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RIVERTON — Two Riverton moms’ frustration with making beds led them to create a multi-million dollar business.
Betsy Mikesell and Angie White are the co-founders of Beddy’s, a West Jordan-based company that sells zip-up bedding for kids and adults. What started as a hobby has grown into a full-time business that employs both of their husbands and even earned the duo a spot on CNBC’s “West Texas Investors Club” Tuesday night, where they made a sizeable deal.
“We just had no idea where this would go,” White said. “It started out gradual because we had no connections. We had nothing. We didn’t know where to get (the bedding) manufactured. We literally knew nothing. Betsy was a hairdresser and I had been a stay-at-home mom who’d gone back to school in psychology.”
Mikesell has twins with bunk beds and had been bugged by the fact that her children couldn’t seem to make their beds themselves. Finally, she climbed onto the top bunk to show them how it should be done only to discover it was much harder than she thought. Wanting to find a way to avoid tucking bedding in around rails, she worked with her mom to create the first Beddy’s prototype.
Mikesell shared her idea with White, who has been her running partner for about 12 years, while they were jogging one morning. After White went on a 3-week trip in an RV and struggled to make the bed in cramped quarters, they decided to turn Beddy’s into a real business as a fun project in their free time.
My cute insta friend Ashley from @houseof5five did her boys room with our bedding. This is a person you want to follow for amazing inspiration. She is so talented and takes the most beautiful pictures. Now to convince her to come to Utah....😉 You've gotta check her blog before scrolling any further. #YoureWelcome #beddys #ZipperBedding #BunkBeds
Almost overnight, they found an audience for their product. Mikesell had created a Facebook page for Beddy’s and went to post a video about the bedding on the company page but accidentally posted it on her personal Facebook page instead. She was surprised to find it had over 300,000 views by the time she woke up the next morning.
The video linked to the company’s website, but it wasn’t much more than a landing page and they didn’t have any bedding for sale at that point. Luckily, there was a spot for people to enter their email addresses for updates. Mikesell said they received about 2,000 emails through the website on the first day.
“It was amazing to see our friends and our family and people we didn’t know share these links,” Mikesell said. “That, to me, was one of the coolest experiences — the power of social media and the power of what people can do. It’s like two moms, literally who know nothing, are being supported by all these people who thought we had a good idea.”
The support gave White and Mikesell the confidence to launch a Kickstarter campaign in 2014, which successfully funded. They’ve put everything they have into Beddy’s, refinancing their houses and cars. Their husbands quit their jobs to run the company’s warehouse.
As a result, the company is growing so fast they’re struggling to keep up. So far in 2016, business has been growing 2.5 times over last year.
“That means every penny that comes in from sales goes back into inventory because we’re trying to stock up our warehouse for the huge holiday sales that we anticipate,” White said. “Just to kind of show how naive we were, we thought we would get the container of goods and store them in our garages and basements and fulfill them right out of our homes, which was ridiculous looking back.”
That’s where the “West Texas Investors Club” comes in. The duo said the show reached out to them, and since multimillionaires Rooster McConaughey and Butch Gilliam specialize in helping companies grow it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
McConaughey made a deal with the Beddy’s co-founders to provide them with $200,000 and an open line of credit in exchange for an initial 25 percent stake in their company. Once they pay the money back, that stake will be reduced to 18 percent.
White said Beddy’s definitely isn’t just a hobby anymore. It took years of working with prototypes before they developed a high-quality product they were proud to put their names on, but both friends said the efforts were worth it.
The co-founders said if anyone has an idea they are passionate about, they should go for it.
“Stick to it,” Mikesell said. “Trust your gut. Angie and I refer to that a lot. That’s kind of how we’ve done business so far: trusting our gut. You’re going to make wrong decisions, but we always feel like sometimes those wrong decisions led us to a right decision.”
Beddy’s bedding can be purchased online. New designs come out regularly throughout the year and the company recently introduced king sizes.