Stories

May 31, 2022
How One Couple Turned a Bad Night’s Sleep Into an Entrepreneurial Dream Come True

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Hatch Sunrise Alarm
The Hatch Restore smart sound machine and alarm clock aids more natural waking and sleep routines.

A small business owner wears many hats but it may be time for them to trade them in for a pillow.

According to a recent national survey, released during this Small Business Month, 42% of small business owners said they have experienced burnout in the past month while 24% reported they are currently experiencing burnout.

We also know that the pandemic has made Americans – and the rest of the world -- weary. About 36% of the global population had experienced sleep problems during the COVID-19 pandemic as of mid-2021, according to another study.

In the last few weeks, PayPal has published several stories about the importance of a good night’s sleep – particularly for those running the show at work. I recently caught up with one of the experts featured in the articles, Hatch co-founder and CEO Ann Crady Weiss, to learn more about her company. Ann previously worked as an SVP of BabyCenter, where she met her husband and Hatch co-founder, Dave Weiss. They have always been entrepreneurs at heart and they always believed technology could improve lives. Their passion for helping people solve real-life problems led them to create Hatch.

Ann and Dave embody the entrepreneurial spirit of the small business owner and I admire and am inspired by their commitment to helping others overcome sleep deprivation – a growing problem in the US and abroad.  Hatch has helped more than two million families, but as Ann says, they are just getting started.
 

 

Jim Magats: What inspired you to start your business? Can you share some of your journey that helped you get your business to where it is today?

products from Hatch
The Hatch product range, including the Restore and Rest smart alarm clocks.

Ann Crady Weiss: I am CEO and co-founder of Hatch along with my husband Dave Weiss.We started our business after we were inspired by our own personal experience as parents. I spent long nights awake with my first baby and Dave has ongoing struggles with insomnia. This sent us on a quest to make sleep easier. We started Hatch back in 2014 with our first product, the Grow Smart Changing Pad and Scale, as a way to help parents have a better understanding of their kids’ health right at their fingertips — a challenge I was personally facing at the time.

We had a successful appearance on Shark Tank in 2016, which allowed us to then expand our offerings to help families sleep better with our second product, an all-in-one sound machine named Rest, which is our most-beloved family product to date. This inspired our mission to help everyone sleep better and we launched several more products, including Restore, an all-in-one sound machine, sunrise alarm, smart light, meditation app, and alarm clock that helps adults fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up more soundly. Since our start, we’ve helped over two million families get better sleep — and we’re just getting started.
 

JM: Do you sell across channels? How are you managing that?

ACW: We do sell across channels. We sell across our direct retail channel as well as through strategic retail partners. All of this is possible thanks to our hardworking internal operations, e-commerce and retail teams who are constantly evaluating and managing our sales process. Selling across different channels is an important component of our business.
 

JM: How has PayPal helped your business? 

ACW: We love working with PayPal for many reasons, but our primary reasoning is the flexibility, choice and ease it affords our customers when it comes to transactions on our direct retail site. It’s convenient for our customers and it reassures new customers that they can transact safely with us.
 

JM: How do you leverage social media to engage with customers and raise awareness for your business? 

ACW: We see social media as a critical tool to arm our followers and customers with insightful education and resources that will help them and their families improve their sleep routines. The last thing we want to do is contribute to the doom scrolling phenomenon, but we also do know that social media serves as a helpful resource for those looking to transform their overall wellness and sleep routines. 

On Instagram, some of our posts include prompts for a nightly wind-down routine, helpful practices and of course a funny meme now and then to bring it all together.
 

JM: Are the supply chain issues impacting your business? And how are you managing that? 

AWC: It’s no secret that supply chain issues have spilled over into every industry out there. We feel it and we know our customers are feeling it too. That said, these supply chain issues have reinforced that a fast and nimble team is often better at coming up with smart solutions compared to teams in a more traditional organization structure. We’ve felt the pain of shortages but have used it as an opportunity to think strategically and move fast. 
 

JM: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs looking to start their own business? 

AWC: First and foremost, it’s critical to prioritize your mental wellbeing and overall health as a startup business owner. As the airlines say, it’s important to put on your own mask before helping others, and we all know you can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s important to take care of yourself first so that you are the leader that your teams and customers deserve.
 

 
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