New-product innovation tends to be 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
Here’s that 1% that led to the creation of a hot little company called Sheex: One afternoon in the summer of 2007, Susan Walvius, then the head women’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina, was at practice and wearing a pair of over-sized, super-soft, performance-fabric shorts. “I’d love to have bedsheets made out of this stuff,” Walvius said to Michelle Marciniak, her assistant coach.
“Let’s do it,” Marciniak replied.
The 99% perspiration: These two athletes took their idea–”performance bedding,” if you can fathom that–and ran with it.
They lined up R&D help from the Darla Moore School of Business at USC.
They figured out how to apply to bedsheets the moisture-wicking and heat-transfer technology that Nike (NKE) and Under Armour (UA) use to make athletic clothing–and patented the technology for sheets and blankets.