Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who’ve made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned. We’ll be releasing new episodes on Mondays.
If you’ve shopped for sheets at any point over the past six years, you’re probably familiar with Parachute. If not, it’s the direct-to-consumer bedding and bath essentials company that now also makes mattresses and a few furniture pieces. But it was the wildly soft, high-quality sheets at an accessible price point that really started the brand’s cult following, and the woman behind it all is Ariel Kaye, its founder and CEO.
Kaye created the company in 2013 after seeing the need in the marketplace for bedding that rivaled the quality of European-made luxury brands for a fraction of the price. But that isn’t where her career began.
Kate got a job at a PR agency right out of college and before getting a masters at NYU. After that came a job in digital advertising before Kaye was “bit by the startup bug” in 2012. She took a thoughtful, practical approach to creating Parachute, saying, “Initially, it was always about being home brand, but I felt in order to be successful I need to start small. I needed to test. I needed to figure out if there was product-market fit. And so, I figured that the best way to connect with people was in the bedroom.” Fast-forward to today, and Parachute is a multimillion-dollar company that’s literally a household name.
Head to iTunes and subscribe to Second Life to listen to this special episode and get all the details on Kaye’s journey, as well as some of her best career advice.