As a mother of three young girls, Monday Silks founder Kate Lankshear is all too familiar with baby balding, knotty toddler hair and skin allergies. When she heard about silk sheets, she set out to create a natural, breathable and safe sleeping solution for all ages by producing pillowcases and baby sheets made from mulberry silk. Silk is a natural fibre and comes with loads of benefits. Its smooth surface allows your hair and skin to glide across the pillow, helping prevent skin creases and reduce hair loss and frizz. It’s hypoallergenic, hydrating, regulates temperature and feels wonderful on your skin: the perfect solution for the whole family!
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I’m a mother of three young girls and battled baby bald spots and skin allergies with my first daughter. I remember it feeling like her hair had taken so long to start growing and then rubbed away within a few days as she tossed and turned her head while settling to sleep. Some friends mentioned how silk had been used by their grandparents back in the day. My attempt to make a silk sheet came to a sudden halt when I couldn’t get my hands on any silk. Material shops didn’t stock mulberry silk due to the sheer cost per roll.
Shortly after, my five months of maternity leave was up and I was back at work.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my third daughter and having some down time over summer when I decided I was going to make this happen. I was going to create a natural, breathable and safe sleeping solution for babies of all ages. The fact that I enjoy all things business and marketing was a huge motivator.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
It took six months of research and back and forth with various manufacturers in China before we finally launched. Silk is a natural protein fibre that comes from the cocoons of mulberry silkworm (Bombyx Mori). They feed on large quantities of mulberry tree leaves and since ancient times, China has been the world’s main producer of silk.
I’m not much of a sewer, however I managed to put together a rough prototype of our first product, the Silk Cot Sleeve which I sent over to our manufacturer in China to create.
With all our funds going towards purchasing the stock, I was luckily I had experience with marketing and design suites to complete the branding, packaging and website in-house myself.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Learning, learning, learning!! I have personally learnt so much from setting up and running Monday Silks.
Before starting the business, I had thought about doing some further study while the kids were young, however I think this has been more valuable.