From starting out to giving back – Ettitude’s Story
Ettitude’s story is all about the balance of comfort and sustainability. Thanks to Phoebe Yu, the dream bedding is now possible.
What gave you the inspiration to start Ettitude?
Before I founded Ettitude, I spent 15 years working for large U.S. retailers to produce home goods in Asia. I had a front row seat to the supply chains and logistics involved in producing lifestyle goods, and was disappointed that most only cared about low production costs, rather than quality, comfort or sustainability. When I moved to Australia and set about purchasing goods for my home, I became increasingly aware that there was an opportunity to create homewares that didn’t compromise on any of those values, and bedding was one of the biggest missing links. So I began Ettitude to create hotel-quality bedding that is good for the environment as well as good for our customers.
What are the challenges of being an eCommerce start-up? What have you learned and is there anything you would do differently?
There are huge benefits to being a pure play business and operating solely in the eCommerce space has enabled us to be agile in our thinking but also eliminate mark-ups so that we can pass on cost-saving benefits to our customer. But it’s certainly not without its challenges. Logistics are hugely important, and this became even more evident to us when we were first thinking about expanding into the US market. I learnt that it was vital to have boots on the ground! Being a textile-focused business, it’s also incredibly important to us that people have the chance to feel our products before committing to the purchase. Obviously being online only, this requires some
creative workarounds – we offer customers complimentary samples and a 30 night sleep-trial period.
We see you’re launching Ettitude’s first pop-up store this year! How exciting! What made you want to do this?
Yes we are! In fact, it launched in early October. We expanded our operation to the US market in late 2017, and the response to the brand in this market has been very positive. The pop-up feels like a natural progression, and way to explore Ettitude as a real life experience. A lot of the feedback we get on our sheets revolves around how incredibly soft they feel to the touch, so we’re keen to enable our LA-based audience the chance to experience ettitude in the flesh for a time.
What steps did you take to launch your sleepwear after focusing mostly on linens?
It was a pretty natural progression for us, but we took the initiative after gathering enough feedback on our sheets to know that it would work. Many of our customers were telling us that they wanted to feel our silky bamboo lyocell on their skin at all time – so sleepwear was the pathway to making that a possibility. We also offered our sleepwear at a time when people were starting to wear more relaxed, sleepwear-inspired apparel during the day, so we were mindful to design our products so that they could be worn back with customer’s everyday wardrobes too.
You have partnered with One Girl Foundation, a charity that empowers girls through education, that’s incredible! Could you tell me more about what made you want to do this?
We’re selective about the charities and organisations that we get into bed with, but this one is really important to us. One Girl supports the education of millions of girls across the globe, and there are studies that highlight that education is key to building more sustainable communities. Educated citizens are more inclined to build and maintain clean energy infrastructures, show greater concern about the well-being of the environment, use water more efficiently and recycle.
Why do you think international consumers such as American or Canadian be drawn to an Australian brand?
Australian brands have a great reputation with global audiences because we are known to be an innovative country with strong connections to health, wellbeing and sustainability. There is so much choice in the USA in particular that unless you have a quality offering, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. The product and brand have to work together to offer the customer something uniquely valuable.
What would you tell your younger self just starting out in business?
It’s tempting to feel the need to take on board every piece of advice you receive, but I would tell my younger self to listen to my instincts, trust my intuition and be mindful of how to synthesise advice with my own ideas and understanding of my business. It’s so important to remember that nobody knows your business as well as you do.
What’s next for Ettitude?
We are so happy to have just signed a partnership with 1% for The Planet, which means we will donate 1 per cent of our revenue from sales of our bamboo lyocell bedding each fiscal year. Next year, we will be continuing to partner up with other organisations that resonate with our values, as well as keep growing our voice in existing and new markets. It’s an exciting time for us!
Ettitude’s story Ettitude’s story Ettitude’s story