Feel and Live Better: A Q&A With the Team at Purple
All week long, we have been celebrating the nurses, teachers, truck drivers, grocery store employees, police officers, parents, and all the other heroes who keep our country running. If you haven't seen the giveaway we are hosting on Instagram, you won't want to miss it. Part of the giveaway, and the brains behind hero week, is a gift from our friends at Purple. We caught up with their team to learn a little more about them, their story, lessons learned during this pandemic, and of course, hero week. Here's what they had to say.
Tell us how Purple came to be. What is your origin story?
Two brothers, engineers Tony and Terry Pearce set out to find solutions for better wheelchair cushioning in 1993. Pressure sores were plaguing those who were reliant on wheelchairs and the Pearce brothers believed they could improve people’s lives by innovating a new cushioning material. Soon their technology was being used not only in wheelchairs, but in medical beds, Nike footwear, Johnson & Johnson’s ankle and knee braces, and neonatal intensive care nests, just to name a few.
Through their innovation, they perfected and patented what is now called The Purple Grid®, a material that can stretch 15 times its resting size, has amazing durability, and is instantly responsive. It relaxes under pressure points and redistributes that pressure so users can experience optimal support.
In 2015, Purple made its debut featuring the Pearces’ patented material on mattresses and seat cushions. Since then, Purple successfully went public in 2018 and has grown 1,000 employees strong. We continue to manufacture locally in Utah. We market and sell our products through our direct-to-consumer website, as well as 1,600+ stores through our wholesale partners including Mattress Firm, Macy’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, and more, and our owned retail showrooms in Utah, California and Washington.
What are Purple’s core values? Do you have a mission statement? If so, what is it?
Purple’s mission is to help people feel and live better through innovative comfort solutions. Our core values are improving lives, make everything we do amazing, and always inventing a better way.
At Rhone, we talk a lot about our customer’s pursuit of progress. How do you feel like you as a company help your customer progress?
Research has shown that humans are more creative, productive, happier and successful if they get optimal sleep. We’re on a mission to give people a path to living their best life through quality sleep and comfort.
What motivated you to join Brands x Better?
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all what a small world we live in and how many people can be affected in a time of crisis. Brands X Better is a way that Purple can join in a coalition with other brands who are dedicated and committed to providing aid and making a bigger impact than what we would be able to do individually.
As a member of Brands X Better, you have pledged to donate a portion of proceeds. What charity are you donating to and how and why did you choose that charity?
We’re very excited to partner with our friends at Relief Bed International. Relief Bed is helping us facilitate donations of beds as an important way to alleviate COVID-19 resource needs. We are proud that we could engineer and manufacture these beds in our own facility and keep Purple people employed during this crisis through that effort. The beds will ultimately find their home at field hospitals, homeless shelters, and any other place in need.
What’s one takeaway you’ve had as a company during this recent pandemic?
The hard work and dedication of our "purple family" has allowed us to not only survive, but to thrive through a combination of the grit and compassion of our employees, our vertically integrated manufacturing practices, and even the flexibility we've embraced by offering differentiated products that help people feel better at home.
This week, with help from Rhone, Purple is celebrating Hero Week. What was the genesis for Hero Week and what do you hope to accomplish?
During these uncertain times, there are incredible acts of compassion and dedication being shown around the country and the world. Purple and our amazing partners like Rhone are very excited to honor the heroes in our communities. Nurses, teachers, truck drivers, grocery store employees, police officers, parents, and all the other heroes who keep our country running deserve a platform of celebration and thanks.
What’s one thing everyone should look for in a pillow that is often overlooked?
Neck support is one of the most important things when it comes to finding the best pillow. Your pillow and mattress work together to support your spine, from top to bottom. Your pillow’s job is to support the upper part of your spine. This is an essential part of getting the best spinal alignment. Over time, inadequate neck support can lead to headaches and loss of a good night’s sleep.
What’s one of the hardest obstacles you’ve overcome as a company and how did it shape what your company is today?
Purple has had the very happy problem of growing extremely fast. We’ve had to be nimble, flexible, and constantly rework processes to make sure we meet demands, all while staying true to our core values and mission.