You could imagine that everything was already invented in the mattress and sleep business. Well, this was true until you meet eve Sleep. Here is an exclusive interview of Jas Bagniewski – Co-Founder and CEO of eve Sleep. The concept of eve Sleep is that everyone should be able to access good sleep. For a very long time, good mattresses have been sold through expensive stores at massively inflated prices. That is why eve was created. A simple, beautiful mattress, available to everyone at a surprisingly fair price. LuxuryActivist got in contact with them and could get the following exclusive interview.
LuxuryActivist (LA)- Mr Bagniewski, with your established career in the industry, why did you create your own company rather than working for others? Wouldn’t that be more comfortable?
Jas Bagniewski (JB)- I’m an opportunist, and when we realised there was such potential in the industry to build a viable business and brand around something as traditionally boring as a mattress, I couldn’t say no. I didn’t have grand ambitions to be a CEO per se, but I’m not afraid to take risks, and make decisions, so when I started eve with my co founders, it came about quite naturally. Working for someone else might be more comfortable, but it definitely wouldn’t be as interesting.
LA- What brought you to the “sleep business”? What was the trigger?
JB- I previously worked for Rocket Internet, Zalando and Groupon, so I had a lot of experience in e- commerce. In one day on Groupon we were amazed to sell over 6,000 mattresses – that’s when we realised there was an appetite for buying a mattress online. The bed and bathroom industry is a £26bn market in Europe and is seeing a massive shift to online, so there is huge potential for growth. We knew we could radically modernise the purchasing process for sleep and bedding products, without needing to compromise on product quality, or customer satisfaction.
LA- You decided to develop your business online. Why not selling traditionally in physical stores like most of the brands?
JB- Selling online means we can offer a far better price to our customers, because we don’t have expensive overheads – we cut out the middleman. It allows us to scale much more quickly so it’s a far more efficient way to do business. Giving our customers the chance to touch and feel our products is still important, which is why we have some retail partnerships in some of our European markets, such as Karstadt in Germany.
LA- Why “another” mattress brand? What Eve Sleep has that other brands will not be able to offer?
JB- I think I have to say here that we were the first! Until recently, there really haven’t been many, if any, brands in the mattress world or wider sleep industry, which is why building our brand is an essential pillar to our growth. Traditionally mattresses are boring, but that’s why there is so much potential to build a brand in that space – you can build a brand around anything if you’re creative enough. We wanted to create something different with eve – that’s why we’re yellow, our logo is a sunrise, we want to celebrate the way you feel in the morning after a great night’s sleep the night before. Embedded in our brand identity is our customer-first proposition, our sleep expertise, and our creativity and design.
LA- It sounds easy now, but what were the main challenges you have faced until you had your company model ready and working?
JB- At the heart of the business is the product – it took hundreds of prototypes to reach a mattress we were happy with and we didn’t want to compromise. When we were pitching for investment, we also faced a lot of investors who doubted the yellow – they didn’t want it on the product. But we know that was important – it’s what makes us stand out, it makes us memorable, and it has really been a huge driver for growth. It’s not easy to stick to your guns when it means walking away from a deal, but I’m glad we did.
LA- Eve Sleep produces its mattresses in Europe, why not producing them in Asia? Wouldn’t that be more cost effective? What should we expect from a mattress made in UK ?
JB- We want to be able to offer the best quality product at an accessible price, and we feel we can do that best with manufacturing our product in Europe. Our mattress for Switzerland is made in Germany. Then for our UK customers, we make the mattress in the UK.
LA- People might buy a mattress once every ten years. How do you manage to keep the connection with your customers in the meantime? Ten years is a very long time and a lot can happen.
JB- Whilst our mattress is our core product, we now have 15 products in the full range, including a topper, bed frame, duvet and pillow, with plenty more to come including a second mattress, which will launch in Switzerland in the next few weeks. Launching new products has meant we have lots of reasons to communicate, and we have seen lots of customers become repeat purchasers, which is great.
LA- What would you say to a potential customer who does not dare to buy his mattress online for the first time?
JB- I’d say – what are you worried about? When you have 100 nights to sleep on it, and if you don’t like it, we’ll pick it up for free, it’s a no-brainer. That’s why we started eve – because the old way of buying a mattress, where you lie awkwardly on it for two minutes in a showroom, is no indication of how well you will sleep on your mattress overnight. We offer 100 nights to sleep on it, with a no-hassle customer service.
LA- Thank you very much for your time, just one last thing: what can we wish you for the future?
JB- Our aim is to be the number one sleep brand in Europe. We’re building out our product range for various budgets, and will be launching some exciting design collaborations soon. We want even more people to be proud to say they sleep on an eve. Watch this space!
The LuxuryActivist team warmly thanks Mr Jas Bagniewski for his time and collaboration. eve Sleep is a great business, completely inline with its time. See here our product test of the eve mattress:
Info sourced by the author for luxuryactivist.com at eve Sleep website, The Telegraph, Elite Business Magazine, Forbes and InPoland.pl. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only.