With her previous experience in consumer behavior research, Ariel saw a huge opportunity in the bedding industry — not only for improved quality, but for more transparency and education so that customers could buy with confidence. There was no brand loyalty in the sheet business, which seemed crazy to Ariel. We spend a third of our lives in bed, so new sheets should actually be an important decision.
With the boom of vertical commerce brands like Warby Parker, it was clear that brands were succeeding by really focusing on the people they were servicing and becoming hubs for community and inspiration. Now Parachute is one of those brands.
Ariel is a Venice native and after a 10-year stint in New York, she returned to Venice to launch Parachute. Now the Parachute store (with the Parachute Hotel right upstairs) is on one of Venice's main streets.
After a super successful pop-up shop, Parachute decided to open a physical location to give customers the opportunity to feel the sheets and pick the best ones for them. The next level of this is the Parachute Hotel, which is like a front-page AirBNB. You can rent it out for stays or events to get the full Parachute Home experience.
Header image via Sakara.
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