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Eucalyptus is the Sheet! Meet Colin McIntosh CEO and Founder of Sheets & Giggles

March 02, 2021

Eucalyptus is the Sheet! Meet Colin McIntosh CEO and Founder of Sheets & Giggles
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In this episode on The Radcast, host Ryan Alford talks with the CEO and Founder of Sheets & Giggles, Colin McIntosh.


In this episode on The Radcast, host Ryan Alford talks with the eucalyptus bedding branding and marketing innovator, Colin McIntosh. In Denver, he's known as the sheet guy, and for good reason! He's generated a million dollar revenue in sheets monthly. He's one with the environment, and is happy to discuss any and all things bedding, sheets, puns, and of course, good marketing.


Get ready for a super fun and insightful conversation. Follow Colin on Instagram @colindmcintosh and check out their company at sheeetsgiggles.com or visit their instagram @sheetsgiggles 


If you enjoyed this episode of The Radcast, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe and share the word if you love what we discuss, so we can keep giving you the strategies to achieve radical marketing results! You can follow us on Instagram @the.rad.cast | @radical_results | @ryanalford 

Transcript

Recorded Voice [00:00:05] You're listening to the Radcast. If it's radical, we cover it. Here's your host, Ryan Alford.” 

Ryan Alford [00:00:14] Hey, guys, what's up? Welcome to the latest edition of the Radcast. I must say, my favorite name of a business, any business we've ever had is here today - the founder and CEO of Sheets & Giggles, Colin McIntosh. You win the award officially and it's just a nice digital pat on the back.

Colin McIntosh [00:00:35] But I appreciate that. And I feel bad for all the other companies that you had on the Radcast.

Ryan Alford [00:00:41] They all know where they stand and they're not as cool as Sheets & Gigglesles. Riley, our producer, and I thought when she found you guys and I was doing research on this, like, I got to talk to this guy and I got to meet this company because anyone with a sense of humor that's also killing it is already my best friend.

Colin McIntosh [00:01:06] Yeah, it's been a lot of fun. If you asked me how I came up with the idea, like why I started a company, I would’ve said that a solid 70 percent of the reason is that I was just that obsessed with the brand name. And I had to do it once. I thought it was a no-brainer.

Ryan Alford [00:01:27] I love it. And I love purple. And I love the fact that if you're watching the video, depending on where you digest your Radcast, be it is YouTube, IGTV, or the audio, you're just not getting the full effect as Colin has his Sheets & Giggles shirts on. And I do believe he might be wrapped in these sheets themselves.

Colin McIntosh [00:01:47] I am, indeed. Yes. I am in my mint green Eucalyptus sheets and grey comforter, and eye mask. Yeah, I like doing these from bed whenever anybody lets me. Recently I was interviewed on Good Morning America in November and I actually asked them, can I do the interview from bed in a bathrobe. And their answer surprised me. They said from the bed, yes. In a bathrobe, no. Because there's like a weird guideline that apparently is like an actual guideline, which is if you're on ABC in a bathrobe, you are just assumed to be naked under the bathrobe and there's no nudity on Disney channels, which I thought was great, but yeah. So thanks for letting me do the interview from bed. And that's kind of where I do 90 percent of my work anyway.

Ryan Alford [00:02:28] They're now building in intent, like, you know, like they know what you're intending to have on underneath that bathrobe. That's news to me.

Ryan Alford [00:02:45] Yeah, no kidding. You are a product in development here. Yeah, we call in. We're going to have a good discussion. But I do like to tee it up. If you haven't heard of Sheets & Gigglesles, you definitely have now. Let's talk about your story and, you know, leading up to kind of where we're at today with Sheets & Gigglesles.

Colin McIntosh [00:03:08] Yeah. I mean, I don't know how you want me to start. I was born in South Florida. I went to school at Emory University in Atlanta. I went to the B-school there. Then, I ended up working at the world's largest hedge fund in Connecticut, for my first job, called Bridgewater Associates. Crazy place. In good and bad ways. How long is the nondisparagement clause with them? I got fired in like five months, which was probably the best thing that ever happened to my career. Even though at a time when you're twenty-three, you think the world is falling down around you, I became a recruiter. I ended up hiring myself at one of my clients in Seattle, which was the first startup that I worked at in 2015. Then, I ended up driving to Denver for the summer to participate in TechStars Boulder as an employee of one of those early-stage companies going through that accelerator. And then, I worked at that company for three years. I got laid off at 1 p.m. on a Monday. I've been fired a lot. I'm not a very good employee. And then, three weeks after I got laid off, I started Sheets & Gigglesles in October 2017. And the rest is history. And I've actually worked here longer than any other job in my career so far.

 

Ryan Alford [00:04:22] All of what, three, four years. Four years.

 

Colin McIntosh [00:04:25] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Well prior to that was a couple of years.

 

Ryan Alford [00:04:29] We're going to get into it on the ups and downs, and pains of startups and all that, but do you consider yourself being reflective of where you are? Were you always an entrepreneur and you didn't know it, or have you always been an entrepreneur? 

Colin McIntosh [00:04:47] I guess the second choice. Yeah, I've always been an entrepreneur and always knew it. I didn’t really know there was a sub-class of people that were like founders and entrepreneurs and all the different things that go along with that and the kind of the self-image that goes along with that. For me, my dad is an attorney. He started his own law firm. My mom is an acupuncturist. She started her own practice. And so growing up, I had two self-employed parents and I would just think that was normal. They didn't have a boss or a manager that was grilling them. They didn't have stories about their managers or their CEOs or whatever. It was always stories about their clients and their employees and their team. And that was really, I think, formative where that just became my norm. And so, you know, I also always thought that one day I'd start a business. I thought it was something that people did. I thought that growing up, everybody goes to college and then, works for somebody else and then, starts their own company or maybe even starts their own company directly out of college. That was kind of my perception. So, yeah, I mean, it took me five years after I graduated to start my own company, but I don't think I could ever I could never work for somebody else again unless it was on terms, because I can't stand the corporate world. And that's why I've been fired so many times in my career. 

Ryan Alford [00:06:16] Touche. And I think we're even getting further from the corporate world with everything covid has done. It's got everybody working from halfway home or home or whatever. 

Colin McIntosh [00:06:25] It's such a good development. I think that just the material improvement in people's lives from not having to commute is going to be world-changing for some percentage of the population; it is going to be incredible. 

Ryan Alford [00:06:37] Let's talk about how you started Sheets & Gigglesles. You know, I've read some of the interviews you've done, but I want the audience to really understand the process that you took, which I thought was really smart. You know, we own a digital agency. I mean, as we work with a lot of D2C companies and people that have wonderful product ideas. But they haven't really done the research and really backed their way into the full business plan. They haven’t thought of what the white space is or how they're going to sell a product, or how they're going to differentiate all those things. I'd love for you to tell that story about how you thought of and brought all of this together. 

Colin McIntosh [00:07:19] Yeah. So, it's actually interesting. I think a lot of founders will go through the very typical founder journey of “I have a problem, I'm going to build the solution, and I'm going to bring that solution to market”. And I actually saw that happen over and over again when I went to TechStars and when I was on this other startup. It was very much a problem-solution business model. I realized at some point when my last company didn't work out that that's actually a really flawed way of creating a business because you're basically spending all this time, energy, emotion, and money building a solution for the perceived problem. So many people do that. It happens every day. I hear about it every startup week I go to, and every time I do mentorship hours. I mentored ten companies last night for something in Denver called the Commons on Champa, where I mentor these ten companies every quarter that are going through this Denver-funded accelerator. I hear every time and then they get to the point where they need to build a business model and it's like, how do I sell this thing? How do I raise money? How do I value this market? Oh, my God, people aren't buying it. I can't get any clients. It really breaks my heart because I think a lot of people will spend years of their lives and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars getting to that point, only to have the market reject them. So what I did was the opposite. I built the business model, my perfect business model, and then I backed my way into a product that plugged into that business model. After I got laid off, I thought, what have I learned from this experience? Really emotional, gut-wrenching experience. I learned that I'm either going to start my own company or I'm going to go work at Amazon and actually get on a good salary. I was like I'm never working for somebody else's startup again. I've never worked for somebody else's business again because that is, I think, a surefire way to not pay yourself well enough, not have good benefits, and not have the actual power to affect change at somebody else's startup and not even have that really nice exit because you don't control the path there. So, it's going to be very binary. I decided to start my own business and I decided I needed the money for a business model. So I want a massive commodities market, with zero brand differentiation loyalty so I could zig what everybody else is zagging. I wanted something that was highly fragmented, so I didn't have to chip away at some market leader. And I wanted something that was largely, traditionally physical retail so I could help bring it online, to the direct-to-consumer model. I also wanted something that was a low complexity supply chain. And by low complexity, don't get me wrong, textiles are wildly complex, but it does not have Bluetooth, doesn't have firmware, it doesn't have software engineers. And so, I really wanted something that I could bring to market without having to hire a whole technical team. The last component I want to mention is that I really wanted it to be a physical, sustainable good so I can be proud of what I was making, and so I could have a positive impact on the world. And I looked at all the domains that I owned. This is a true story. And there's a ton of power in a brand name. I owned sheetsgiggles.com, as well as a bunch of other domains. And I thought, does bedding fit my criteria? And I did a perfectly. 12 billion dollar market growing 10 percent year over year. 27 percent market share among the top five players. Highly fragmented. And the number one thing was that there was zero brand differentiation. And I looked across the whole space that bored me to tears. Everybody was doing the best cotton you'll ever feel; the cheapest polyester you'll ever buy. It was always white sheets on a white wall, exposed brick with a fern in the corner of the bedroom, and a french press coffee. You could literally see the entire thing in your head. It gets nightmarishly boring. And so, I decided to just do something totally crazy and different in the space. I incorporated three weeks after I got laid off because I was so taken with the business model. And then I discovered Eucalyptus as an incredibly sustainable luxury material in the space that was not heavily adopted yet. And now, we've kind of become the de facto eucalyptus chic brand in the United States.

Ryan Alford [00:11:31] A lot to unpack there. I think the biggest story that was. It wasn't even that long as much as there was a lot of insight there for anyone in any stage of their brand or development. And it's so many people get so emotionally tied to a product. And to hear that you had no emotional tie to eucalyptus sheets, it warms my heart that you actually did this from a smart perspective of analyzing the market. Now you are obsessed with them. 

Colin McIntosh [00:12:01] And you know there’s a really weird reputation that I have. It's like, oh, Colins is like the bedding guy. And it's like it's really weird.

Ryan Alford [00:12:17] I do hear that. I do hear them talk about you. They say that Colin guy, he's full of “sheets”. I mean, do you ever get tired of the jokes.  

Colin McIntosh [00:12:30] It's great because everybody, the first time they hear about it, everybody wants to get in on the action. We've seen our competitors like Brooklinen and Boll & Branch, and Parachute is very high fluting, you know, brands that talk about themselves in these very grandiose terms. I mean, they're just making bedsheets, but they can build whatever brand they want. I respect their business a lot, they built a hell of a business. But they will start to copy us and they'll start to put the puns in the ads and they'll start to put the crazier imagery out there and everything. But it's such a dichotomy with the brand that they built and the products that they're selling that it doesn't work. And so building us up from the ground up has allowed us to walk this tightrope of sustainable luxury and funny, and that is like a really hard tightrope to walk. And I think that it creates this sort of grand moat around the company. And it's a level of authenticity, that I think is very much me. In the sense, this company is just kind of the best parts of my personality with none of the neuroticism, maybe a little neuroticism. But it's definitely been a lot of fun to build this brand out of nothing. And you're right, though, that the only attachment I have is to the business and to the customer. And what I think makes us successful so far is that we are very neurotic, hyper-focus on making that customer happy. We are completely dispassionate about the products, in the sense of whatever the community needs, call it colors, sizing combinations, new product lines, deeper corners, or shallower corners, split king, which is like 0.9 percent of the mattress market, we will do it all in order to make our customers happy. And people really love that.

Ryan Alford [00:14:29] How has scaling been for you guys? Like I mean, talk to me about the stages of scale over these what call it three and a half, four years.

Colin McIntosh [00:14:40] So in October 2017, I found the company. In January 2018, I began work on it. In May 2018, we launched on Indiegogo with the crowdfunding campaign, which was the biggest crowdfunding campaign ever for bedsheets. Very proud of that. $284,000 for bedsheets on a crowdfunding platform. Actually, there are two things that I'm very proud of - the connection with those people. They are my core, they brought the company to life. I still have personal relationships with many of our backers. Then, on a different level, convincing two thousand people to wait five months for bed sheets is the proudest marketing accomplishment of my entire life. And I think that there's something there. But that was kind of our launch. We shipped our first box in October 2018. About five months after that, we were 30 days late on our promised timeline, which I think is pretty good for crowdfunding. We have people in the loop, very transparent about the timeline there. Then, from October through January, I was shipping all the boxes myself. It was me, my buddy Bobby, and my customer service rep, Emily. We were in the warehouse eight hours a day, shipping boxes and then, eight hours a night I was doing CEO duties and raising investment. I was on the phone in the warehouse, packing boxes, negotiating our valuation with people. And then, January 2019 was when we got the TechStars. That was kind of a big accelerator for us. It's literally an accelerator around that time. Early 2019, we were doing about $50,000 a month, then about $60,000 a month, and now two years later we're doing over a million dollars a month. So that's kind of the scale that we've had in that timeline. And I kind of yadda yadda yadda through all the in-between there. But it's been a pretty fast two years for sure.

Ryan Alford [00:16:44] How big is the team in Colorado?

Colin McIntosh [00:16:48] There are two answers to that. The full-time team is very lean. We're only seven people full-time. That is kind of a modern direct-to-consumer company where you're built to have over $1,500,000 per head. These metrics are pretty well understood, I think, at this point. And then, from a part-time contractor perspective, there are probably 50 people that I interact with every single day as their manager, boss, director, client, whatever you want to call it. Digital agencies, content agencies, Amazon agencies, our warehousing teams, manufacturing teams, part-time customer care reps to supplement our full-time team, our inventory planning, our CFO, legal, and accounting, overall is probably about 50 people that I engage with on a daily basis. But in terms of full-time here in Denver, it's only seven. 

Ryan Alford [00:17:47] So we started all day to see all Shopify website marketing, all the layers that you did. You're now on Amazon. How's that transition? We’ve talked to a lot of people that you go the other way. Amazon owns the customer relationship, you can't expand the brand. And now, you have a little bit more leverage in some ways. If leverage over Amazon is even? I'm not sure those things, those words exist together. 

Colin McIntosh [00:18:22] But I have zero leverage over Amazon. Yeah, we do own actually amazon.com/sheets. Brag there, that is the best where it will ever get. So I do want to clarify, I don't think there's a right or wrong way. I think that there are two different theories in terms of what you're trying to build. If you're trying to build an Amazon business that relies on that continuous search volume of your category and you are building a product that is priced appropriately to be number one in that category, that can be in the first three results organically on Amazon, then that is a good, repeatable business. You don't need to own the customer because that customer comes back and finds you every single time. And so, I think this is a huge hot space right now. People are raising billions of dollars from these groups to go out and buy every single Amazon seller that's number one and number five in their category. And so, it's definitely like a repeatable business that people see a lot of value in. I just think that's different, it's just different than the company that I wanted to build. I don't necessarily think it's a right or wrong thing from a data perspective in the business model that I wanted to build. From the D2C perspective that I wanted to build, yes, the right way would be to own that customer relationship. I get more value out of that customer in the long-term because you own that customer relationship and I view Amazon as sort of a channel overflow where it's a different customer and we're not really cannibalizing our direct consumer sales. We actually have an abandoned cart survey that goes out and it's something like four percent of people say that they prefer to buy from Amazon. So, it's a different customer. Basically, 54 percent of Americans will start a product search on Amazon. You do all the grunt work and the legwork to build the content and run the Facebook ads and do the podcast advertising. And then somebody searches for Sheets & Giggles on Amazon. They search for you in the ‘ Eucalyptus Sheets’ and they find somebody else because we're not on it. And so, it’s really just a way to capture that natural search volume. And now, we have over a thousand reviews on Amazon and we're pretty well established there, with nice motor reviews around the products.

Ryan Alford [00:20:54] Can you or do you mind sharing your mix of D2C versus Amazon sales in November?

Colin McIntosh [00:21:04] In November, because we're doing heavy email marketing, at about 90-10. In January, it was about 85-15, and then, February will be about 80-20. Traditionally, it's been about 70-30. But as we've grown, we really scale the .com tremendously more than the Amazon channel. So, it's becoming more and more skewed to the .com.

Ryan Alford [00:21:29] That's good. You can make a lot of money with Amazon. 

Colin McIntosh [00:21:38] Yeah, I like Amazon. They do a lot of good stuff for us. I mean, I used to live in Seattle. I used to live in lower Queen Anne. I know people that work there. They're good people. I know the teams. They support us like the great small business support. They allow us to reach new customers, new markets. All the stuff Amazon pitch you on is true, right? But then there's the darker side of it. There is the margin share, the advertising cost, the difficult part of the technical support. But the thing is that they are constantly improving and always trying to get feedback from their partners. They invite me to plenty of sessions to give them feedback. And there's the political component of it, who this company is and what they do and what they represent, and I think that also gets muddled in and is a hard thing to navigate sometimes. So I think there are multiple components to it. And overall, I think I see it as a channel that we have to be on.

Ryan Alford [00:22:38] Until they make an Amazon original of your exact product. 

Colin McIntosh [00:22:43] They already have. You have much worse reviews than we do.

Ryan Alford [00:22:49] Oh, well it must not be an exact copy.

Colin McIntosh [00:22:51] Yeah, exactly.

Ryan Alford [00:22:53] Talk about the marketing side. I mean we're a marketing and business podcast obviously. So, what I know at this stage, you are doing a million dollars in revenue a month, you got a lot of levers you're pulling, whether it's channels or mediums or whatever. But can you talk about some of your most successful marketing channels as you've grown?

Colin McIntosh [00:23:17] Yeah, I mean, they're the ones you expect. They are Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Amazon. We have totally bombed on Pinterest and Twitter. I've done a lot of organic marketing on Reddit. That's not really marketing. It's more like I will post stuff about resumes, about Marvel, stuff about other things that I am interested in. And people will comment about, hey, are you that Sheets & Giggles guy? Or like, there will be some nugget about Sheets & Giggles somewhere. And it's a nice way to add value to the platform and make people smile and laugh and get good value out of the comments I'm doing without advertising or overtly so. It's been good from the organic traffic flow. YouTube has been really good with sponsorship. We've done a shout-out to a guy named Brian George who makes these amazing videos where he's talking to himself, which sounds schizophrenic, but he's so funny. And I saw his humor and I just knew. It was a year and a half ago, I reached out to him on Instagram. I was like, I have to sponsor you. I love your shit. And he's been a very successful partner of ours. I'm trying to scale that with more sponsorships of YouTube channels. We haven't really done ads pre-roll before YouTube. We're going to invest more heavily in a video this year. And then we've also done podcast advertising through radio.com, car public radio, I heart media and then we do programmatic advertising as well to retarget people that have been on the site. And overall, I would say the success per channel is basically expected to be where Facebook, Instagram, and Google are all crushing it and everything else is kind of experimental. “Oh, that's neat, et's put more money into here” type of spending. 

Ryan Alford [00:25:14] Yeah, I noticed you guys seem to do a lot with content and SEO and all that. That's got to be a pretty big driver, I imagine.  

Colin McIntosh [00:25:23] We do a lot. I have a full-time content marketing manager named Chris, who I can swear to God could write for Seinfeld. Initially, I wrote all the copy for the first couple of years. I hired him about a year ago, and he's really gotten the brand voice down path. And so I'm constantly pushing on him to get more blog posts, more content, and more CEO-driven stuff out there. There's plenty of stuff that we rank very highly for on Google when people are looking for different things about sheets. And we're just constantly pushing on that as well because I think that organic traffic flows is really big and has a really nice long tail to it as well. 

Ryan Alford [00:26:06] This isn’t a pitchy conversation, but I will just tell you a tactic that you should look into. We're doing a lot of search retargeting, so we can get the keyword searches and retarget people, and so we don't have to run the paper, we don’t have to do SEO, we can get the search made IDs run on Facebook or programmatic for anyone real-time that's doing searches. So if I look, if I search for sheets, I can retarget 90 percent of all search traffic. 

Colin McIntosh [00:26:42] I'm sure that we're doing this. I've got a whole performance team now that I’ll double-check, but I'm pretty sure we're doing that because a lot of my friends will tell me that the moment they start searching for bedsheets, they see Sheets & Giggles.  

Ryan Alford [00:26:56] You probably doing it through one of their programmatic ones.

Colin McIntosh [00:27:00]  It's tricky because our sheet sets are super high-end. They're like if they can do a shameless plug, they're softer than cotton and they're more breathable, more moisture-wicking. They are better for hot sleepers. They are zero static, hypoallergenic. Their dermatologist-recommended for sensitive skin and they're also incredibly sustainable. So you have these cooling, soft egde, sustainable luxury sheets, and then they're also one hundred fifty bucks. Our manufacturing costs are four times that of cotton. They're ten times that of polyester. And we're still beating Boll & Branch on their pricing. We're still beating Parachute on their pricing. We're beating almost everybody that I really care about beating from a pricing perspective. I don't want people to have to pay more to try new material, basically, even though our margins are a lot lower. But at the end of the day, the bedsheets market is a 12 billion dollar market with thousands of options. And 60 percent of what people are buying is $20 and $30 polyester bedsheets. And people don't even know they're buying it. They're buying microfiber, they're buying down alternatives. They're buying vegan fabric. It's all polyester. And they are 19 years old on Amazon with 50,000 reviews or 100,000 reviews or whatever, which is an absurd amount of volume on Amazon. And you know we're competing in that market. So, I do focus less on that customer who's looking for clean sheets and I focus a lot more on the people who are searching for bed sheets for hot sleepers, bedsheets for menopause, bedsheets for neuropathies, bedsheets for fibromyalgia. And we get a lot of people with skin conditions or other sensitive sleep conditions to use our sheets and then word of mouth starts to spread from there. 

Ryan Alford [00:28:58] I've got a good keyword for you that you should go after. I want to buy eucalyptus sheets today right fucking now. I would go after that longtail keyword. 

Colin McIntosh [00:29:16] When you do a lot of advertising, you pull up the sheets, we are actually a number one result on Google and Amazon for you. Pull up the sheets, which is awesome. And it makes me really happy because we fight with our main competitors for this spot and there is a lot more wealth on it than we are. 

Ryan Alford [00:29:35] But GenZ and millennials will pay for sustainability. And I don't have to tell you this because if I don't want that I didn't read is what your average age of your customers. I have no idea if I had to guess most people listening to this hearing, one hundred dollar sheets would probably go like 45-50. I bet it's like 30 or 28 to 32. I don't know like it’s just a guess. 

Colin McIntosh [00:29:59] The core demographic, the quarter for us is 25 to 40. So, we look at our core customer as a 30-something-year-old woman, even though a lot of guys own our sheets too, obviously. I think there are spots like 70:30, women: men and the number one demographic is the millennial demographic. And you're exactly right. As a mother, you're exactly right that I think that people think this is a weird market. People don't know why they should pay so much for bedsheets. They don't know why some sheets cost $50 and some sheets cost $100 and some sheets cost $500 dollars like Boll & Branch is selling their clean sheets for like $240 for cotton. I think that's an insane markup. I don't know if it is. I think it is. And so, there is different manufacturing cost, depending on the raw materials, depending on the production, the thread count, the yardage. There are so many different pieces of it. And so for us, I just know that our raw materials are extremely expensive. We don't make that much of a margin on our sales, especially with the marketing cost worked in and our prices reflect well, we think that we can do to build a sustainable business. And so, I think that over time there are only a handful of people in the world that actually make this material and if we continue to scale and our quantities continue to get higher and higher, we will be able to bring those prices down and I would love one day to be able to offer this for that fifty-dollar price range to hit a more mass-market adoption. 

Ryan Alford [00:31:42] Yeah, maybe Costco, you know, that was where the last place I bought sheets.

Colin McIntosh [00:31:50] So many people buy their sheets from Costco. Maybe it's because I always grew up going to Costco with my mom and getting groceries. But like, I don't think about Costco as bedsheets.

Ryan Alford [00:31:59] Let me say this. Because you sleep in your bed more than anything else, so, we'll spend money on I mean, obviously. But I am going to buy some Sheets & Giggles. You will see an order coming from Alford here in the next 24, 48 hours. I was a believer before talking to you, but I'm even more believer now. But I just love the story. I love the perspective. You're a likable guy, and you're easy to root for. So, hey, there's all your pats on the back. 

Colin McIntosh [00:32:32] I'm very flattered. I've already talked to Costco a little bit and I've talked to a few other retailers as well, and I've done a lot of retail in my past. And there's a reason why I went directly to the consumer. They absolutely just break your arm behind your back to get you to do their deals. And it's not just their business model. They get every dollar margin they possibly can. And so, it'll be really interesting when we branch into physical retail, probably 2022. I don't think only physical retail is going to fly right now. 

Ryan Alford [00:33:07] No, no, no. There's not a good physical plane for anything right now. 

Colin McIntosh [00:33:14] I know I can probably get some pretty good terms right now. 

Ryan Alford [00:33:16] Yeah, you might. Good. You might want to start. 

Colin McIntosh [00:33:18] It might be a good idea. And if there are any retail buyers out there listening to this, you hit me up and maybe we can do it. We can do something.

Ryan Alford [00:33:27] So, Colin, you know, as we kind of closeout here, you just mentioned a little bit of physical retail. I mean, where are we headed? Where do we want to take this? Where do you want to go? Like what's the vision here? 

Colin McIntosh [00:33:43] We have a really interesting opportunity where, just to speak transparently, I like most companies, I don't know their long term plans, like selling more shit and more products. And I think that's a good plan. Like you're an apparel company, what are you going to do? You're going to sell swimwear, like if your bra company, what you do, you sell bikinis. Or, if you're a shoe company, what do you do? You sell socks, you know, it's there. There are very obvious complementary products that you add in over time for us. But those are all like $40, $50, and $100 type incremental LCD ads. And so for me, we have kind of an interesting opportunity where we've cultivated this audience. I think we're approaching one hundred thousand customers in a couple of years who love us, who dig our authenticity. We've got a 4.8-star rating with 3,000 reviews on the website. And we don't hide our 1-star reviews, unlike pretty much every other consumer brand out there. We just reply to them and fix the problem. And, you know, like I think that they really trust us. So, we've got an opportunity. We’ve actually been working on it for a few months where I think we're going to start introducing a sustainable mattress option, sustainable bed frame, and sustainable mattress toppers. And it's really hard to do a single mattress topper without the polyester, with that plastic sheeting to protect the mattress. And I think we're going to be rolling those out as well as pillows probably mid-year this year. And it's an interesting marketing opportunity for us because not only do I get to introduce a better mattress than or a more sustainable mattress. I have a hernia C4 C5, so I will not put anything out in the market that does not totally crush from a sleep through the night with no pain and wake up feeling totally healed and refreshed. But like we can also increase our LTVs from a couple of hundred bucks or a few hundred bucks to potentially thousands of dollars range with this product line, which is a very rare opportunity for D2C Brand, to have an existing customer pool they can then introduce such a high-value item to. And so, that's kind of where I'm thinking about it from the brand perspective. It's been in the works for a while. I'm getting ready to launch it and I'm really excited about it. And then in terms of the long term, I just want S&G to be a household name. I want us to be synonymous with the bedsheets industry. I think it'll be funny that I kind of started this company to make fun of other bedsheet companies and now, we're taking money out of other people's pockets because we're doing things so differently. You know, it's always like I built the company sarcastically. It's just funny. In terms of the sustainability and the good that we do in the world, I've got a total bleeding heart. We plant a tree for every order. That's, I think, tens of thousands of trees planted in the United States, in areas that need reforestation. We pledge one percent of our profits, time, products, and equity, which is very important in the event of an exit, to global Colorado charities, which is awesome. We donate hundreds of sheet sets every year to Denver homeless shelters. We donated $40,000 last year to Covid-19 relief in the state of Colorado. We donated $12,000 to over one hundred charities over Black Friday weekend this last year, as a percentage of sales. The number one thing that I want is to look up in a few more years and say not only can we make this much money and have this much success and have this much fun, but we also like to materially improve the world and measurably. So, that's kind of the goal that I'm building towards. 

Ryan Alford [00:37:40] Hey, man, I mean, you're doing a lot. That’s admirable. I'm checking my list over here. Go on. I have not given back enough yet. And I will say this. Recovery, which is what the business that you're in, which is sleep is at the forefront of people's minds now because we have had the CEO of WOOP, which is a fitness tracker, the most advanced fitness tracker in the world that you wear, and it tracks your sleep like a lot better than an Apple Watch would. It’s dihs into every detail of your blood pressure and all these things. Anyway, I'll get the acronyms wrong. But it is a hot topic right now, the importance of recovery and sleep and all of these things. And you guys are right in the rows of it. And it's only going to get bigger because you realize the importance of human performance and all these things. But you got to get sleep, get good sleep, you gotta get proper sleep where you're not up all the time, where you've got the right sheets. So, you know, you're in a great area. 

Colin McIntosh [00:38:51] Sure. There are so many things that people know about sleep because it's boring. It's sleep like it's naturally just a boring topic. But like the thing that I've learned as someone who does have a C4 C5 herniation and as someone who has woken up and has been unable to fall asleep before because of pain, I've had to put ice packs all over my body, take six Advil. I just took six Advil every single day for years and I've had three epidural injections to try to help the pain. The number one thing that I have done in the last year and a half is I've strengthened my back. So, I work on my back every day and my morning routine to make sure that I'm stretched, I'm good to go as soon as I wake up. And that's where my next night's sleep starts in the morning. And I think that a lot of people don't realize what your sleep cycles are when your body releases growth hormones. So, when your body heals itself, your non-REM sleep is actually the most healing. A lot of people think REM sleep is healing. That's just a misconception. They don't know the hours of cycles where you both heal and when you feel well-rested. So, for example, if you wake up in the middle of a new cycle, you won't feel rested. Even if you got seven hours of sleep, you should have slept to the seven and a half-hour mark. Even if you got eight and a half hours of sleep, you should have slept to a nine-hour mark. And so there are different things that are pretty esoteric about sleep and how helpful it is for you. But it's weird because we built the brand that was not built around this type of information and we built the brand that was built around fun and just bedsheets and like we're going to entertain you while we sell them to you. And now that we're a little bit bigger and we have an audience, it's actually a lot of fun for me to start writing more of this stuff around, like here's how I got over my hernia C4 C5 pain and how I'm sleeping through the night and how I no longer take Advil and haven't in two years. And I think that my number one thing is being able to actually, materially improve people's lives. I mentioned neuropathy, fibromyalgia earlier. As someone who has had chronic pain, a different type of chronic pain, but chronic pain, I am always blown away. And it's not something I ever anticipated when I found it. Sheets & Giggles, obviously it's on a pun-based bedding company that people would reach out to us and say, “Hey, I have fibromyalgia. She said the only thing that allowed me to sleep throughout the night, I have a. And I overheat and I have ALS and I overheat. And like, your sheets are the only thing that actually you get me that healing sleep every night.” And it almost makes me emotional because I understand that sleep deprivation. It's torture when you cannot fall asleep, you know that feeling. You sit, you put your head in your hands and you say, “I'm having a panic attack” almost in bed because you can't fall asleep. That's what a subset of the population deals with every single night. And the fact that our sheets are lower surface friction, they're naturally cooling. I thought it would be wonderful for people in general. I didn't realize what an intimate impact it would have on a small percentage of the population. And that is something that I think is very special to me, personally.

Ryan Alford [00:42:18] Colin man, I love it. Hey, good night's rest is no laughing matter.

Colin McIntosh [00:42:26] When we released the mattress, the tagline is going to be a bed above the rest of it.

Ryan Alford [00:42:33] I love it. We're going over a few puns around here. You know, no one loves a good pun better than me. But Colin, I really appreciate your time and your transparency. I think this has been an amazing episode. I know our listeners and viewers are going to get a lot. The viewers are going to get even more because they're going to get to see it in real-time here. The in bed experience.

Colin McIntosh [00:42:57] We have the best colors, you can't find a mint green sheet like this anywhere, you got red, lavender, like a Deep Purple, like some people are always like these cars are terrible and other people are like, I love these, I can't get these anywhere else. And so, that's what I like about them. They're very striking. And so for the viewers out there, this is my bedroom. This is the painting of my bed. 

Ryan Alford [00:43:24] You get a nice color.You've got the mint green, the purple in the blue painting going on here, you know, like, I love it. We're working it. Where can we keep up with you, Colin? 

Colin McIntosh [00:43:35] I keep up with you. I'm really easy to find. sheetsgiggles.com is our website. There's no end in the URL. And then, I'm on Twitter and LinkedIn and those are the easiest ways.  

Ryan Alford [00:43:50] Let's catch up on the clubhouse.

Colin McIntosh [00:43:54] Yes, let's do one of these live on Clubhouse. Yes. Super fun. I'm called MacIntosh on Clubhouse and I'm doing one tonight actually, I don’t think this will be live. 

Ryan Alford [00:44:05] I’ll try to shoot you my contact and we'll connect there. But hey man, appreciate it so much. This has been the latest edition of the Radcast. Really appreciate Colin MacIntosh coming on. You know where to find him - sheetsgiggles.com. And we will see you next time. 

“Yo, guys. What's up? Ryan Alford here. Thanks so much for listening. Really appreciate it. Do us a favor. You've been enjoying the Radcast. You need to share the word with a friend or anyone else. We really appreciate it. And give us a review at Apple or Spotify. It was a solid. Tell more people, leave us some reviews. And hey, here's the best news of all. If you want to work with me to check with you, to get your business kicking ass and you want Radical or myself involved, you can text me directly at 8647293680. Don't wait another minute. Let's get your business going. 8647293680. We'll see you next time.” 

Colin McIntosh

CEO and Founder of Sheets & Giggles