The Sheet Society
– Success Stories
In the last 5 years, product innovation has transformed dramatically. Not only has it changed where shoppers spend their time and money – on less complicated, more relatable products – it’s also made a hard pivot towards consumers looking at imbibing sustainability in their consumption patterns itself.
One of the players in this domain has been Sheet Society. Now a household name, Sheet Society was birthed by Hayley and Andy Worley in 2017 at a time when they were beginning to grow their young family and discovering what makes for a great nights’ sleep.
From the very beginning, the business has been driven by its mission to tread a little lighter on the planet by creating bedding that uses natural fabrics, conscious production and delivery processes, and of course, timeless designs that divorce you from the need to purchase new bedding every season.
The humble beginnings are inspirational, no doubt, but there’s something different about the way Sheet Society runs – and it extends to the custom sleep experience they create for each and every individual. In Hayley’s words, “Buy just what you need, mix and match as you please – make your bed yours.”Haley Worly, Founder, TheSheetSociety
Hayley’s pretty much been the driving force of the business. She started working from a shared space and now has an office in Brunswick, Victoria where they do all their fulfillment in-house.
We spoke with Hayley to discuss how it all began, what continues to fuel her passion, and what it takes to be successful. “In the early days, it was a constant struggle. I remember trying new things every single day.”
Hayley didn’t seem to sugarcoat things and went on to discuss how hard it was to start a new business. “I would come into my little shared office and think, ‘What can I do today to build this brand?’ You just had to have some real level of resilience and the ability to try anything new, brush it off if that didn’t work, and then try again the next day. It was a constant struggle each and every day to understand what I was trying to build. And while sometimes things would work, sometimes they’d seriously flop.”
It wasn’t all bad though, as Hayley reminisced, wishing she had taken a step back during those early days to enjoy this new venture. “I felt like I was so eager for it to become a bigger business that I didn’t really stop and think ‘Hey, I’m going to enjoy the startup phase.’ I was just so focused on what was ahead.”
Growth, marketing, and the right mindset
When it came to growing the business, we gained some valuable insights into the two key areas that Sheet Society focussed on, and the philosophy they stand by. “We really focused on digital marketing and spending money on targeting the right people with the right messages through Instagram and Facebook. We probably launched a little bit too late for organic growth, so we were really happy to pay to see the right people. In terms of digital marketing, we’ve focused on making a great product for our customers, and giving them the best service. And I think that really speaks for itself.”
From the start, Hayley and Andy were both focused on delivering a product they could be proud of while instilling a personal touch coupled with the best possible service.
“We write handwritten notes with every order and our product is just the highest quality that we can make. So I think when you focus on these little things, they all come together as part of the bigger growth goals.”
What success means to the duo
If you’re chasing success, it’s important that you’re aware of what that actually means to you – be it monetary, lifestyle-based, or a mindset. As Hayley said, “Success can mean different things for different people in different businesses”.
And so, we asked what it meant to her and Andy.
“For us, success isn’t revenue and it isn’t customer growth. It’s actually walking in every day to the office and enjoying what we do. We’re really passionate about our products and our people. Success is creating beautiful products and selling them to beautiful customers. For us, success is more about a feeling and less about a metric.”Haley Worly, Founder, The Sheet Society
A true startup success story
As if starting a business isn’t hard enough, Hayley hit a major road bump when she became pregnant only a couple of years into launching. Being unable to find someone to cover for her while on maternity leave, it was at this point that her husband Andy left his job to help Hayley in running the business.
“At the time, our skill sets were different. He didn’t have the same skills as I did, but he certainly had the same passion. And so, by handing over control of the business after the initial phase, he was able to focus on growth in other areas that he was experienced in. By the time I returned from maternity leave, we’d grown the team and the business by a sizable amount.”Haley Worly, Founder, The Sheet Society
Hayley’s story shows that it is possible to be an entrepreneur and start a family at the same time, albeit with a lot of hard work and support. And whether you’re pregnant or not, you can’t continue to run a business and do everything all by yourself. When asked about what’s been the most important skill for her business, Hayley said, “In my opinion, the single most important skill in business is to be able to communicate. You certainly aren’t able to do everything yourself and you simply can’t do it all on your own. It’s important to communicate your vision, bring other people on the journey with you, and actually lean on others for different skills when you need to.”
All this effort and dedication towards their business has resulted in Sheet Society having amassed a cult following with media houses – they’re in the pages of Vogue, GQ, InStyle, and of course, on televisions’ ‘The Block’ too.
Pause Awards winner of 2020!
We couldn’t end our chat without asking Hayley what winning the Pause Awards did for her business and her life.
“The feeling of getting that recognition out there in the market has really helped us level-up among our peers. Personally speaking, winning the Pause Award has given me the recognition that I’ve been working so hard for. Until now, we’ve really just had our heads down and have been focusing on the business that we haven’t stopped and actually recognised the work that we’ve managed to do. It really is a fantastic achievement, and we couldn’t be happier to have won it.“
We’re always happy and humbled to see Pause Awards winners get the recognition they deserve. As business owners, they’re too often focussed on the day-to-day and are always looking towards the next win to bag. And so watching them reflect on these moments of magic is nothing short of amazing.
If Hayley has taught us anything, it is to jump in and get started, ask for help when you need it, and to back yourself even when circumstances change. At the end of the day, your business should work for you, and not the other way around.
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