Entrepreneur

Naptimes Should Be Easy, So These 3 NUS Students Created A Phone-Sized One-Puff Inflatable Pillow

Have you ever heard of the aubergine?

It is a humble fruit, and is more commonly known as the eggplant. It is rich in nutrition, packed full of Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium and plenty others.

But even when it’s packed with nothing but air, the aubergine will still bring you plenty of goodness… by helping perfecting nap times for you.

Kickstarting The Aubergine

Image Credit: Aubergine Studio
Image Credit: Studio Aubergine

If you’ve yet to hear about the Aubergine Pillow, here’s the link to their successful Kickstarter campaign. Within 4 hours, the team had hit their goal of S$5000 and then doubled that amount in 3 days.

The public is certainly taking well to the idea of the Aubergine Pillow, and with good reason. With the magic of science, the Pillow is supposedly inflatable with a single breath, thus saving you all the struggle of blowing up a balloon.

Image Credit: Sutdio Aubergine
Image Credit: Sutdio Aubergine

The Aubergine Story

Image Credit: Aubergine Studio
Image Credit: Studio Aubergine

“We believe that comfort is almost a human right, and every pocket of free time is an opportunity to nap […] The Aubergine Pillow is an everyday pillow for the sleep connoisseur.”

The beginnings of this pillow lies in what many of us might find all too familiar – the need for sleep, and our inability to get it. Owing to the hectic lifestyle many of us keep, we often find ourselves at the mercy of the Sandman’s calls.

Unfortunately, it is not as often that we are able to find a comfortable enough position for a quick nap.

While travel pillows are easily available, their designs range from bulky cushions to inflatable pillows that we end up spending 5 minutes of sleep time trying to inflate.

And in them, Jacelyn, John and Sue found a problem that they realised needed solving, thus kicking off their journey to revolutionise the travel pillow.

Unusual Shapes

Image Credit: Studio Aubergine

One curious question posed to the team was… why the aubergine? After all, it is neither a common fruit, nor would anyone associate it with naps.

Well, it turns out that the team had experimented with anything they could get their hands on, everything “from bananas to worms”.

Yep, you read that right.

But after all was said and done, it was the aubergine’s “sensual curves [that] proved perfect to snugly hug your body’s contours.” What ensued next was a scrambled rush to buy as many as possible, resulting in the office cluttered with rotting fruit. That brought about a very eventful day, Sue laughs.

And while it looks minimalistic, the pillow actually hides all the technical complexities the team had to solve. But thanks to an unwavering perseverance, the world now has the Aubergine Pillow that also feels “as soft as a baby’s butt“.

Not to mention that it hardly even takes up any space in your bag.

Image Credit: Sutdio Aubergine
Image Credit: Sutdio Aubergine

The Team Behind The Pillow

The 3 Founders – Jacelyn, John And Sue / Image Credit: Studio Aubergine

“The Brains”

Sue had previously been part of Narrative, another Kickstarter-funded startup based in Stockholm. And it was her knowledge and experience that enabled her to drive the Aubergine campaign, and the team, forward.

“The Eye”

With his keen sense of judgment and taste, John oversaw product development and the pillow’s aesthetics. With his experience at Imagin8ors, a startup with based in Singapore and India, John was instrumental in liaising with international suppliers.

“The Hands”

Sensitive to details and with a aptitude for refined workmanship, Jacelyn held the reins over prototyping and enforcing strict quality control to ensure that every pillow would be of the highest standards.

“The Heart”

Joining the campaign later was Jolyn, who quickly rose to become Studio Aubergine’s marketing expert. And with her creative eye-catching visuals and heart-warming words, the humble aubergine has truly entranced us all.

From her words, it was clear that Sue wore deep-seated pride for her team on her sleeves, as she commented that “each of the founders brought along a unique set of skills and experiences that contributed to the success of the Aubergine Pillow.

In addition, Sue notes that the team had been fortunate in that they had received the mentorship of Donn Koh, one of Singapore’s most prominent crowdfunding gurus. But aside from that, she adds that the support of friends and family, along with the local community, was also highly encouraging in spurring them on what has truly been an exciting journey.

Image Credit: Aubergine Studio
Image Credit: Studio Aubergine

The Kickstarter campaign for the pillow is almost at an end, with less than a day left on its clock.

So if you hope to snag for yourself the sensual curves of the Aubergine Pillow, I’d suggest you act fast. It would certainly save you a lot of time and saliva whenever you’re hankering for a nap.

Featured Image Credit: Studio Aubergine