In 2012, Vicki Fulop and her husband, Rich, went on vacation. She was working in PR and he was about to start business school. “The hotel had awesome sheets,” Vicki says. “I always was into quality linens, but this was Rich’s epiphany, where he was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Now I get what you’re talking about.’” They went to buy the sheets at the gift shop and found they cost $800.
Convinced it was some wild hotel markup, they researched them online and found they cost the same amount from the manufacturer. That was their “aha” moment; while Warby Parker, for instance, had found a way to make a luxury product more affordable while maintaining its quality, they didn’t see anyone doing that in bedding.
Their company, Brooklinen, grew slowly and then exploded. They initially raised $30k from friends and family to create prototypes and build the website. To finance their first public offering, they took to Kickstarter, where they raised over $230k, far exceeding their goal. Last year, they received their first round of funding: $10m from FirstMark Capital. In the past four years, Brooklinen has made nearly $100m in revenue.
Not bad for a couple of twenty-somethings who just wanted to sleep in a cheaper version of their sweet vacation sheets. But, of course, those impressive numbers obscure the day to day hustle. Ahead, Vicki walks us through a typical day in her life as the co-founder and CCO of a rapidly-growing company, for our series, “So, What Do You Do All Day?”
8 to 10 a.m.
I wake up around eight. I feel bad because there are people that get up earlier, but I’m a later person. I read the New York Times on my phone and think, “Wow, this is depressing.”
Then I get up, make tea, and watchWatch What Happens Live on Bravo, which I record the night before. I like to start my day with Andy Cohen; he makes me laugh.
I shower, get dressed, and head to the office. We bring our dog Dux to work, so either Rich or I will walk him in.
I check my emails quickly and then I go into meetings. We used to have a lot of hands-on work. Now we have a lot of meetings!
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
We might have a product development meeting, where we review samples, adjust materials, and check the sizing. We’re planning for 2019 right now, so we’re going through tons of new stuff.
From there, we might move onto hiring, because we’re looking to fill a number of roles. For instance, we’re hiring for a social media manager right now, so we could interview a couple candidates for that.
For lunch, I run to a taco shop across the street and grab something. I try to go for a walk to clear my head or eat outside when the weather is nice, but I typically eat at my desk. I encourage everybody else to have a proper lunch, but I’m bad at it.
12 – 3 p.m.
In the afternoon, we have more meetings.
During our weekly design meetings, I review and give approval on anything I need to. For instance, does the packaging for new launches work or do we need a new aesthetic direction? I share any new priorities, like how the homepage redesign fits into our current roadmap of elements on the website. Or we might have a kickoff meeting, where we talk about our new products from a technical, functional, and aesthetic perspective.
At some point, I’ll check my email and have a quick touchbase with Rich.
3 – 6 p.m.
At the end of the day, I’ll take a look at our social media calendar and see what’s coming up on our schedule. I also check our Slack “customer experience” channel; we have feedback streaming in constantly about what customers like, don’t like, are asking for, and want more of. We use this info to learn and iterate.
Then one last meeting: for instance, a marketing and operations meeting. We get 360 degree updates on everything, like the Hammam towels are selling out faster than expected or a shipment is delayed. Then we strategize.
6 p.m. to bedtime:
I’ll check emails and then go walk Dux. Afterward, I’ll grab dinner with Rich or a friend and watch some trash or prestige TV, depending on my mood.
I always read for 20 minutes before bed; reading slows me down and gets me to sleep.
Then I start again the next day!