Two Louisiana inventors, Nita Gassen and Judy Schott, will pitch the esteemed panel of tough Shark investors on ABC’s business reality show “Shark Tank” on Friday, February 26, at 7 p.m. Central. (WGNO-TV) The two moms turned entrepreneurs, who tried dozens of innovations to save time making beds, invented the Better Bedder sheet fastener in 2018.
“We were pinching ourselves the whole time we were on set pitching these billionaire Sharks,” Gassen said. “We still can’t believe they picked us to go on the show.”
The two female entrepreneurs from Mandeville both in their 50s have been hard at work for years after Schott, a New Orleans native and attorney by trade who serves as COO of a Northshore insurance company, searched every conceivable way to revolutionize and simplify making the bed – the morning chore everyone faces. Feeling determined, she called Gassen, a longtime friend and Luling native, who immediately went to work on this new game changing invention.
“I told Nita that we have to create something. This is a daily task, and it’s such a hassle,” Schott told her friend. “It just shouldn’t be so difficult to make a bed.”
While continuing to work full-time jobs, the two friends started using their nights and weekends to pursue this new innovative endeavor. First, they wandered around a Home Depot together looking for inspiration, and then Gassen had an idea. She bought a sewing machine, and she taught herself how to sew.
Gassen, who quit her job selling liability insurance to lawyers six months ago to pursue this new endeavor on a full-time basis, intricately pieced together the first Better Bedder in 2018, which the ladies describe as a giant headband that wraps around the sides of a mattress to keep both the fitted and flat sheets in place. You put it on once and then consider it a part of your mattress. From then on, instead of tucking your sheets underneath your mattress, you can tuck directly into the Better Bedder. The new imaginative bed band allows for making the bed with minimal effort.
“Once the invention was created, we immediately realized this product could dramatically change the morning routine of millions of people who usually resist making the bed,” Gassen said.
But Gassen, hardly a seamstress, was not up to the task of churning out Better Bedders. Instead, the pair embarked on a search to find a manufacturer. After visiting facilities all over the region, they found the perfect sew shop in Algiers.
Before long, Gassen and Schott were selling Better Bedders at local markets and online. Their adult children began to help them, taking shifts at the sales booths and ramping up their online presence. As their hobby turned into a family affair, the positive customer reviews poured in, and they realized they were indeed really helping people.
According to the Better Bedder website, the invention helps “seniors, the disabled, neat freaks, sleepers who run marathons at night and kick the sheets loose, and people who want to make their beds but are too lazy. Now all these folks can make their beds with little effort in just seconds.”
The zeal for their product is obvious from their Facebook page, which is flooded with overwhelmingly upbeat reviews.
One reviewer wrote this: “For two years I have searched for something for our camper mattress! . . . The Better Bedder works like a charm!”
Another wrote: “I have a bad back and changing or making the bed was a chore, but The Better Bedder really has changed that for me. Making the bed everyday takes minutes and is painless!”
One aspect of the Better Bedder that customers love is that it does not require any special sheets. Customers can use any sheets from any store. Another perk is that sheets will stay in place all night. The corners will no longer pop off, and your bed will stay neat.
Gassen and Schott are tightlipped about discussing the outcome of the ‘Shark Tank’ show or whether any of the five host equity investors agreed to bankroll the expansion of the Better Bedder fastener company’s production, marketing and distribution. “You will just have to tune in on February 26 and find out,” said Gassen.