Emirates Woman talks to Siobhan Dudley, Founder of The NAP Co on style, balance and starting her dream sleepwear brand.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day, your morning routine look like?

I think a successful day always starts early with a clear goal to achieve that day. I love to wake up before the rest of the house comes alive, pour myself a tea, wash my face and double-check my schedule for the day. I then always like to take some time to exercise, whether that’s Pilates or walking my dog.

What are your nightly rituals?

Bedtime can be busy and hectic with a one-year-old, but once my daughters have gone to sleep I like to take a hot bath or shower and get into my The NAP Co pyjamas. There really is no better feeling! I also like to make a next-day list so I’m ready to attack the day as soon as I wake up. It helps me relax and put the day behind me so I’m not going over everything I must do the next day in my head and helps me sleep more deeply. I also like to try spending time away from my phone each night before bed. However, this is easier said than done at times!

Why did you decide to focus on sleepwear?

I’ve always loved being at home and I’m a cosy girl at heart. When you get home, you want to feel comfortable but also still chic and put together, so I love designing sleepwear that still allows for that ultimate comfort whilst looking amazing too. I feel like sleepwear really is more than an outfit or something to lounge and sleep in and is a form of self-care. Having our customers’ feedback on how our pieces make them feel will forever be the core of the brand and community.

What drove you to start your own sleepwear brand?

I was a Medic in the Royal Air Force for 10 years, serving away from home quite regularly. The first few trips away I was always home sick and wondered how I could take a piece of home away with me. I started investing in good quality sleepwear, and sleep sprays that I’d use back home. I found that every evening when I returned to my bed, even whilst away, the feeling of putting on my sleepwear that smelt like home allowed me to relax and sleep better. This is where my love affair with sleepwear began. I noticed a massive difference between pyjama prices, with nobody offering quality and chic designs but in a price range that was not super luxury. When I left the RAF, The NAP Co was born after noticing this gap in the market.

Were there any fears when you were starting out in the business – and how did you overcome these?

Yes, it nearly never began because I was so apprehensive to put my idea out there and see how it would do. My career in the RAF was incredibly different, and when I’d tell my idea to colleagues and friends that I was starting a sleepwear brand, it wasn’t always met with words of support, so that was placed on hold for a while. Around 2019, I spent a year sampling different manufacturers and fabrics before launching our first PJ set in May 2020. I made my first few orders on a credit card and a dream, which looking back was a huge risk, luckily it paid off.

Your first collection launched in 2020 and sold out after 24 hours without any advertising and marketing activities. How has social media helped you in scaling the brand?

We were so grateful to our customer base when this happened and knew we were onto something. For us, social media has really helped us to gain the trust amongst the customer community and confidence for us in what we’re doing. Seeing all the customers in The NAP Co and talking positively about us really helped gain that momentum and open doors we could only have dreamt about.

The NAP co

The Nap Co

Since starting out, what has been your favourite moment to date?

There truly have been so many amazing moments, but the one that stands out the most is being approached by Selfridges buyers within a year of launching to stock our products and seeing my products in store. It’s always been one of my favourite stores and I love the shopping experience they bring, so every time I walk in and see The NAP Co stand, I get butterflies!

Where did you get inspiration for the new collection?

I find inspiration pretty much everywhere in everyday life. It could be a colour palette that catches my eye in a beautiful hotel interior or when I’m out on a walk. I find that turning off my phone and walking down the river next to our house inspires me.

What are your goals for the next five years?

We want to continue the growth phase we are currently in and build our community outside of the UK, as well as continue to grow our relationship with our customers, as they are truly at the heart of everything we do. We’d love to be a household name within five years for everyone’s go-to for beautifully made, but affordable personalised sleepwear and underwear.

As a mother and a beauty entrepreneur, how do you find your focus and create work-life balance?

I feel like since becoming a mum, I’m even more focused than I’ve ever been because I have a little girl looking up to me as a role model, and I truly want to show her that women can have it all. However, time management and lists are crucial as every second counts as an entrepreneur and a mother. Take time out religiously every evening for your family to reset and I always make sure I turn off for a few hours each night to be present and grateful at the moment.

What elements are key to good sleep?

Go to bed at the same time every night with good sleepwear, bedding, and a book!

This is The Style Issue – what is style to you?

Style is the way you hold yourself – the way you talk, move, and how you express your inner being outwards to the world.

March’s – The Style Issue – Download Now

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