Here at House of Coco we love to travel as much as the next guy and we really do get around. We can be on multiple time zones every week but we like to keep on top of our sleep.
At Willow the Pillow, they believe that in an increasingly fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to take a step back, relax and clear our minds. To switch off our gadgets and recharge our own batteries. To rediscover the art of stillness.
They believe it’s time to remind ourselves of the countless benefits of sleep. A restful slumber is essential to our physical and mental health, reduces stress and anxiety, and has even led to artistic and scientific epiphanies!
So, we went along to find out more about this brand and it’s clear that they are more than just a pretty name…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
We started to notice how tired and stressed people were. How difficult they were finding it to wind down and relax. So, one morning, after a long, blissful sleep, we awoke to find Willow snoozing in our bed. As the days passed and we got to know him better, we discovered that he wasn’t only the perfect sleepy companion, but he also shared our love for this incredible planet and its beautiful creatures. It soon dawned on us that we must support his mission. We launched in the summer of 2016. The rest is (a brief) history.
What’s your background?
We, Stefanie and William, are both passionate about the arts, the natural world and all things weird and wonderful. (This last one might explain a lot!) Stefanie likes to salute the sun and talk to the butterflies, neither of which were particularly aided by her Masters in English and Pedagogics. William has a Fine Art degree, a penchant for creative writing and a questionable skill for silly voices.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
At the moment we number only three – Stefanie, William and Willow. Between us, we do everything, from sales to snoozing and design to dreaming. Lurking somewhere in the shadows, in a realm beyond our understanding, is our enigmatic, mysterious web developer Fabio.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
We’ve put a great deal of thought into every decision, from the type of eco-friendly materials for our minimal packaging to the design of our logo, so we truthfully can’t say that we would do anything differently. But that isn’t to say we haven’t experienced a few setbacks…
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Strangely, the most inconspicuous little things have been the biggest challenges for us. The first care label supplier we approached, for example, sent us samples a few months late, with the wrong text and symbols and with half the bottoms cut off. Despite the inconvenience, we had a right old giggle! Willow has taught us a lot about patience.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
Stefanie dreams about living in a bamboo house in Bali with an Irish Wolfhound.
William dreams about living in a bamboo house in Bali with a Pomeranian.
Willow dreams. A lot. In fact, his awareness mostly resides in Dreamy Plains. Catch a glimpse of this magical place in the cartoon “Sleuth Sloth” on YouTube!
2017 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
We’ll continue spreading Willow’s message far and wide. If he inspires only one child (or adult) to adopt a lifestyle that leaves a gentler footprint, then we will feel that we have made a difference.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
This interview, of course! But also receiving kind messages from our customers and seeing photos of Willow with his new friends and families in new homes. We can’t express how happy that makes us.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
As long as Willow’s with us, we feel at home anywhere. But we do hold a special place in our hearts for London.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Coconut oil, coconut oil and coconut oil!
…being happy in your own skin (or pillow case) while being as kind as possible to our animal friends.
Best thing about London to you?
Its quirkiness, uniqueness and many beautiful parks. Its rich diversity and culture. Its openness and tolerance. We also love that you can get any type of food at any time! For all these reasons and so many more, we’ve both lived in London for most of our lives.
Statement shoe or statement bag?
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear every day?
Favourite love song?
Willow once told us he overheard a nightingale serenading its loved one. He was especially fond of that tune.
Best place for a coffee?
The Double R Diner, Twin Peaks.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Sleep on it.
Both being vegan, we always stop into Yorica when we’re in Soho. Yummiest animal-friendly, free-from ice cream in town! Normally living on the wind and the morning dew, even Willow can’t resist!
If you could spend 24 hours anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Hanging with the sloths in the rainforest. In fact, Willow supports the great work done by our favourite charity, the World Land Trust. As patron Sir David Attenborough says, “The money that is given to the World Land Trust, in my estimation, has more effect on the wild world than almost anything I can think of.”
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
We’ll be expanding our product range, so keep an eye open for Willow’s sleepy eyes! We have also started drafting a Willow the Pillow children’s book.
Find out more…
Learn more about Willow’s mission and story on his website: www.willowthepillow.co.uk. Please also follow his non-action adventures on www.instagram.com/willowthepillow and www.facebook.com/WillowThePillow among other social media platforms. See you in Dreamy Plains!