The moment at which a business idea flashes through your mind is normally followed with one of two secondary thoughts. One being 'that is the daftest thought' and I am ever so grateful the strangers around me cannot possibly know what I was thinking otherwise they would report me and cart me off to the looney bin. Or two, a twenty second pause of self evaluation of the the idea. This occasionally results in concluding that actually once back at my desk it may need more online exploration.
The latter happen to me on my flight from Heathrow to our honeymoon destination of Thailand. I had no intention of having a business making sleeping masks. In fact I had barely used them in my thirty years. I had thought it would be a good idea to buy two for our journey as a little special touch to add to the exciting journey we had ahead. To my horror the luxury sleeping masks were poor quality, overly priced and presented in just an awful poly-bag. My wife agreed my little treat wasn't the best!
On landing in Thailand I was thirsty for exploring further (after the first dinner, cocktails and spa visit naturally!). It left me wanting to make my own sleeping masks for our own travelling. I have to travel regularly and wanted a sleeping aid that would offer myself a better flight. Katie my wife agreed. The ball was in motion.
With a background in production I took the reins while Katie gave me feedback and planned our marketing in the background. I was not in a rush to get the sleeping masks to market, I had personal deadlines sure but no investors breathing down my neck wanting a return on investment. Our sole aim was to make the most beautiful mask on the market which also had to be 'Made in London'. I looked at every possible detail of the product. I experienced many frustrating set backs in that fabrics or other raw materials were simply not up to the job. After sixteen months of exploration, sampling and trialling we were ready. The product was perfect.
The sleeping masks are in our mind more than simply fit for purpose which is how I would describe the free sleeping masks the major airlines such as British Airways give away on flights. Masters of Mayfair sleeping masks don't slip. They blackout entirely and ease you into a state of relaxation with the dried Yorkshire lavender which is infused within the mask.
Both my wife and I hope you love them too. If you do, do let us know. It makes our day. In the meantime sleep well, travel well.
Jamie & Katie Smalley