Five Questions with only Kentucky company chosen for Silicon Valley event

Five Questions with only Kentucky company chosen for Silicon Valley event

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Ever have one of those nights when you wake up drenched in sweat?

Louisville resident Alli Truttmann founded Wicked Sheets to solve a problem she experienced.
Louisville resident Alli Truttmann founded Wicked Sheets to solve a problem she experienced. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

For Louisvillian Alli Truttmann, it happened all of the time. She said she couldn’t sleep well and it was embarrassing. So in 2008, she did something about it.

She invented a line of sheets that use advanced wicking and cooling technology that helps sleepers stay 2 to 3 degrees cooler at night. The company is called Wicked Sheets.

Now, Truttmann is on her way to Redwood City, CA, to participate in the 2019 Startup Grind Global Conference on February 12 and 13.

Over 5,000 applications were submitted from around the world and only around 200 were selected. Wicked Sheets was the only Kentucky company chosen.

The conference has helped millions of entrepreneurs find mentorship, connect to partners and hires, pursue funding, and reach new users. Truttman said Wicked Sheets is in a major growth phase now and this type of exposure can be game-changing for her company.

Good luck, Alli!

Now here are my five questions with Wicked Sheets Founder Alli Truttmann.

1.) How did you get chosen for this?

I received an email saying that Wicked Sheets had been nominated for a spot at this year’s global event in Silicon Valley. Once I realized the magnitude of the opportunity, I submitted a comprehensive online application. From there, we were selected to be interviewed by a Selection Committee Member. My interviewer was based in London and we had a blast as I educated him on all things sweat-related. I think I even made him blush a little while I was talking about our menopausal customers. We know that this opportunity with Startup Grind will expose us to potential partners and veteran investors in the retail and eCommerce space.

2.) You’ve had some major successes on QVC, expanding sales -- where do you feel you need to focus next?

QVC was a great experience for us - it was a completely different way to connect with our end user. But our focus has been, and will always be, providing the best possible sleep solution to our customers using the direct-to-consumer approach. We have some great products in R&D right now and will continue pumping out creative content just as fast as our customers consume it. (She also recently launched a line for cribs.)

3.) What’s your average day from when do you get up and go to bed. Is this harder than you ever thought it would be?

During the week, I’m a creature of habit; I don’t even have to wake up to an alarm anymore really. My brain and body wake me up at 6:12 a.m. and (when I’m at my healthiest or not teaching) I go for a run. I also do my best to practice what I preach to my customers about bedtime routines: glass of water next to the bed, no phone in or near the bed, no “high energy” TV before lights out, and turning on a tower fan next to the bed always!

When we were preparing for the QVC opportunity, I was doing a lot of international business and in different time zones. My body didn’t know whether to eat dinner at 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. because I would be on the phone or on the computer at any given time during the day. That absolutely took a toll on me, mentally and physically. And that’s when realized just how hard keeping it all together, all the time, could be. But like any one of my other entrepreneur buddies would say, it didn’t stop me.

4.) What’s the motto that keeps you going?

My motto is, “A business cliche a day, keeps the debt collectors away.” People think it’s funny, but if you think about it, the most meaningful business cliches that advisors have shared with me (and I’ve put to practice) have always helped me think about business differently and stay afloat. Some of my favorites include: “You can’t work on your company when you’re working in it.” And, “Never apologize for asking for a sale.”

5.) You are always such a positive person. Has that been hard to maintain while being an entrepreneur?

Well thank you for saying that, I really hope that my positivity comes through as a reflection of my passion. When I declared my major as Psychology, I basically declared that my new passion in life was to help people ____(Fill in the blank)____. In this instance at Wicked Sheets, I want to help people sleep better. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by investors and board members who believe in me and allow me to wake up and do just that every day. I also believe that if you put positivity out into the world, the world will reinforce you. Sometimes reinforcement (aka the entrepreneur’s drug of choice) comes in the form of a customer review, sometimes an investment, or sometimes it’s just an empathetic hug from another entrepreneur who’s “been there” before. Regardless, I’m positive that I love what I do.

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