We caught up with Nina, founder of the fun & luxurious sleepwear brand, Nightire to tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the brand, her journey to becoming an entrepreneur and share with us all the wisdom she learned along the way.
We are absolutely in love with your brand! When did you found it?
Thank you, I launched in December 2017, took ages before that to prep for this!
Can you tell our readers a little bit about what you do?
I’ve created a sleepwear brand called Nightire - The Urban Sleepwear Co. At Nightire, we're all about sleep. Good sleep, bad sleep, afternoon-nap sleep. If it's sleep-related, we’re on it. We also know that super soft, temperature-regulating, 100% organic bamboo sleepwear is the first step towards the best night's sleep of your life. Insomnia and too-much-on-my-mind-itis be damned. Created with the constant list-makers and the work-hard-play-hard city slickers in mind, every Nightire detail has been carefully researched for a wonderfully relaxing downtime and a very good sleep. Night after night.
How did you get your idea for Nightire?
Nightire was born out of a personal quest to understand sleep, and all that it entails, a bit better. Like many folks I know, I have this thing called can’t-always-shut-my-brain-off-to-go-to-sleep syndrome. I overthink everything and am that person who constantly makes lists in my head and who worries about things that I can’t change; all while lying in bed at night waiting for sleep to set in. This led to a few years of having a rather patchy sleep routine. I began doing research into what could help a person sleep better and tried to apply it in my nightly routine: using black-out blinds, taking a relaxing bath, using no screens in the room (i.e. goodbye to Insta-sessions right before bed), and trying anything I could to keep my body temperature on an even keel. That included buying the right sleepwear, which, in turn, got me to focus on an industry that seemed like it had some room for innovation (and a bit more personality), which is how the idea for Nightire came about.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
It was a combination of an idea, a yearning for working on a brand daily that I was massively passionate about, and good timing – the company that I worked for as the Brand Manager, at the time that I had started researching the market for Nightire, went bankrupt literally overnight, which is when I decided to take the opportunity to go at it alone.
How long did it take for you to put your idea into action?
It was quite instant actually – even though it took me forever (over a year and a half) to launch the company after the initial idea came to me – partly because of supplier and sourcing hurdles, I started working on it straight away as was SO keen to spice up this sleepy sleepwear industry. I started out by doing research about the pyjama market, searched high and low for the material that would make a real difference in people’s sleeping behaviour, created the business plan, set out financial forecasts, and then tackled all the admin around setting up the company and the day to day running of it.
Wow, very strategic, we love it! Running your own business has so many challenges though. Have you had any career defining moments, or hurdles that shaped who you are and where you are right now? How did you overcome these?
I do face many challenges on a daily basis – but I try overcome these by quietening the voices in my head that insist that I can’t do it and pushing forward even when sales are slow, people are dismissive and the hype has died down.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned?
Failure and rejection is par for the course- it’s a daily occurrence and it’s other people’s loss if they don’t ‘get’ what you and your brand is about. You won’t appeal to everyone so run your own race and don’t take it personally. That’s one of the MANY lessons I’ve learnt so far…
We couldn't agree with you more on that! What is it that motivates you?
It’s not about the money (ok, it’s a bit about the money), but for Nightire the mission is about actually helping people to sleep better and to invest more in their health (by focusing more on sleep). Getting feedback from people who love the product and support the brand makes every day feel like a win.
If you had one piece of advice for someone who is just starting out, what would it be?
If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. So take on the hard parts and relish it when you’ve overcome them. Also, trust your gut and stop second-guessing yourself.
What are your goals for the future?
Dominating the world of sleep. I wanted to revolutionise the sleepwear industry, and this mission is what keeps me going every day still.
Do you have a particular life motto that you live by?
Stay humble. Work hard. Be kind.
Finally, which women inspire you?
No-one in particular that I’d like to single out, but I meet female entrepreneurs on a daily basis who are doing SUCH amazing things in business, while juggling having kids and living a fairly balanced life. So I would say female entrepreneurs and businesswomen collectively inspire and amaze me daily.