By Phil Ambroziak
Britannia Village resident Garry Logue can rest easy with the knowledge his newly launched home-based business has become a success.
The Pillowpacker pillow, which Logue launched last spring at the Britannia Yacht Club alongside his wife Beth Shepherd, is an inflatable travel pillow ideal for people who insist on bringing their own pillows with them while on vacation, staying at hotels or when they are away from home for any reason.
"My wife and I are retired corporate folks who do a lot of travelling," Logue said.
Britannia Village resident Beth Shepherd demonstrates the comfort of the Pillowpacker pillow, an inflatable travel pillow, she designed and developed alongside her husband, Garry Logue.
"But, we've always had this nasty habit of bringing our own pillows with us. We would have to haul an entire piece of luggage around with us dedicated just to our pillows. Now, with weight restrictions, increased security issues and such, we found this to be a bit of an awkward situation."
Because of these reasons, during a trip to the high Arctic in 2008, Logue and his wife had no choice but to leave their regular pillows at home.
"We had to sleep on the dirtiest little pillows - it was just awful," he said.
"One night, while sharing our feelings about these pillows and how we couldn't bring our own with us this, we were cajoled into doing something about it. When we returned home, we poked around at the idea, but didn't really know where to start."
With a little research and a lot of hard work, however, plans began to take shape and before too long the Pillowpacker pillow was born.
"It's not one of those horseshoe things it's a real pillow," he continued. "A prototype was made and, as it turns out, we designed, developed and tested what has turned out to be a premium, inflatable travel pillow."
Designed with a zipper along the side that opens to reveal an inflatable bladder, two Pillowpacker models are available - duck down or microfibre.
Not only is Logue, who refers to himself as the chief pillow officer, confident both versions meet the highest of Canadian standards, but he is also proud of the fact (aside from the actual production of the pillows) the entire business operates from his home.
"We do most of it ourselves the website, marketing material, packaging and shipping," he said.
While it's been less than a year since the pillow has been available to the general public, Logue said word of it's convenience and high quality has already spread.
"So far, our success has been largely due to great word-of-mouth," he said.
"It has met with a lot of positive feedback. One lady told us it was our pillow that allowed her to have her first good sleep ever while on an airplane while another woman in the U.K. has said our pillow allowed her to wake up for the first time without sinus congestion."
This international success has also come as a surprise to Logue because he started out thinking he would be targeting a small market niche.
"It is surprising, but it's a pleasant surprise," he said. "I've found out there are actually many other pillow packers out there, which is good. It would be sad to think my wife and I were the only ones in the world who did that sort of thing. It turns out that we have found that market niche, but we haven't even scratched the tip of the iceberg yet."
In closing, Logue explained making money isn't the primary goal he had in mind when developing the Pillowpacker pillow.
"We're simply looking to provide an extremely, high-quality product," he said. "We know what's in it and we trust the local sewing shop that assemble it for us. This is just something to keep us active."