This D2C brand’s natural latex mattress promises comfort and quality sleep
The past year and a half spent indoors have certainly taught us the value of comfort. Even mattresses, an oft-ignored item, have become tremendously important, as beds begin to multi-task as office desks and spaces for leisure. Hence, it is unsurprising that, a natural latex mattress brand, has seen tremendous growth since its launch in 2019.
Founded by Gaurav Raj, the company is based out of Kottayam in Kerala.
Speaking about launching the mattress brand, he says, “Sleep is the most important aspect of our lives. It is when the body repairs itself and gets ready for the next day. Studies have shown that most Indians are overworked and barely get the required 7-8 hours of sleep, and their quality of sleep is also very poor. Since most of us live a sedentary life, a good night’s sleep is extremely important. This is why we launched Morning Owl.”
“Currently, it is the only online brand in India that carries products made with latex that have been certified by European bodies like Oeko Tex and Eco Institute as 100 percent pure and safe,” explains Gaurav, in a chat with YSWeekender.
Morning Owl's mattress and pillow (Image source: Morning Owl)
The journey so far
An alumnus of NMIMS Business school, Gaurav describes himself as a seasoned sales professional with over six years of corporate experience. His last professional stint was managing sales for fast moving consumer durable products at Casio in the north region.
He embarked on his entrepreneurial journey two years ago with the launch of Morning Owl.
“I wanted to make healthy sleep accessible and affordable for everyone,” he says, sharing his vision.
India is increasingly becoming aware of the importance of healthy sleep, which can be aided by the use of natural products. Gaurav notes that the market lacks genuine natural products, as most mattresses are made with synthetic fibre that is infused with chemicals. Those that are genuine are sold at double the price point because of high margins imposed by retailers. By cutting out the middleman, Gaurav says, Morning Owl offers premium, yet affordable natural products that are delivered from the factory to the customer’s doorstep.
At present, the company has its marketing office in Bengaluru and delivers its products pan-India through ecommerce and its website.
“We are now seeing demand from Tier II towns and the farthest corners of the country. We are all set to end December with an annual run rate of Rs 12 crore,” shares Gaurav. The company began with an initial investment of Rs 10 lakh and has witnessed a 35 percent month-on-month growth since then.
Gaurav points out that in order to reduce costs, most mattresses available in the market today are made of carcinogenic chemicals, including memory foam and bonded foam. Certain mattresses like cotton mattresses or spring mattresses lose their shape after some time and are unable to provide proper spinal alignment.
Morning Owl aims to address these issues through its three basic mission points:
● Design mattresses and pillows to allow a restful sleep by ensuring that your spine and neck receive optimum support.
● Provide natural, 100 percent pure latex mattresses and pillows, without any chemicals. The products should be completely safe and bacteria resistant.
● Make luxury affordable by removing the middlemen and their margins.
“The core idea of the brand is the promise of a healthy morning where you wake up well rested. Owls are nocturnal and are up and about during the night. What if the owl got to rest and sleep at night and woke up fresh in the morning? Hence, the name Morning Owl,” says Gaurav.
Branding itself as India’s first and only natural sleeping solutions provider, the company, which comepes with mattress brands like The Sleepy company, Wakefit, and Sunday Mattress, has done well for itself.
It caters to consumers across metros and Tier II cities from all parts of the country. Most customer awareness takes place through ads on digital platforms, and the quality of their product ensures that 15-20 percent of sales happen through word of mouth.
Mattresses have different firmness levels depending on the density of the material, and prices start from Rs 14,499. Their offerings include the soft luxurious natural latex mattress, the medium firm natural latex mattress, and the firm orthopedic natural latex mattress. In addition to this, they also offer natural latex mattress toppers and pillows.
Image source: Morning Owl
When asked the specific advantages of latex for mattresses and pillows, Gaurav explains, “Latex provides superior comfort that is balanced with optimum spinal support. It is considered an ideal option for pain relief because of its supportive nature that helps to alleviate the stress of sore muscles. Further, they are toxin free, pure, and safe, as latex is the only kind of mattress that is naturally inhospitable to dust-mites, bed bugs and bacteria. Latex mattresses keep temperatures regulated because they are made of pin core holes, as opposed to foam mattresses that do not allow air circulation. They are more durable and can stay intact for over 15 years. The best part is that they are a sustainable and biodegradable product.”
Challenges and future plans
The biggest challenge for the team has been the seamless delivery of its mattresses, which are heavy and bulky products. They tied up with Blue Dart and Delhivery for this purpose, but each had its own problems, says the founder.
Gaurav is candid in sharing that the other challenge they have faced so far is educating their customers on how to distinguish between natural latex and synthetic latex. He highlights that a lot of other players in the market show expired or incorrect certifications to cheat customers.
However, these minor problems have not deterred the growth of Morning Owl.
As Gaurav explains, “Covid has made consumers more conscious about their health and the need to take care of themselves. Consumers now want to invest in a healthy lifestyle and buy natural products. They are also now realising that good sleep is not just a good thing to have, but it is essential for a healthy body and mind.”
The fruitful results Morning Owl has witnessed in a short span of time has encouraged the team to add horizontal diversification, with more bedding products in the natural segment. They are also keen to invest in an experience center in key locations such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad and are hoping to raise funds by the end of the year to help in the growth of their physical presence.