TAMPA — Faceplant Dreams is a high-end sleepwear company located in Ybor City. During the pandemic, they found a way to survive and thrive by thinking outside the box.
The owner, Brigitte Farrell, tells ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska what they learned during lockdowns is the basis for a new business model.
Farrell launched Faceplant Dreams out of her garage in 2008. Her mission was to create a line of sleepwear made out of the most comfortable, durable, and breathable fabric she could find.
Farrell said her collection is second to none with a proprietary blend of bamboo, spandex, and cotton.
"It's super important to relax and feel good before you fall asleep, and that's why we started," Farrell said. "It's the most comfortable fabric you can sleep in. That's why we use bamboo."
Some people might wonder how she came up with a unique name for the company, but when you hear how it makes total sense.
"We were at a restaurant, and the waitress misinterpreted our 'wrap it up' and brought another glass of wine, and my girlfriend looked at me, and she said if 'I touch that third glass of wine I will absolutely Faceplant into my pillow,' and the name was born," Farrell said.
The lockdowns in 2020 were a shock to many entrepreneurs. How will they make sales, what can they do in the meantime? Farrell said she challenged her entire staff to find solutions to the COVID problem.
"What can you do to make this business grow? Don't go home and take three months off while we are closed down. Let's all go home and think," Farrell said.
Even before the pandemic hit, Farrell said they wanted to change their marketing to reach more customers. Pre-pandemic, she was in 1,500 high-end boutiques, and 95% of their business was wholesale.
"We are now about 65% wholesale and 35% direct to consumer with all of the great ideas we implemented with our team," Farrell said. "COVID has absolutely made us better. We doubled down, went in big, and bought inventory heavy, so when stores started to open again in September, October and we were going into the holiday, we were one of the few small businesses that still had a lot of inventory.