Kathrin Hamm is on a mission to bring restorative, natural, and drug-free rest to all. Sleep—or lack thereof—is something this founder knows a lot about. “I worked as an economist at the World Bank. I had just moved to India and was constantly traveling from country to country, sleeping on planes, making it impossible to get any sleep. During the day, I couldn’t focus and was always tired. I tried everything from new mattresses and pillows to sleep trackers and white noise machines.” It wasn’t until Hamm tried a weighted blanket (and had the best afternoon nap of her life) that her relationship with sleep started to change for the better. Weighted blankets have been used in the medical community for decades, but Hamm saw an opportunity to bring a better, more sustainable product to a bigger community. With that, her brand Bearaby was born. The brand offers a range of blankets—or “nappers”—made from a chunky knit in a variety of weights, colors and materials (from classic cotton to cozy velvet). Is anyone else starting to feel sleepy?
On What Sets Her Product Apart
“Bearaby blankets are weighted with layers of organic materials such as cotton and Tencel, unlike conventional blankets that get their weight from fillers like plastic pellets or microbeads. Bearaby’s filler-free approach helps bring about better, deeper sleep without the planet having to suffer for it.
Our mindset around sustainability is carried through every touchstone of the business, including our plastic-free packing and supply chain. Packaging and operations can easily be one of the most wasteful elements of a product design. Eliminating plastic is an impactful way to move your business’ sustainability mission forward, and it’s something that sets us apart as a brand. To take these eco-minded efforts to the next level, we’ve also shared easy-to-follow tutorials on how to upcycle our packaging into a variety of practical everyday items. “
On Growing Her Brand
“Making space for big ideas is what keeps us motivated as a company. This year marks Bearaby’s expansion further into home design beyond weighted blankets with the recent release of the Hugget Collection, sensory knot pillows crafted from our latest material innovation— Melofoam™. An all-natural, breathable, fully biodegradable responsive rubber made from sap tapped directly from rubber trees. It's a zero-waste process that is entirely compostable, continuing Bearaby's legacy of products with a fully eco-friendly life-cycle.
We’re looking forward to cultivating our creativity and bringing our imaginativeness to the forefront with additional new designs launching this year connecting with and supporting our customers in their quest for calm.”
On Building a Community
“As a DTC brand, authentically engaging with our communities is the driving force behind our work. Our goal is to give consumers the self-care tools and resources they need with our functional home design products and messaging around what it means to take care of yourself in the modern world. Those who struggle with sleep deprivation or anxiety understand just how crippling it can be, and we often hear from folks sharing that our products have helped them during these times of need.
In what can feel like an increasingly chaotic world, we’re often bombarded with urgent messages but our Bearaby community that we’ve dubbed, The Napperhood is a place where audiences can come to feel cozy and comforted whether visiting on our website, our blog, or across our social platforms.”
On Advocating for Rest
“I am proudest to be contributing to the conversation around restorative rest, advocating that people actually sleep on the job! As a napvocate, I’m a firm believer that restfulness will actually take you further than “the grind” ever could. Rest assured that getting proper sleep and scheduling naps for proper downtime is actually the most productive gift you could ever give yourself.”
Who inspires you?
“Women inspire me every day. When I think of the future of business, I see women at the forefront of exciting change for a better tomorrow. From my mother, a lifelong knitter who helped create our first Bearaby prototype, to like-minded entrepreneurs who are also carving out their path and disrupting tired industries.”
How many unread emails do you have right now?
“6,375—trading naps for email management. Jokes aside, with emails often everything feels urgent, but few things really are.”
How do you unwind after work?
“My yoga practice is one of my tried and true avenues for self-care and reflection. It helps keep me grounded amidst life’s more chaotic moments.”
“‘Don’t be afraid to ask for help.’ Put faith in your trusted mentors and those that support you.”
“That business success is all about money. While making money is an integral part of running a business, prioritizing the positive impact you can bring to the lives of others is a more holistic sign of achievement.”