We had the opportunity to step into Larissa Hildebrandt’s world of comfort and conscious living with Henrie, a luxury pillow company dedicated to revolutionizing the way we sleep. At the helm of this wellness brand, Larissa has crafted a unique line of adjustable pillows that seamlessly blend opulence with sustainability. With a commitment to conscious materials, Henrie is more than just a pillow company; it’s a vision of Larissa’s passion for creating a sleep experience that marries luxury and mindfulness, inviting you to indulge in a world where comfort meets consciousness.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Henrie. We make luxury adjustable pillows using conscious materials.
What made you want to do this work?
I’ve been a big sleeper even since I was very young and I consider sleep the most important pillar in my overall wellness. I started the concept of Henrie when I was experiencing a period of significant burnout, so investing in my sleep was more important than ever. How we sleep impacts our emotional, mental, and physical well-being, and it’s the thing that can make or break our day. I started this business to improve my own sleep, but by improving sleep for myself, I hope to help improve it for many others as well.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
The right pillow is a big factor of quality sleep, but I struggled for years to find “the one.” I found it confusing to navigate the marketing lingo that came with pillows and I never liked that I didn’t know how it really felt until I was already sleeping on it. After purchasing multiple pillows that went flat after just a few months, I decided to open them up to see what was inside. I discovered that every pillow I had thought was unique was really just the same on the inside — polyester. They weren’t designed to last or give me the support I really needed to get a good night’s sleep. I vowed in the middle of the night that I would design a pillow that not only worked but stayed that way.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Everyone needs good sleep, so our customers come from all walks of life, but the majority of our customer base is over the age of 45. Many of our customers have already tried multiple pillows on the market that haven’t worked for them and are sleeping on a pillow that feels either too thin or too full. Or worse, they’re stacking multiple pillows together to try to get the right loft. We also have quite a few customers who tell us that they struggle with chronic health conditions or injuries that have impacted their sleep. Hearing that we’ve been able to help someone get relief after many years is one of the things I’m most proud of.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We are currently 100% e-commerce selling through our website and occasionally sell our pillows in-person at pop-ups. We offer free Canadian shipping on all orders.
Where in the city can we find your profession?
We are primarily based online, but we recently partnered with local bedding brand Wilet to display Henrie pillows in their East Vancouver showroom. This allows our customers to get a feel for Henrie before purchasing. We’ve adjusted the showroom pillows to a medium loft, the most popular amongst our customers, but the pillows can be adjusted higher or lower.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
Why would I need an adjustable pillow? When you sleep, the position of your head and neck has a big impact on sleep quality, pain, and even snoring. The loft of your pillow and the materials inside contribute greatly to getting the proper support and position, but that “Goldilocks” loft is different for everyone. The position you sleep in, the firmness of your mattress, and even your body shape all impact the size of pillow that is right for you. Yet, it’s almost impossible to find the right size of pillow without actually sleeping on it at home, on your own bed. Adjustability in your pillow means you can find the size that actually works for you, and adjust it anytime you need change, like if you purchase a new mattress.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
My mission has always been to help Canadians get a great night’s sleep. I tear up sometimes reading reviews from our customers about how we’ve been able to help them get their best sleep, sometimes in many years. That’s what gets me up in the morning.
The worst part is trying to juggle it all as a small business owner. No matter how much you do, it always feels like you could be doing even more. I’d love to expand our product line more quickly, but we’re taking it one step at a time.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
I spend a lot of time with other founders and see the behind-the-scenes of their journeys, so probably the saying that an overnight success is years in the making.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
There are too many to choose from. I’m all about wellness, so I have to shout out to our friends Wilet for the most perfect bedding and home linens, and Loba for innovating (and beautifying) the way we take our supplements and medication.