Faceplant Dreams is a leading loungewear company known in the market for luxury fabrics, classic designs, and exemplary customer service. By her own admission Founder Brigitte Farrell grew up with a fabric addiction. She recalls following her mother down the aisles of the fabric store, gliding her fingers along the bolts and pausing on smooth silks or buttery blends. For the shear love of fabrics, she learned to design, pattern and ultimately cut and sew her own clothes.
A home-made business card when she was 10 professed her to be a ‘fashion designer’, but she chose the pragmatic path of her mid-west upbringing and earned a degree in business and marketing.
Always drawn to fashion, she found her way to a career running tradeshows in the apparel industry for London based DMG World Media. In 2008, after several years of juggling time zones, accents, cultures and customs she was travel-weary and found herself craving something entirely new: Sleep. Deep, restorative sleep. The kind that often evades those with busy lives and travel schedules.
Farrell learned she wasn’t the only one who had trouble sleeping and in a search for solutions, she found a range of products uniquely designed to promote good sleep. Herbal sleep aids, aromatherapy candles and meditative practices all helped. Farrell found journaling was relaxing and calmed her mind. (https://www.faceplantdreams.com/blogs/faceplant-blog) Mattresses and pillows were specifically targeting her needs. But she discovered something was conspicuously missing in the marketplace.
“The brands that made loungewear and pajamas felt and appeared luxurious, but they were made almost exclusively of polyester. It didn’t make sense that everyone was making loungewear from fabrics that cause you to sweat”, she said. “Everything I found actually inhibited instead of promoted quality sleep”, she added. “I’d been foraging fabric stores with my mom since I was five, and I knew we could do better.”
Farrell says her first priorities were luxury and comfort – the fabric had to inspire restful sleep and wash beautifully. “I’ve loved fabrics my entire life”, she says. “Modern manufacturing techniques have made inexpensive, synthetic polyester fabrics the mainstay of modern fashion, which is why so many companies choose them. But I didn’t want something that just made people look good. I wanted a fabric that made them feel good. It had to be comfortable to sleep in, drape beautifully and come out of the laundry looking as good as it did the first day.”
“Sustainability was really a bit of an afterthought for me”, says Farrell. “Then I learned about the chemicals and risks involved in every fiber we put on our bodies.”
At the time, trending fashion brands were experimenting with sustainable fabrics, but the process wasn’t smooth or established. As she reflected on the unmanageable bamboo grove in her garden, the ‘aha moment’ happened. With research and networking, Farrell found a manufacturing partner to process bamboo into luxury bamboo rayon yarns using a closed loop process that recycles 99.5% of all of the chemicals used.
“The closed-loop process using a grass that requires no irrigation or pesticides seems like a pretty good trade-off that could help us all sleep better at night.”
With further experimenting to make the yarns as delicate as possible and fine-tuning the knitting process, she’d found the relaxing luxury she was looking for. The result was a fabric that had a buttery smooth finish, and it was also breathable and temperature regulating. It could actually promote better sleep. (https://www.faceplantdreams.com/blogs/faceplant-blog/clean-calm-cool-collected)
Accessing contacts and knowledge from her tradeshow days, she founded Faceplant Dreams in 2008. (www.faceplantdreams.com.) With the support of her husband Kevin and her team in Ybor City, FL, Faceplant quickly grew wholesale distribution for their luxury loungewear through thousands of specialty boutiques across the U.S. Woodhouse Day Spas, Ritz Carlton Spas, The Bellagio and the Four Seasons have all discovered the luxury and appeal of Faceplant Dreams. The brand has been seen on The View, The Kardashians, Good Morning America and Headline News.
Like most companies, 2020 was a pivotal point in Faceplants’ growth trajectory. With many retail outlets closed, sales quickly stalled. “Other brands were cancelling their orders from suppliers and many of them were closing their doors”, recalls Farrell. “My husband and I had only one discussion about it and made our decision. We had worked too hard to build this business and we weren’t going to let fear close us down. We were confident that we’d find a way through. We didn’t cancel. We doubled our orders for 2020 holiday inventory.”
“2020 was a challenge”, said Farrell. “We had positioned ourselves firmly as a wholesale brand. When our brick-and-mortar stores were closed due to Covid restrictions we moved quickly to become a direct-to-consumer online retailer. But we played this card a little different than most. We shared everything we learned, and every digital asset we developed with our retailers to improve their online business as well.” Instead of hoarding cash and waiting out the pandemic, Faceplant increased their photography and digital marketing budget and their inventory investments. Simultaneously they invested lockdown time and energy into improving their expertise in online marketing and invested the same energy into retraining staff.
As the world adjusted to masking, lockdowns and social distancing, innovative retailers created opportunity through contactless product pick-ups and online sales. Facebook Lives were born. Working from home became the norm and luxury loungewear was the new power suit. (https://www.faceplantdreams.com/pages/pajamas) Faceplant flourished. “People told us we were crazy when we doubled down on our inventory for fall 2020. I’ll admit it was scary and there was a little bit of luck on our side, but with great retailers on our side, it was a very calculated decision that paid off for us”, says Farrell.
Faceplants’ focus has always been on capsule classics. With subtle color palettes and classic styling, it allows their design team to focus on what counts – comfort. She told us that Faceplant Dreams will continue to lead the Luxury Loungewear category by innovating new fabric blends and simple classic silhouettes with a stylish twist.
“Faceplant Dreams wouldn’t be a success without a great team behind us.” She credits both their internal staff and key sales reps who have been integral to their growth. She says Faceplant hires employees for their character and heart, not for a degree or resume. “We like what we do and we surround ourselves with people who feel the same. We try to make it a nice place to come to work every day. We built our workspace like a home with a full kitchen and comfortable living room lounge where we host yoga on Thursdays. Most importantly we work side by side with our team to resolve problems and ensure employees are trained and empowered to resolve costumer concerns in the same way they would expect to be treated.”
“In the end, what counts most to me is knowing that we’re helping people sleep better at night”, Farrell said. “That starts with our product, but it’s carried through in the experience people have when they interact with our team.”
The U.S. Loungewear market grew more than 130% in 2020 alone and is projected to continue growing at more than 10% a year through 2027. When asked about the future, Farrell was exceedingly optimistic. “Sleep never goes out of style,” she said. “In the tradeshow industry, we lived by the adage that ‘you’re only as good as your last show, and we’ve got so much more Faceplant to show.”