Phoebe Yu is the Founder and CEO of ettitude, a sustainable bedding company, whose luxuriously silky soft bed-sheets are naturally good for you, and the planet. We talked to her about building a business, dealing with failures (they’re a good thing!), sustainability tips, and what self-care means to her.
What inspired you to start ettitude?
I spent 15 years working for large U.S. retailers and was disappointed that most only cared about low production costs, rather than quality, comfort or sustainability. Similarly, when I was shopping for my own home, I spent hours hunting for the perfect sheets and was so frustrated by the the low-quality, while the more sustainable options were outrageously overpriced. So, I decided to build my own brand that would offer functional and comfortable bedding, that would also be earth-friendly.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on that journey?
Sometimes, less is more.
Early on, I thought carrying more product lines meant more revenue, but that was wrong. Carrying too many products weakened our brand image and positioning. I’ve learned that if you try to do too many things at the same time, you won’t stand out. Since last year, we started to focus solely on our exclusive 100% Organic Bamboo Lyocell bedding products, and our sales have really started to take off.
What other sustainable brands do you love?
Reformation, Patagonia, and Toms shoes.
What are some small things that people can do to live a greener and more conscious lifestyle?
Eating less meat! It’s more beneficial for the environment than not driving. You don’t have to cut meat out completely, you could do ‘Meatless Monday’ and even that will make a big difference. It’s a myth that we need to eat meat to gain muscle or be healthy. I stopped eating meat 3 years ago and I have never been so strong and healthy in my whole life, even now in my 40’s.
What advice would you give to someone who has a business dream?
The biggest “failure” would be that you never tried.
I had a dream, I pursued it, and I totally enjoyed the process. Other so-called ‘failures’ are temporary, and just lessons to be learned so you can be better next time. You need to have the ‘weight lifter mindset’. Keep lifting, keep failing, but at the same time you are getting better and better. Dropping the barbell once in a while is just part of it.
How do you keep your physical and mental health in balance?
I do crossfit 3-4 times a week, and I try to have 7-8 hours solid night sleep if I can. High quality sleep is so important for physical and mental health. And of course, I only sleep on our own ettitude sheets that are so soft, comfortable and breathable. I also do my best to spend quality down time with loved ones too – that’s particularly important for my mental health. The difference between the gold medal and silver medal athletes are the former ones know how to “take a break and rest”.
What does self-care mean to you?
First, take care of your own mental and physical wellbeing then you can have the ability to help others and change the world in a positive way. It’s self-responsibility.
What are you most hopeful about right now?
Technological advances that can help to solve the climate change crisis.
By Chloe’s vegan Whisky BBQ burger
A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” – Marcel Proust
Whole Foods stores. (We don’t have this yet in Australia, hope Amazon bring it to Australia soon!)
Favorite sundays shade
Discover more about ettititude’s quest to create the world’s most comfortable sustainable bedding here.