Arrow

The Sheet Society
– Success Stories

17 June, 2022
The Sheet Society <br>– Success Stories | News | Pause Awards
George Hedon, founder and CEO, Pause Fest & Awards
George Hedon
17 June, 2022
Share

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.”

The Sheet Society product shot

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
The Sheet Society, product shot, pause awards winner 2021
The Sheet Society product shot

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.

This article is powered by MYOB.


Let Pause Awards tell your story
Entering first-timers
Check 2023 Pause Awards winners
Winners
Pause Awards Night: the community of champs
Pause Awards Night
2023 Years Summary page is here
Summary Page

Related posts


See who won in 2023


Read more

Category tracks



The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


Categories


  • Always Evolving New

    Acknowledges a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a company, encourages employee development, and always looks for ways to optimise and innovate operations.


  • Big & Mighty Culture New

    Recognises companies (51-1000 employees) for their exceptional efforts in cultivating a culture that champions innovation.


  • Diverse Co.

    Celebrates workplaces dedicated to fostering innovation through a vibrant tapestry of diverse talents and perspectives.


  • Small & Mighty Culture New

    Applauds small teams of fewer than 50 employees for their remarkable ability to foster innovation and set new benchmarks in their domain.


  • Work Sweet Work

    Acknowledges companies that have achieved extraordinary employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, creating an exemplary workplace culture.


  • Company of the Year

    Honours an outstanding company that not only showcases exemplary leadership and resilience but also demonstrates a clear, quantifiable impact over the past year.


  • Customer Obsessed New

    Applauds prioritisation, understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers, including feedback, personalised services and ensuring high satisfaction.


  • Defiant Ones

    Recognises firms that lead technological innovation, setting new standards and defining the future of their industries.


  • Hammer

    Celebrates companies that have not only defined success on their own terms but have also concretely demonstrated their triumphs over the past year.


  • I Wish I'd Done That

    Applauds ingenious, simple solutions in niche markets that spark a universal sentiment of admiration.


  • On the Rise

    Celebrates early-stage startups, under 4 years, that have shown remarkable progress and success in their initial years.


  • Prodigy

    Recognises young visionaries under 30 with outstanding talents and achievements, setting them apart in their fields.


  • Singularity

    Highlights AI-driven companies that are pioneering new services or integrating AI to create innovative products.


  • Women in Business

    Celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders who are forging paths for future generations by creating more equitable opportunities.


  • B-Good

    Recognises businesses that redefine commercial success by positively transforming our economic system for the benefit of all stakeholders.


  • Circular Pioneer

    Celebrates companies at the forefront of circular economy practices, making substantial and sustainable differences.


  • Ethical Leadership New

    Commends companies exemplifying leadership in environmental and social governance, setting standards in corporate responsibility and ethical practices.


  • Going Green

    Acknowledges companies leading large-scale sustainable initiatives, addressing critical areas like clean energy and environmental justice.


  • Collab New

    Honours strategic partnerships and alliances with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths, access new markets, and share resources for synergistic growth and innovation.


  • Design First

    Celebrates companies where design is the heartbeat of innovation, engaging the whole team in crafting groundbreaking products.


  • Going Global New

    Applauds companies that have expanded their reach globally, showcasing exceptional growth and international success.


  • Great Pivot

    Acknowledges companies that adeptly navigate change, leveraging insights to pivot towards delivering outstanding products.


  • Movement

    Recognises unforgettable event experiences that resonate emotionally, drive social change, or achieve viral status.


  • New Model

    Honours businesses revolutionising markets with elegant and disruptive business models.


  • Next Level New

    Applauds companies which had successful strategic acquisition and integration of another entity, staff or an asset that allowed them to further grow and scale their services.


  • Wildfire

    Celebrates companies that have rapidly and significantly impacted their marketplace, online and offline, setting new standards for success.


  • Angel

    Honours visionary angel investors who've significantly contributed to early-stage startups, guiding them toward success.


  • C-Suite

    Recognises exceptional leadership qualities in high-ranking executives, showcasing their management and interpersonal excellence.


  • Creative Maverick New

    Honours unconventional thinkers with exceptional abilities to execute typically unimaginable initiatives, expertly coordinate teams, secure funding or successfully launch multiple ventures.


  • Ecosystem Star

    Celebrates individuals who energise and nurture their communities, fostering engagement and advocacy.


  • Future Builder

    Recognises the determination and resilience of founders who've embarked on the challenging journey of starting their own ventures.


  • Quiet Achiever New

    Applauds the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts have led to flawless project executions and exceeded expectations.


  • Splash Down Under New

    Acknowledges international companies making a noteworthy entrance into the Australian market, enriching the local business ecosystem.


  • TopCoder

    Recognises developers for their outstanding technical skills, clean code, and collaborative spirit.


  • Venture Cap

    Salutes venture capital firms with a track record of backing transformative businesses, contributing significantly to Australia's economic growth.


  • Visionary New

    Recognises effective leadership by setting a clear vision, motivating the team, and making strategic decisions that guide their business towards its goals.

Early Entries end on:
00d : 00h : 00m : 00s
Enter now