We're all for a glamorous pyjama set. However, when a few too many buttons and dry clean-only fabrics are involved, we're guilty of reaching for the nearest oversized t-shirt.
But that doesn’t mean we’re happy to resign ourselves to flannelette and unflattering prints. That’s why we are more than a little excited about the launch of Hybernate, a brand redefining modern luxury sleepwear. Created in Australia by women, for women, Hybernate recognised sleepwear had a lot of catching up to do to reflect today’s modern woman. Uninspired by traditional pyjamas and whimsical patterns, Hybernate makes sleepwear with a timeless, minimalist simplicity that makes us look and feel great. So whether we’re in bed, opening the door for Uber Eats or ducking out for a last minute bottle of milk, we feel safely stylish while doing so. Applying a simple philosophy that your time at home is the most important part of nurturing your wellbeing, Hybernate has reimagined what sleepwear should be. Made of luxuriously soft pima cotton, the versatile range is effortlessly cool and comfortable. Let’s just say we’ve never been more excited about bedtime. (And as mamas, that’s saying something.)
Tell us about your career journey and what lead you to create Hybernate?
We both identified a gap in the market for contemporary sleepwear and the timing was right once we’d had children to be able to start Hybernate.
Where do you see Hybernate in five years?
We have some exciting innovative products in the works for the next few years and we’re also looking forward to incorporating new and technical fabrics in to our collections. We’d also love to have some stores one day!
What do you think makes a brand successful?
Delivering something that is unique and adds value to customers’ lives. It’s also important that the what, who, how and where a product is made is also thoughtfully considered as customers care more and more about the behind the scenes of a product.,
How important is social media to a brand’s success?
It definitely helps with spreading the word but at the end of the day, it’ll be our product that markets itself.
Hybernate is a women’s sleepwear brand inspired by “sleepwear reimagined” – we often put on anything to go to bed/be around the house. How are you hoping to change this?
That’s right, especially if we’re tired after looking after children and getting them to go to sleep! Our philosophy is about trying to remind women how important it is to feel good and look good even when nobody else really sees them in those clothes. Most of us are wearing sleepwear for a large portion of our day so it’s important that we wear super comfortable clothing that also reflects who we are and our style.
Tell us about how you wind down at night – what little rituals help you to relax?
Abby: Getting out of any restrictive clothing is essential to me for relaxing, and then a late night shower is a favourite way of winding down. Sarah: It generally involves collapsing at the end of each day with a glass of wine! I also sometimes like to take just a 10 minute walk to decompress and enjoy the silence and fresh air.
Run us through your nighttime routine (eg. What time do you feed your kids, put them to bed, do you work at night or are you better in the morning?> What time do you slip into your Hybernate sleepwear?_ - we want to give readers an insight into your nighttime routine…
Abby: I feed my one year old at 5pm and then mealtime for my 5 year old depends on how much snacking he’s managed to sneak in in the lead up. He sometimes eats with the one year old or sometimes with us at 6pm. The one year old goes to bed at 6.45pm and the 5 year old gets into bed around 730pm, or earlier if he seems particularly tired. The 5 year old likes us to stay with him while he falls asleep so coming out of a dark room in the evening after the whole routine can make working in the evening very challenging. I’m much better in the morning after coffee. Sarah: Our kids’ routine starts with dinner at 5pm, much mayhem and madness and then they’re all in bed by 7pm. If I’ve had a work day, I try to give myself the evening off, but if I’ve had the children all day, I look forward to breaking out the laptop and getting stuck in to work – I’m so passionate about Hybernate, it’s addictive to work on something you love so much!
Why is it so important to feel comfortable when you’re at home?
Home is generally where we do most of our unwinding from the pressures of life so we want to do anything we can to feel as relaxed as possible when we’re there, which starts with being comfortable.
Your pieces are very minimal – was this inspired by your personal aesthetic – do you have a more minimal approach to fashion and interiors?
We believe sleeping and relaxing at home is a time to wear simple silhouettes, calming colours and above all super comfortable sleepwear. We felt that was hard to find so we created a range of minimalist separates to allow women to pick the simple styles they were telling us they love.
We all need to slow down/stop rushing so much – does this tie into the Hybernate philosophy?
Absolutely! We are passionate about wellness and about living in the now. Stopping to think about maximising your comfort and feeling good at home is part of that. We’re often so busy trying to please others that Hybernate is trying to get women to put themselves first (something that as mothers we don’t often do enough).
It’s Christmas in less than three weeks – what Hybernate pieces would you ask for?
The sleeveless tee and shorts make a cute and practical summer set – and when unexpected guests pop over, they won’t suspect we’re still in our pj’s!
Many mothers spend a lot of time at home, especially in those early days, how will Hybernate work into their lives?
Mums need the clothing they wear at home to be practical, comfortable and make them feel good. Hybernate’s pieces are so comfortable and don’t look like conventional pyjamas so it’s easy to get away with wearing them all day if you need to as a new mum. We also have some mums who’ve told us they do the school drop off in our slim leg pants and tee shirt! You can also put Hybernate sleepwear in the dryer.
Talk us through the difference between pima cotton vs regular cotton
Pima cotton is a higher quality cotton which produces a fabric of unparalleled softness (in fact it is actually often used in baby’s clothes as it’s so buttery soft and hypoallergenic). Pima also has a high resilience to pilling and is more durable than regular cotton, so our collection’s pieces will last and last. Once you’ve slept in pima, you’ll never go back.
What’s the secret to a successful business partnership?
Abby: Communication and trust are essential. It’s much like a marriage. We find it hugely beneficial because we get two perspectives on everything and we get to share all the milestones with someone else. Sarah: Communication, open minded-ness and trust. We have really enjoyed working together as partners and the business is far better off because of it as by talking through issues together we often reach solutions and outcomes we might not have reached on our own.
How do you juggle starting a new business with motherhood?
We’re still learning! We’re often sharing tips with each other and using some we read from The Grace Tales! While it’s not always possible, we do try and compartmentalise work and family life – as nobody wins trying to answer emails and deal with witching hour at the same time!
What are you top three time management tips?
Plan, prioritise and know when to ask for help.
What applications couldn’t you live without – we’d love some practical tips to help other readers wanting to start businesses…
The abundance of different apps and online tools has made starting a business much easier. We use Canva, Xero and Planoly every week and they’re really quick to learn.
What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced setting up your business and how have you overcome them?
We didn’t come from a fashion or retail background so there was a lot to learn very quickly – but we’ve always taken the attitude that it’s to our advantage as we look at everything with a fresh perspective and don’t just fall in to doing things the way they’ve always been done.
What has been one of the most exciting moments since you launched?
It has to be the moment our website went live. Seeing all that hard work finally “get out there” and the enthusiasm we received towards the brand was very rewarding.
What words of advice do you have for mothers who are looking to launch a business but not sure where to start?
It can seem overwhelming when you think of how much that needs to be done. Just break it down in to small steps and just make that first phone call or do that first Google search. The next day, do the next thing and so on – and then it just begins to snowball.