{Brilliant Idea} Can a nightgown really help you sleep?

Two FOF believers (and business partners) are spreading the “Goodnighties” gospel…

FOF Sarah Baldwin spent 25 years as a high-powered marketing executive, launching mega brands such as NutraSweet and Dorothy Hamill’s Ice Capades. But by her mid 40s, she had stepped off the corporate track to raise her two children and was, in her own words, a “tired, restless menopausal mom, not getting any sleep.”

That’s when she happened upon a website featuring “Goodnighties”–sleepwear that claimed to improve circulation and sleep. “I thought the name was cute,” Sarah remembers. “So I ordered one.”

Exactly 19 days later she was on a plane to Hunstville, Alabama, to meet the inventor of Goodnighties, Marcia Bacon. “The very first time I wore the gown, I slept through the night and woke up feeling refreshed,” Sarah remembers. “I said to my husband, ‘This actually works! I have to find this company.’”

Today, Marcia, Sarah, and their husbands run Goodnighties together, a labor of love that’s quickly turning into a blockbuster business, with sales in all 50 states and 15 countries. Here, Marcia and Sarah discuss how a unique fabric has inspired their business, their friendship and a legion of fans.

FOF: Marcia, you actually developed Goodnighties.  How did you get the idea?
Marcia: While I was recovering from back surgery and going through menopause. The combination made sleep impossible.  My husband, who has been in the sportswear business for years, brought home a shirt sample made of ionized fabric (called Ionx) that supposedly increased circulation and improved healing. It was intended for athletes. I was skeptical, but I wore it, and noticed right away that I was sleeping better and my recovery felt easier.

Still, the shirt itself wasn’t quite right. It was too thick and too heavy. So I started development of a custom Ionx fabric that was lightweight, soft and non-binding. After 18 months, Goodnighties “smart fabric” was born. It has the same negative-ion properties but is also moisture wicking and antimicrobial. (It’s also made in the USA, which I love.)

What exactly do negative ions do?  It sounds a little like science fiction.
Marcia: Negative ions are molecules found in abundance in certain natural, outdoor environments such as the beach or the mountains. Recent studies suggest that they can increase serotonin levels, decrease stress, regulate melatonin and increase circulation. If you’ve ever had a fabulous night’s sleep at the beach, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Researchers at Columbia University are even investigating negative-ions as a treatment for depression.

Sarah, what did you notice when you first wore the nightie?
Sarah: I slept so well in it.  I felt energized!  I thought, ‘everyone should know about this!’  I didn’t know the science behind it then, but my whole body felt refreshed.

How did you connect with Marcia?
Sarah: I cold called her! And she couldn’t have been nicer. She appreciated my marketing background and what I could offer her business.

Marcia: Our abilities complimented each other. My husband and I had the manufacturing experience and Sarah, knew marketing and sales.

Sarah: A few months later, we went into business together.

What’s been the reaction from consumers?
Sarah: It’s not an easy sell at first…most people are skeptical. They think that if it’s not a sleeping pill, it’s not going to work. But once women try it, they love it. We get calls and emails constantly from customers who can’t believe how well it works.

Marcia: Our re-order rate is amazing. Most of our customers re-order either for themselves, or send it to other women they know have had trouble sleeping.

What are your plans for the future?
Sarah: Right now, we’re just having so much fun working together on a product we believe in. It’s inspiring. But it’s also a great challenge.
Marcia: We promised each other that when we hit the $5 million sales mark, we’ll take a trip together.
Sarah: We want to have a glass of wine in Tuscany! That would be a dream–no pun intended.

Editor’s note: FOF’s Founder, Geri Brin, discovered Goodnighties this year, and liked hers so much she contacted the company about creating a special FOF-branded version. Check it out in our shop and enjoy a 10% discount this week when you use code Good10 at checkout.