Most entrepreneurs have an “aha moment,” but friends Nita Gassen and Judy Schott were lucky—they had two. One was provided by Judy’s son, Tyler, who is affectionately called “lazy” by his twin brother, Trevor, because he doesn’t like to make his bed. And Nita was inspired by a friend who asked for ideas to make changing the beds in her condo easier.
Making a bed can be challenging for many people, not because they are lazy, but because lifting a heavy mattress is difficult for older people or painful for someone with arthritis or a bad back. And never mind the issue of restless sleepers who toss and turn all night, sometimes completely unmaking the bed!
Before taking the problem into her own hands (literally), Nita had gone to Home Depot to try to find something that would help making a bed easier. Finding nothing for sale anywhere, she bought a sewing machine and taught herself to sew by watching YouTube videos. Soon she had developed a prototype that is essentially a giant “headband” that goes around the edge of a mattress and holds the sheets in place. When making or changing the bed, it is not necessary to lift the mattress at all—just tuck the sheets into the headband! The Better Bedder works with any type or size of sheet, so it isn’t necessary to buy special ones.
It turned out the creating the prototype was the easy part! Numerous manufacturers around the country were contacted, but most of them wanted more production than the small start-up could commit to. Then they stumbled onto a small sewing shop, just a few miles across the Mississippi from New Orleans. The partners were thrilled that Better Bedder could be made in the US and close to their home as well.
As a way of assessing interest and getting feedback on their unique creation, the partners headed to a local Saturday market. Interest and feedback were extremely positive and they began to attend every Saturday. They set up a website and inquiries from hotels, B&Bs and mattress companies started coming from throughout the U.S. and as far away as Guatemala.
An instructional video had nearly 9,000 views in 2-1/2 days. (January 20, 2019 article on , by Anna Thibodeaux). Better Bedder was featured at the Cajun Palms RV Show in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana on 11/21/20.
The Better Bedder consists of a fabric shell of cotton, polyester and spandex, with a quilt-like padding in the side panels. Pockets are included that will hold various items such as books, glasses, and cell phones. It fits all mattress heights, and is machine washable.
When Nita was talking with Anna Thibodeaux of, she said both she and Judy were very excited about the potential for their company and the upcoming appearance on Shark Tank. But the most exciting thing will be when they start making a profit and will be able to donate to two worthy charities: Covenant House and UP21, a Down’s Syndrome support group.