Small business of the week: An innovative sleepwear brand scales to $25m
In 2012, Ashley Merrill found herself going to sleep wearing an outfit she had donned hundreds of times before: her husband’s oversized clothes. She was finally tired of it. Is this what it’s going to be?, she asked herself.
Merrill wanted more. But the market was flooded with sleepwear that didn’t feel right — too sexual, or too matronly, or not functional enough. So in 2014, she created “the ultimate business-school project”: a new kind of sleepwear brand.
Lunya focuses on “off-hours wear.” Inexpensive, situational pajamas were out (goodbye, fleece pants with Santa Claus on them). Premium fabrics and innovative designs were in.
Since launch, Lunya has grown to an impressive $25m, driven by a strong referral program and a diverse approach to marketing, including strategic wholesale and events. The company recently launched a men’s line, Lahgo, and is focused building up its presence with brick-and-mortar locations.
Founders: Ashley Merrill
Years in business: 7
Cost to launch: $50k
Funding methods: Personal savings, Friends/family contributions
1st-year revenue: $103k
Current annual revenue: $25m+
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