As a parent herself, Joanna Gazzi is all too familiar with the support and comfort that children need both during the day and through the night. Having never considered co-sleeping and bed-sharing prior to having her children, she soon came to love her family’s shared sleeping arrangements. From her own experience though, she found it hard to have a comfortable night’s sleep with her children, due to poor neck support, and she was also concerned about her young children lying on her adult-sized pillow. Discovering a gap in the market, she set out to create a unique contoured pillow, designed perfectly to support parents and children to comfortably sleep together, and duopillow was born. Here, Joanna talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about her business journey so far and the importance for families to co-sleep in comfort.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
As a new mum, I never considered my life would involve co-sleeping and bed-sharing. Whilst pregnant, I had read many articles and books on how babies then kids would sleep independently with the right schedule and gadgets. Personally for me, none of my babies (then toddler to kids) have truly slept through.
In particular, when we went into the phase of bed transitioning from cot to “big bed” when the kids were about 2 years old, this is when our bedtime routines started to be lying next to our kids to fall asleep, visits during the night and resettling and musical beds.
The more research I did, the more I truly started to appreciate that kids (not just babies) will sleep independently through dependence, and each child develops differently with independent sleep. The more I spoke with other families and joined groups on social media, it highlighted that more and more people I met confirmed they also bed-shared. Sadly though, they felt guilty to admit it, or felt they were doing something wrong. I really want to change that perception for anyone who has or wants to bed-share with their kids.
It was also identified that many special needs families, including kids with anxiety, also have a need to sleep with their kids at night, which highlighted that all families deserve the right comfort and support day or night.
Once I surrendered to our bed sharing ways, my initial thoughts of bed sharing changed from originally resisting, to accepting, to actually loving to share the bed the kids.
From my own experiences of bed-sharing, it was always very uncomfortable, and I had really poor neck support. I also worried about my kids not using the right height pillow when lying on my adult-sized pillow.
As bed-sharing became such an integrated part of our life, I needed a product to help sleep more comfortably.
Without a product easily available that provided correct neck support for both adults and kids, I decided to design and produce such a vital product missing from our market myself. This will not only support my family’s sleeping arrangements, but also other families to ensure that everyone can sleep comfortably, happily and safely.
duopillow uses high-quality Australian products, with a gentle contour for the adult and a flat low profile for the child, the pillow provides both sleepers with great height, comfort and support.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
duopillow has gone from concept to full prototype and customer design testing within a year.
duopillow launched in December 2020 and uses the principles of small batches to ensure quality-made products to the bed-sharing community. We use local manufacturers to support Australia, including obtaining the Australian Made and Owned certificate.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
duopillow is leading the way for gentle and attachment parenting styles. It supports so many families in unique and different sleep stages including bed transitioning, child anxiety, special needs families and attachment parenting. More new parents are becoming aware of different options in parenting including styles such as gentle and attachment parenting. Although not new concepts, in westernised countries, there is an expectation for kids to sleep alone, with sleep training to help when there are challenges. Also that sleep isn’t linear: as kids get older, it doesn’t necessarily mean that sleeping will happen easily
The original co-sleeping pillow, designed for two years and above, is a very unique concept and design providing the right neck and head support for an adult and child to sleep together.
Being able to have the product manufactured to the correct prototype requirements, all made in Australia, has been a huge achievement. We have also secured the rights of “Australian Made and Owned”, which we are very proud of.
We have also just launched standard size pillows that align to the amazing comfort and quality of our co-sleeping pillow.
We have protected the trademark in several countries and recently we have secured the trademark rights and submitted design intellectual property rights in the US, which is a big breakthrough for the business as we set our sights on the US market over the next year.