Interview with Natasha from Hey Duvet
It is with great pleasure that I can introduce to you, dear reader, the wonderful Natasha from Hey Duvet. Natasha is the founder of a unique Australian bedding brand that has taken the humble doona to the next level. I didn’t think this was possible until I saw it for myself.
I work with some amazing small businesses to help create beautiful products for their customers. This is the first in a series of blogs where I share their stories with you.
Let’s jump in and discover more about how Natasha took an idea and created her practical and distinctive product.
Hi everyone! I’m Natasha and I started Hey Duvet with my husband Mark – we created an easy-to-change doona cover (featuring a zipper that runs along all three sides), because changing your bedding is a universally dreaded task!
My husband and I were changing our “traditional doona cover” (as well like to call them now!), and one of us said something along the lines of “why doesn’t this thing have a zipper on three sides”!
(so glad you like the name – I’m originally from Canada, which is probably why the brand isn’t called Hey Doona 😂)
Bringing an Idea to Life
It is one thing to have an idea, and another to create a business around it. How did you get your business idea off the ground?
Baby steps! Bringing an idea to life can be really overwhelming, but sometimes it’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and not looking too far ahead.
I’m a huge advocate of upskilling, so the first thing I did was enrol in an online course aimed at teaching me all that is involved in launching a product/brand, and the second thing I did was sign up for local sewing lessons in order to create my first prototype. Sourcing a ridiculously long zipper is a whole story in itself!
Were you always planning to outsource your productions? Where do you start with something like that?
If I showed you my original prototype, you would understand my need for outsourcing production!! The course I took had some really great tips on how to find manufacturers, but ultimately I was able to find someone in my network of friends that had a manufacturing contact in Vietnam. I’m not someone who’s very comfortable asking for help, but I’m so glad I did! My first order was tiny (baby steps, right!?) – I ordered 50 covers, only available in white, and only in two sizes. We’ve come a long way!
What is most important to you when it comes to owning and running a small business?
Customer service is #1 for me. There are so many things out of your control when running a small business, but the person you are to your customers isn’t one of them!
Surprises in Small Business
Small business always brings big surprises. What has been an obstacle you have needed to overcome?
It feels like there’s a surprise at every corner! The biggest and most challenging one was probably when our factory closed for 7 months during covid. I basically had to start from scratch again with a new manufacturer. It was devastating at the time, but now I’m happy that I can mitigate risk by using both.
Tell us a bit about how your product is assisting those with disabilities.
Our NDIS customers have given our business a completely unexpected and beautiful positive response. I hadn’t considered the spectrum of challenges people have in making their bed, and I’m so proud that we’re playing even the smallest role in making that process easier.
If you’re covered by an NDIS plan and changing your bedding is a challenge, reach out or have your plan manager reach out 🙂
That is wonderful. A lot of people with disabilites, and those who care and support them, will appreciate your clever design.
Working with a Designer
We have collaborated on your latest duvet design, Millefleur. How did you decide it was time to hire a Surface Pattern Designer?
During the first few years, our range was limited to solid colours but the number one request was always patterns. I had a really difficult time buying our first few patterns from pattern libraries, so I realised fairly quickly that I absolutely need a surface pattern designed. I was so happy when I landed on your instagram page!
What benefits have you found from working with a designer?
You’re the first designer I’ve worked with and it was such a seamless experience! Besides being confident that I was going to get a beautiful design, there were some really obvious technical benefits – it was a relief to have the pantone colours selected for me, the right file type and the correct scale. If anything needed to be adjusted, I knew you were a phone call, email or text away.
I also love that you got to share in the product journey with me, and that you yourself are a small Australian business!
Natasha’s amazing duvet covers can be found at heyduvet.com.au. There you will also find fabulous flat and fitted sheets and pillow slips to finish off the look of stylish and practical, easy to use bedding.
Are you ready to talk to a designer about your next product?
Get your idea out of you head and into a 'Designer Ready Vision' to share with your Surface Pattern Designer and your team!