Fifteen Years Of Brolly Sheets
Fifteen years ago, the world was a different place, we as country were mourning the death of Steve Irwin, John Howard was still prime minister and corona was JUST a Mexican beer! 15 years ago, waterproof bedding was in desperate need of a shake up! Enter, Diane Hurford.
Toilet training was becoming a hassle for Diane. The effort required to strip an entire bed, remake it and then wash it all was driving Diane crazy, she thought there MUST be an easier way. After yet another night of hitting her head on the bunk of her daughters bed while changing the sheets, Diane knew something needed to change.
Armed with an idea and a machine Diane headed off to get fabric and put together the first version of what would come to be known as the “Brolly Sheet”.
The idea was simple, solve the woes of every parent by removing the hassle of stripping and washing an entire bed.The Brolly Sheet sat on top of the bottom sheet, with handy tuck in wings to hold in place, complete with a waterproof layer. If a child had an accident in the night, the rest of the bed would stay dry and you could simply remove the brolly sheet and pop another one on. No fuss and no hassle for mum or dad. After numerous request from families at playcentre, Diane began selling her prototype sheet. Diane took the next steps which were selling her sheets at the markets on Sydney's Northern Beaches, they were an instant hit. With proven demand and great feedback Diane decided to commit and form Brolly Sheets the company.
A Business Was Formed
The Brolly Sheets business had very humble beginnings with a simple logo and a comic sans font, it was in no way a polished piece of work. Demand was growing for Brolly Sheets and that’s when Diane partnered up with her now long-time supplier James. It was important to Diane that even though she was outsourcing to China that her product was quality, and the manufacturing was ethical. James’s staff are paid an hourly rate and not by the number of pieces they make, meaning quality not quantity is valued. James’s factory is in a country town meaning that his workers don’t need to travel to the city and be away from their families, after a day of making Brolly Sheets his workers can return home to be with their families.
One of the first original brolly sheets logo
Stock began flowing in and the home garage was quickly converted to a makeshift warehouse, a big shipping container was placed on the lawn much to the neighbour’s delight! Orders were coming so fast that Diane and Glenn’s kids began getting involved picking and packing orders! It truly was a family run operation! Brolly Sheets begin taking off, launching into the UK! Soon the boxes in the house became too much and Brolly Sheets got its very own office! The team began expanding, sales started climbing and the awards began flying in! Brolly Sheets was becoming a household name making the lives of parents everywhere easier.
Daughter Mia packing orders at home
What started as a simple waterproof sheet became much more with the expansion of new products. The product range grew to start covering seniors and those with special needs. To help combat waste and become environmentally sustainable the snazzipants brand was bought and cloth nappies began flying off the selves. Then came innovative products like our day time training pants and car seat protectors, all created to help aid the toilet training process for any fed-up parent.
Expansion & Growth!
The Brolly Sheets site began expanding, spanning two sub brands. Our Billy Beds dog site that focused on waterproofing the family pet! Our Independently You brand was launched with the sole focus of those with disabilities and incontinence and we became registered NDIS providers. New prints, new patterns, new team members it all called for a new office space! This time equipped with our very own warehouse.
Brolly Sheets sign being put on our new office
We made the decision to start picking and packing our own orders and sending them from our own warehouse. It meant we had more control and ensured every customer got a consistent and awesome Brolly Sheets experience. Our move in was slightly dampened by a global pandemic and a national lockdown. However, in true Brolly Sheets style we were able to get through it all!
A True Team Effort
Brolly Sheets is continuing to grow, new products, new staff and new targets means there is a never a dull moment at Brolly Sheets. After the wonderful resilience showed by the company and great sales figures the team was able to go enjoy the wonderful sights of Queenstown!
The team enjoying wine in Queenstown
While Brolly Sheets may be far from what it was 15 years ago. The core values and reason we do business all remains the same. Brolly Sheets was all about providing quality products designed to make the lives of parents much easier. We appreciate everyone who has supported Brolly Sheets over the last 15 years, we couldn’t have done it without you! The future looks bright for Brolly Sheets and we can’t wait to take you along on the ride!