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Updated: May 16, 2022 Shop Talk

Q&A: Northborough clothing entrepreneur seeks to provide better sleep

Photo | Courtesy of Dēp Slēpwear Glenn Paradise, owner of Dēp Slēpwear in Northborough

For almost four years, Glenn Paradise has been building from scratch a clothing company specializing in sleepwear. His company’s masked hoodie is designed to help those who struggle with getting a good night’s rest, including professional athletes.

How did you come up with the idea for Dēp Slēpwear?

I was not sleeping well for years, and it caught up with me. I had a nasty flu that stayed with me for three weeks, where I was basically marinating in my own sweat in bed. As I was lying there, I came up with this idea because I kept switching between my body freezing and burning up.

I would put on clothes and take them off. I went through my entire wardrobe, and what worked was athletic wear. It was with the Under Armor stuff that I was finally able to get comfortable.

When I went out looking for a sleep shirt and I couldn’t find it on Google, I was amazed.

How did you create your sleep hoodie?

I kept sketching and thinking about this, and I had a client up in Wakefield for my branding business, Jimmy Pedro, who was an Olympian and runs a judo business. He sells rash guards, which is basically what I was looking to do. I asked him if he ever put a hood on one of his rash guards. He had put a hijab on one for a Muslim fighter, so we figured we would try to do my concept.

We had a very rudimentary prototype that I started sleeping with. One time, I woke up from wearing it to sleep, thinking it would be 3 a.m. when I would often get up. Instead, it was 7:30 a.m., and I had slept great. I knew I was onto something.

This was something I always wanted to do, to invent a product, so slowly over the past few years, I have started to build this business. Now, we are selling around the world, and I get emails from customers saying “You saved my life.”

We rely mostly on e-commerce, and about 90% of sales are through the website,

Who did you work with to perfect the hoodie?

I was lucky to have Jimmy Pedro on my side, who was already selling hundreds and hundreds of rash guards. He was interested in doing this with me, as he was only selling to athletes. He had some clothing designers who he was already working with. After a few back and forths with the factory he was already working with, we came up with a product we were able to sell.

We started selling on Jimmy’s website, and it took off from there. I had already registered the website, the logo, the mark, a bunch of other URLs to protect the product name, and I got the social media handles. I started taking pictures of my family wearing the hoodie, and used my wife, daughter, son, and friends as models. I knew enough about the website backend that I was able to get it up and running and have it look professional.

How have sales gone?

Since we launched, we’ve sold nearly $500,000 worth of product, in 20 different countries.

We have sold to professional sports teams, and we get calls from athletes’ agents. Their athletes are wearing it, and they want to work with me, by having the athletes promote the products. However, it’s $20,000 for one Tweet from these guys, which I don’t have the capital for, but it does tell me that I’m onto something.

We did almost a quarter million dollars in sales in 2020. In 2021, we saw a dip, as I went too narrow in marketing to customers, and everybody was hurt by Apple’s operating system update. We still did $160,000 in sales, though. This year is going strong, and I am now talking to real heavy hitters from the entertainment and sports space.

This interview was edited for length and clarity by WBJ Editor Brad Kane.

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May 17, 2022
Great article Brad! Glenn - I love to see you following your passion and making it so successful! You are an inspiration.
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