In this interview series, we are talking to founders, CEOs, and ecommerce business leaders about how to use social media to grow your ecommerce business. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Peri Polesuk.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
It was actually an accident! I used to visit a friend at her apartment in New York City after college. Every time I visited my friend, her bed was always made. It looked so nice and neat. So, when I got my own apartment, I decided that I was going to make my bed every day too! I went to Bloomingdales and bought a set of Ralph Lauren bedding.
I couldn’t wait to make my bed, so I washed my new bedding right away and put it on. I threw the flat top sheet in the air holding the ends by the foot of my bed, and it came down but was uneven. I did that several times and ended up on the bed trying to straighten the top sheet. Then the tucking… tuck it one way, then the other—was it then straight once I put my comforter on top and folded the top sheet over? No!
The top sheet gave the bed such a pretty, finished look that I really wanted to achieve. After doing this for months and fighting with my top sheet, I decided there had to be an easier way to make the bed with a top sheet. I wanted my bed to come out perfect every time without flying the top sheet in the air and then trying to make hospital corners. It was not easy to bend and tuck it properly every morning.
I thought maybe if the bottom by my feet was fitted and it was still flat at the top by my pillows, it would be perfect every time. So I took a flat top sheet and a fitted sheet to my dry cleaner and said, ”Cut these in half horizontally and sew them together.” I picked up my sample from the dry cleaner and put it on my bed. The first time I tried it, it worked! Each morning I continued to make my bed with my sample—my prototype was born! Little did I know my idea was actually a great invention!
Can you share the most exciting story that has happened to you since you began at your company?
I would have to say that the validation of knowing that people love my bedding is the best feeling! I created a product that helps people do something easier every day! Making your bed should be the first thing you do every morning. So knowing I helped make that task a little better is so gratifying.
Every time I get an email or DM from someone that has bought my bedding and loves it makes me feel so good!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson did you learn from that?
I would have to say the funniest mistake I have made so far was talking about going on Shark Tank with my bedding to my brother. He’s an attorney for ABC/Disney, so that can never happen! He has ruined my chances forever! Lori Greiner and Daymond John will have to find me! The one thing I can say I have learned from this is that you have to keep grinding every day. Reach out and network constantly!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I love talking with different companies to bring my patent to more people. Licensing and branding are very exciting. There are so many opportunities with my bedding that sometimes I don’t know which direction to go in! I want my bedding on as many beds as possible because ease is something we all want, and my bedding makes bed-making easier!
What are three traits about yourself that you feel helped fuel your success? Can you share a story or example for each?
1. Believe in yourself and your product. When I was going through the patent process, and my attorney told me there is really nothing like your product out in the market. That was so exciting. I felt I had to keep going on the path to bring it to the market. Sharing something unique and building a company around it is amazing!
2. Don’t quit! Sometimes you don’t get responses from people or businesses that you think should be interested in you or your product, but never quit.
3. Keep talking to different people about your product and brand. You never know who might be interested in working with you and or who they might know that can help you. It is a great feeling when you get on a call with someone and really connect, and then they start connecting you to other people that can help you out as well.
What was your original vision for your ecommerce business? What pain point(s) were you trying to solve for your customers?
I wanted to have a direct-to-consumer website that shows my product and offers it in a simple way. I think people want ease and simplicity, so I wanted my website to be easy to understand my product and easy to navigate and purchase. I am solving the problem of difficult bed-making, so I had to get that point across. Sharing your brand and vision is so important, and sticking by that vision is even more important.
How did social media help you grow your business? What were your strategic objectives, and how did you implement your social media plan?
When I first licensed my patent, the company I licensed to had a different marketing direction than what I had envisioned. My hands were sort of tied.
I decided to start an Instagram page for my product. I shared my product every day. Showing photos and videos of my bedding—how is unique and innovative it is. I reached out to various people and businesses within my industry and just kept talking about my product and networking. I would send direct messages (DMs) to various people and brands to share my bedding. That has now grown to amazing awareness for my brand and product, and I feel I have reached a lot of people this way.
I continue to grow my social media platforms and connect with people all the time. Connecting with people on LinkedIn is also very beneficial. It’s great to be able to share my product and brand with my vision. Now that I have complete control over my brand and distribution—I feel it will only get better over time.
Which social media platforms have you found most beneficial for ecommerce specifically?
Definitely Instagram. Facebook is good too, but not as good as Instagram.
What social commerce trends are you most closely paying attention to, and how are you preparing to leverage them for growth?
Reels on Instagram give you the opportunity to share videos which is helpful for my bedding. My patented top sheet is sometimes hard for people to visualize until they see a demonstration. Videos bring more awareness to the brand as a whole as well.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen when companies try to use social media to promote ecommerce? What can be done to avoid those mistakes?
I think mistakes are made when companies and individuals try to share too many things at once. Sticking to the brand and the message is very important.
Based on your experience and success, what are your top five ways to use social media to grow your ecommerce business? Please share a story or an example for each.
1. Explain your brand or product so that people fully understand what you are selling. Post it in different ways. Send your product to people in your industry, celebrities, or influencers, and have them post for you as well.
2. Don’t share things that are not related to your brand or product—it gets too confusing and lacks focus. Sharing photos that don’t directly show your brand or product is not meaningful.
3. Make it easy to purchase and work with you. Understanding your product and having it be easy to purchase or order is so important. People want things to be easy. Simplicity is key!
4. Have your clients share and tag you in their posts—that brings more awareness to something they had a good experience with. If you have clients that love your product, have them post for you even if their account is private. They will still be sharing a good find with their friends and family.
5. Make your product and brand relatable. People want to feel like you get them and that you are solving a problem that they might have as well. This is one of the best features of my bedding. Everyone that has a bed—needs bedding. I created a product that appeals to every budget out there and solves a problem.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most people, what would that be?
Be nice! Being nice is contagious. Do good whenever you can! Help anyone that you can—it feels good, and it’s good karma!
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