“In metro areas, we’re saving between $10 and $15 on a two-pillow package, which is our best seller.” ~ Laura McConnell Conti, co-founder, #GoKindly

TL;DR (too long; didn't read)

  • Laura McConnell Conti wanted Australians to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
  • #GoKindly was established to sell bedding basics while supporting disadvantaged women.
  • With sustainability as a core value, #GoKindly also offers pillow recycling.
  • Sendle’s weight breaks deliver substantial savings on shipping.
  • Superior service and speedy delivery seals the deal.
  • Operations staff now report that managing Sendle parcels is the easiest part of the day.

 

From CFO to chief pillow tester

laura mcconnell conti gokindly co-founder

Laura McConnell Conti

When Laura was researching business opportunities, she saw there was a gap in the market for unsexy stuff in bed. Things that lie under the covers, such as good-quality pillows, were hard to find. She was keen to start a social enterprise to help disadvantaged women and non-binary people, so she and David Conti teamed up to build a business based on bedding.

They started with a single offering, the Signature Pillow, and built in extra little touches such as name labels so that nobody in the house gets their pillow mixed up. They quickly found that customers loved their pillows and were keen to support a company that was established to help solve social issues.

Five years on, #GoKindly is a certified B Corp passionate about sustainable capitalism, profit for purpose, and social enterprise models. As it happens, Sendle is also a B Corp, and proud of it! And with B Corp Month just around the corner, we're keen to celebrate how businesses such as #GoKindly are moving forward to create a better world for us all.

 

Nobody buys a single pillow

Laura’s first instinct was to look overseas for products, but soon realised that it would be difficult to ensure that suppliers in a fragmented supply chain were aligned with #GoKindly’s ethics. Moreover, she was committed to having everyone paid proper wages, and that could not be guaranteed with offshore suppliers. So, they now source all their products and packaging from Australia. Laura’s proud that they are supporting other Australian manufacturers and is confident that #GoKindly pillows, which have OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certification, and are great for allergy sufferers and people with sensitive skin, are a superior product in the Australian market.

two gokindly pillows on wood flooring beside fern plant pot and wooden stool chair

While testing the market, Laura sent pillows far and wide for people to try out, so became proficient in packaging and shipping one pillow, but was surprised to find that customers seldom buy a single pillow. She quickly had to adapt packaging to suit pairs of pillows as most sales were for two or more.

 

The first pillow recycling program

Right from the start, #GoKindly was passionate about not contributing more waste to the world but finding affordable recyclable, compostable and long wearing packaging meant a lot of research in the early days. Their pillows and other products are enclosed in a recycled card wrapper because #GoKindly refuses to use any single-use plastic in its supply chain. However, this means that the studio space and warehouse must be kept spotless so that products are always sent out in perfect condition. While this has added challenges to the way the business is run, they believe it’s the right thing to do.

As the business continued to grow, Laura became concerned about the thought of pillows past their prime going into landfill, so they started Australia's first pillow recycling program. #GoKindly customers are now incentivised to return pillows so they can be shredded and turned back into yarn for new fabric. The raw material is shipped to India where it starts a new lease on life in the manufacturing process.

david conti gokindly co-founder

David Conti, #GoKindly co-founder

woman holding gokindly pillow over shoulder

 

Shipping pillows is complex

With pillows and other bedding basics being sent all over Australia, packaging and shipping has always been a challenge. For example, a large pillow shipment to a mining site in WA requires a completely different solution to a two-pillow parcel sent across town. While researching the best option for different configurations, #GoKindly’s operations team realised that Sendle’s metro shipping prices were significantly cheaper than Australia Post or courier services.

“We evaluate what’s cheapest, what’s the best customer experience, and what’s going to get there fastest. For anything metro, we use Sendle.”

The bulk of their customers are located in the big cities which means #GoKindly benefits from Sendle’s Same-city and Near Metro rates. They are now saving up to $15 per order on shipping a 3kg box, and that’s a substantial contribution to the bottom line. This frees up more profits for #GoKindly to donate to organisations doing good work to support disadvantaged women and non-binary people.

 

Sendle’s speedy service seals the deal

It wasn’t only better prices that encouraged Laura to make the switch to Sendle. At #GoKindly, customer service is paramount, so they did some testing to see how long delivery would take. Nobody likes to wait too long for a new pillow, and Laura was delighted to find that packages were getting to customers super fast.

Operations staff also reported back that the Sendle Dashboard was a lot more streamlined than others they use. In fact, managing parcels going out with Sendle soon became the quickest and easiest part of their day.

woman lying on her front sleeping soundly comfortably on gokindly pillow two gokindly pillows on bed

 

Building a sustainable future

Looking to the future, Laura is keen for more people to get a good night’s sleep, so they’re expanding their B2B operations into boutique hotels and high-end Airbnb accommodation.

When asked what advice she’d give to somebody starting out on a similar path, Laura says she would have started 15 years earlier if she’d known what she knows now. She sees fantastic prospects for trusted brands like #GoKindly that benefit society as much as the customer. Her advice is to have faith in yourself, take a chance and be prepared to learn along the way. And never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep on a #GoKindly Signature Pillow.

See how you could benefit from Sendle’s great prices.


Photo courtesy: #GoKindly

 

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