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I wanted a better night’s sleep, and ended up with my own business


I wanted a better night’s sleep, and ended up with my own business

Business ideas can spark from anywhere - a move to another part of the world, a new start... or even insomnia.


IMG_1353.JPGName             Nina Clark
From              South Africa
Business        Nightire – a luxury sleepwear company.

Almost two years ago, I moved to London with my husband from our home in Cape Town. Ready for all the challenges that come with moving your life across the world, one thing I wasn’t prepared for was suddenly having trouble sleeping.

Insomnia is a vicious cycle. The more I couldn’t sleep, the more I was affected by not having slept. I tried everything to make it pass: blackout blinds, questionable herbal teas, meditation…but nothing worked.

During my tireless research to understand sleep better, I spotted a few articles that implied your choice of sleepwear can change the way you drop off. To let go into sleep properly, you need to regulate your body temperature and be physically comfortable. Knowing this made all the difference and slowly, I started sleeping like a baby again.

After that I went on the hunt for the perfect set of pyjamas, but what I found was either too expensive, mass produced, or lacked personality. I was so focused on this industry after my own experiences that I decided to make it my mission to help the world sleep better. I wanted to revolutionize this tired industry (pun intended).


Making it happen

I decided to leave my job in marketing to devote all my attention to this new business venture. In my research, it was interesting to find that people are happy to spend wads of cash on high quality sports and underwear, but not on their sleepwear. There’s definitely an emotional connection to sleepwear being the go-to attire when people want to relax after a long day. So why were we settling for pyjamas that did nothing for us?

I wanted my brand to have a personality that reflected the reality of sleepwear for young urban professionals who probably need sleep the most, by avoiding the same cosy colour schemes and cutesy language of brands that currently exist on the market.


It’s been a long but interesting process. Finding fabrics that make a difference to your body temperature and keep you comfortable whilst sleeping or lounging was a difficult learning curve. I eventually decided to use 100% bamboo. This is not only one of the most sustainable fabrics out there but is also temperature-regulating, anti-microbial and antibacterial.

The hardest part of this journey has been dealing with suppliers and manufacturers. You need to know exactly what you’re looking for and what type of people you want to work with, because finding suppliers who are willing to work with a novice is particularly challenging.

Meaning of success


We’re so conditioned to think success is profit and selling a business off for millions - whilst failure is not.

After meeting other entrepreneurs at Virgin Media Pioneers Global Entrepreneurship Week events who have been through the same struggles, it became clear to me that you have to set your own labels of success.

I want to create a really strong brand that I look forward to working on every day. Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of learning and trying. I’ve had to push the launch date for the first sleepwear range back – twice - but I’m now working towards going to market in a few months. I can’t believe how far I’ve come in the last year, and, if nothing else, what I’ve learnt would constitute as success already.


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