In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Kathrin Hamm, founder and CEO of Bearaby, a multimillion dollar direct-to-consumer (D-to-C) company selling sustainable, breathable weighted blankets. Hamm discusses how her personal struggle with sleep deprivation inspired her to launch the business (0:51), how she knit the first Bearaby blankets herself after she was unable to find a manufacturer (2:30), and how she built a reliable supply chain as the brand quickly grew (6:43). She shares how the brand streamlined production by building a customized wait list for consumers (7:23), how she recognized sustainability as an issue that would be important at Bearaby (9:52), and how the brand reimagined materials and packaging to establish a plastic-free supply chain.

In addition, Hamm discusses Bearaby’s content marketing strategy sharing joyful messaging around self-care and drug-free sleep (13:47), as well as why the business launches anti-holiday sale campaigns each holiday season to encourage more mindful purchasing decisions among consumers (17:10). Lastly, she shares how she champions rest and self-care for herself and her employees (21:56) and what’s next for her personally and professionally (26:27).

Bearaby Founder and CEO Kathrin Hamm is a firm believer in the power of sleep and its importance in our increasingly busy world. While Kathrin launched Bearaby, the brand known for creating the weighted blanket craze, in 2017 to flip the script on the stigma of napping, she first and foremost prioritized the well-being of our planet. From loom to lap, Kathrin keeps sustainability at the forefront of each of Bearaby’s designs and has led the business to become a fast favorite and profitable brand that grew 660 percent year-over-year in 2020. In one year alone, and during a global pandemic at that, Kathrin grew Bearaby from a team of four to 23, with employees across the globe.

Dedicated to helping people get restful sleep naturally, without pills, Kathrin designed Bearaby’s blankets to be breathable and safe for consumers and the earth. Bearaby’s products are created from materials like TENCEL (the most sustainable in the world), 100 percent organic cotton, and EcoVelvet, made from upcycled plastic that would otherwise be polluting our oceans and waterways. Practicing what she preaches and hoping other CEOs follow suit, Kathrin is setting a new standard for workplace benefits and culture, encouraging her employees to prioritize self-care (sleep being the most valuable form of this) by sleeping in, setting their own work hours, and taking naps at work when needed.

Date: October 26, 2021

Credits: Kathrin Hamm

Duration: 28:09