MUM’S PILLOWCASES ADORN CELEBS’ BEDS
Olivia Carr had big dreams of running her own food truck. The former marketing executive quit her job in 2015 and headed to New York to research the foodtruck business.
“I don’t travel anywhere without a silk pillowcase and when I was in a New York hotel, the service staff accidentally took my pillowcase and changed the sheets,” Olivia recalls.
“They told me that I probably wouldn’t see it again. I had slept on silk for years due to my thin, moulting hair. I then tried to order one online, and frustratingly, I couldn’t find one that wasn’t super boring. That really got me thinking ‘OMG, this could be it’.”
She headed for China to explore supply opportunities. Three months before the launch of Shhh Silk, she opened an Instagram page and began building her brand. At the beginning this meant spending more than 10 hours a day building awareness on social platforms while juggling international manufacturing.
Understanding the power of a celebrity endorsement but without the money to pay for one, she returned to the US, looked up Kris Jenner’s address online, managed to get through the gated community and deliver her marble pillowcases to the mother and manager of Instagram’s holy grail of influencers, Kim Kardashian.
But months went by to no avail then
Olivia invested in a US PR agency mainly for their links to the Kardashian clan.
An encounter with one of Kim’s stylists and Carr’s PR rep at an event revealed the Kardashians used only king-sized pillow cases. And shortly after sending them the extra-large versions, Kim mentioned Shhh Silk on Instagram and in a tweet.
Shhh Silk’s popularity soared and within a year, the business was up 632 per cent. Apart from the Jenners, fans of the luxurious silk pillowcases include Giselle Bundchen, who promoted them on Instagram, and Elle Ferguson.
“I started this business with the idea of being able to be home for my kids every day, thinking this would be a stay-at-home business,” the Melbourne mother of two says.
“(But you need to) prepare for growth and be prepared to work longer hours and harder than you’ve ever worked before – the upside is it can be on your terms.”