Faith, Trust, and Milkweed July 17 2017
One of the many things I LOVE about working at Ogallala Comfort is the abundance of opportunities the company provides for individual growth. Our Owner and Chief Dreamer, Herb, came to me one day really excited about a Marketing class being offered in Lincoln, NE. I was unsure because the cost of the class seemed pretty high to me, but Herb had faith that I would learn a lot and that the return on investment would be worth the cost up front. His unwavering faith in me led me to the heart of Nebraska for a three-day training in Strategic Growth and Marketing.
Usually a trip to the city would have me feeling a little leery, but this was just a simple three-and-a-half hour journey to our Capital. I had been there several times before, so it should have been no problem... “should” being the key word there. Thankfully I made it to Lincoln without any problems. I checked into my hotel room without complications, parked, unpacked, and prepared myself for the class to begin the next day.
And that is where all the trouble began.
Day one of my class: I woke up extra early (5:30 am) even though the class didn’t begin until 8:00am, because I didn’t want to be late. After getting ready, and grabbing a quick bite for breakfast, I left for class, located on the University Of Nebraska Lincoln’s college campus. The GPS told me my destination was 10 minutes away, so leaving at 7:15am, a whole 45 minutes early, should give me PLENTY of time to arrive fashionably early. Again, “should.”
I’m in my pickup, with the GPS on my phone, ready to tackle this course –when, my phone starts acting up. The GPS re-routes me down a one-way… the wrong way down a one-way… and I begin to panic. I’m sure there was panicking from those in the oncoming traffic as well. I manage to somehow get going the right way down the street again, and begin to catch my breath a little. I can see the college, and I feel pretty good again, until the GPS has me take a sudden right turn. Now, I find myself on a freeway - that quickly takes me farther from my destination. I can’t get exit the freeway for what seems like forever; and the panic starts to rise again. It’s 7:38 when I finally am able to exit and immediately pull into a Burger King parking lot - where I proceed to cry. I pull myself together, and at 7:46am, I’m back on the freeway headed to the college. At 7:58am, I finally walk into my class… It’s a good thing I left 45 minutes early after all!
I spent the rest of the day enjoying other professional colleague’s ideas and inputs, uncovering customer needs, and evaluating priority segments. I take tons of notes to bring back to our team in Ogallala.
After class I am unsure whether or not to trust my GPS, but I manage to get back to the hotel in one piece. I decide that walking may be the better option for finding a dinner location - so I walk down the street, grab a burger, and call it a night. Hopefully tomorrow will bring me a little better luck.
Day two of my class: Now that I had successfully made it there once, I was able to navigate myself back to class on my own! I left the hotel at 7:15am once again, but this time my commute took me about 10 minutes, so I was extremely early for the lecture. Oh well, at least this gave me time to prepare for the lesson of the day (components of feasible business model) and enjoy conversation with the professor and some of the other students. I enjoyed another full day of learning and obtaining great information with my peers. I got to and from the class without difficulties - surely my bad luck had run out? Or so I hoped!
A great friend of mine lives in Lincoln, so I was excited to be meeting her for dinner. We chose a nice little sushi place close to my hotel, so I wouldn’t have to venture far. I pulled up my GPS, saw that it was a two minute walking distance and took off… but after about ten minutes of walking and not seeing a sushi restaurant anywhere, I questioned if the GPS was right. It wasn’t (of course!). Actually, the restaurant was half a block the other direction. It was literally the next building to my hotel!!! Have I mentioned that directions are not my thing?
Day three of class: At this point, I had found my way to the college quite well. Being early isn’t something I’m used to, since I run late for EVERYTHING, but I was really enjoying having that extra 30 minutes to discuss ideas and marketing tactics before class with the professors.
To say the class was beneficial would be an understatement. It was truly eye-opening and forced me to think outside of the box. I would come up with what I thought was a great idea and then the professor would say “Is that the best route? Do you think that’s original? Is that going to make people notice?” The answer: No. Sometimes we get so focused on what we think would be the quickest, easiest, marketing path and forget that marketing is not an overnight process. We have to build relationships; which in many cases can take months, even years.
I left on that final day of class feeling confident that what I had learned would be valuable to the Brand Refresh we have been working so hard on. As sad as I was that my learning experience was through, I was more than excited to be going home!
(If I could just get navigated out of here…)
Stay tuned for more updates on our New Product Line and the Brand Refresh we are so eager to share with you ☺
- Marlee Waugh
5 Ways to Give Back While You Sleep July 06 2017
For the last 30 years, Ogallala Comfort has been dreaming big, helping people sleep and preserving Monarch Habitat while re-establishing a sustainable economy based on renewable natural resources. But what does that really mean? For us, it means that from planting to production, our products more than just feel good - they also do good.
When you choose to dream with Ogallala, you can rest assured knowing you have helped make a difference in the world & have given back to the environment around you.
The best thing? You can do all of that, with your eyes closed...
5 Ways You Can Give Back While You Sleep:
- Protect Monarch Habitat:
Monarch butterflies depend upon milkweed during their migration. Protecting and restoring wild milkweed stands in the United States and Canada is the only way to save the magnificent Monarch migration. Habitat restoration is our favorite use for seed and we supply large quantities for land reclamation, highway beautification and smaller quantities for personal butterfly gardens.
As the world’s largest supplier of wild-crafted, sustainably harvested milkweed products and raw materials, we are helping create a larger demand. Growing more Milkweed will help Monarchs survive the destruction of their natural habitats throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
You help our cause by purchasing Milkweed products!
- Boost a Sustainable Economy:
We work with disadvantaged, rural communities and focus on Market Based Conservation in order to protect Monarch Habitat from urban sprawl and modern agriculture. We focus on Monarch Sustainability by helping people feed their families with the money they collect from hand picking milkweed pods.
Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed leaves as their sole food source. By paying people to collect milkweed pods, we create awareness of the monarch's plight and encourage people to protect their natural surroundings.
We firmly believe BOTH Monarchs and people should benefit from a healthy ecosystem.
- Provide Naturally Hypoallergenic Products:
We hand-craft our luxurious pillows and comforters with the help of Syriaca Clusters - the soft, light clusters that carry the seeds of the milkweed plant. Syriaca is not a synthetic, nor is it used as a down filler. It is the natural fiber from the milkweed plant and is non-treated. Milkweed traps and suppresses allergens found in down that cause allergic reactions; making the product naturally hypo-allergenic.
We also offer consumers confidence in our textiles according to Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX. This means you can rest assured that our products are protected against undesirable harmful substances. We're more than just down - We're luxurious, eco-friendly Hypodown.
- Use Natural Resources:
Our parent company is Monarch Flyway and our goal is to preserve and help restore natural habitats by using the renewable natural resources around us to better our lives and the planet. Join us on our mission to embrace biodiversity and economic development by using creativity and our favorite renewable, natural resource: milkweed.
- Use RDS Certified Down:
Responsible Down Standard safeguards the welfare of geese and ducks that provide down & feathers for the products we all love. Our down is gathered from mature geese after they have been made into a bi-product (they are never live-plucked). We are 100% cruelty-free and, because our products come from a natural source, we want it to stay that way!
So next time your head hits the pillow... Sleep well knowing you are part of the solution when you choose Ogallala.
- Blair Cissell
5 Home Remedies to Help You Sleep Well June 07 2017
"A great day starts with a good nights sleep"- Unknown
In today’s society, sleep often takes a backseat to all of our other priorities. The result is a society of insomniacs. In fact, WebMD cites insomnia as Americans’ most common sleep complaint. But there are ways to combat wakefulness without resorting to prescription sleep aids. Here are five home remedies to help you sleep well.
Yoga. Research indicates that yoga or stretching, as well as meditation or deep breathing, can alleviate insomnia. Health.com suggests combining gentle yoga (versus a more energizing type) and simple meditation to get the most bang for your buck.
Aromatherapy. The aforementioned health website also promotes aromatherapy — specifically, lavender — as a natural sleep aid. Inhale the aroma from a couple of drops of minty lavender oil before bed, or lightly spritz lavender on your pillow.
Herbal tea. Another health website, eatingwell.com, touts the benefits of herbal teas, citing the warmth of the liquid as the reason they induce sleepiness. Try chamomile, passionflower or even so-called sleepytime tea.
Bedtime snacks. Having a snack before bed, particularly one that is high in carbs, can increase drowsiness, according to eatingwell.com. If you’re watching your late-night snacking, try for a carb-rich dinner and you should enjoy the same effects.
Lights and temp. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you cut back the heat and set your thermostat to about 65 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. Also, make your room as dark as possible, which includes limiting light from electronic devices. Keep them in other parts of the house.
Last but not least, snuggle up with a Hypodown pillow or comforter to experience an incredible, naturally hypoallergenic night's rest. Sleep well with Ogallala Comfort Company. www.ogallalacomfort.com.
Getting a good night’s sleep shouldn’t be complicated. But if your mattress is mediocre or you want to protect one that’s brand new, it can be challenging trying to figure out whether you need a mattress pad, topper, enhancer or featherbed. Here’s the truth about what you really need on top of your mattress:
What are they? Mattress pads fit over your mattress like a fitted sheet, but they have a thin, padded layer that goes over the area where you sleep. Mattress pads are typically used to protect a mattress from stains and wear. They also can help keep sheets in place.
Who needs one? If you’re the owner of a new mattress, you’ll probably want to buy a mattress pad since it’ll help keep the mattress in good shape. Parents with small children who may wet the bed should consider a mattress pad with a waterproof feature. It’ll protect the mattress from getting wet and make cleanup easier. College kids living in dorm rooms are also good candidates for mattress pads since they provide an extra barrier between them and a used mattress.
What are the pros and cons? Mattress pads can protect against wetness, allergens, and even bed bugs! Plus, they’re usually machine-washable. However, don’t expect them to provide much comfort. Mattress pad cushions are usually too thin to provide noticeable support. However, some do have down or memory foam in them.
How much do they cost? Baseline cotton mattress pads usually cost between $30-$40, depending on your mattress size.
What are they? A mattress topper, or mattress enhancer, is a thick cushioned layer that covers the sleeping surface of the mattress and goes under the fitted sheet. They’re usually made from memory foam or filled with down or down alternative. Mattress toppers are designed to make your mattress more comfortable for you—whether that means making the bed surface firmer or softer. Memory foam toppers usually make the sleeping surface firmer while down/down alternative toppers make it softer.
Who needs one? Mattress enhancers are a less expensive option than replacing an entire mattress when it starts to become uncomfortable. If you have aches and pains during the night, a mattress enhancer can help cushion pressure points or give your body extra support. Memory foam mattress toppers reduce mattress movement if your sleep is often disturbed by your partner shifting sleep positions or getting out of bed during the night. They’re also great if you just want to make your bed more comfortable.
What are the pros and cons? Mattress toppers are usually less expensive than replacing an entire mattress, but they’re more expensive than a mattress pad. They also provide more comfort and support than a mattress pad. However, home experts warn memory foam toppers have a tendency to make you feel hotter during the night. Also, most toppers and enhancers are not machine-washable.
How much do they cost? Prices vary depending on size and material.
What are they? Featherbeds are similar to mattress toppers, but they’re made of goose feathers instead of down or memory foam. Featherbeds usually can go on top of the fitted sheet, so you’re lying directly on it.
Who needs one? Featherbeds are more of a luxury item than an essential one. However, if your mattress is too firm, they can help make it softer. Featherbeds also add warmth if you live in a cold climate.
What are the pros and cons? Featherbeds are easier to take on and off the bed because you’re not having to put a fitted sheet over them. If you have allergies, make sure to buy a hypoallergenic one or try a hypoallergenic mattress enhancer instead. If you live in a warmer climate or get hot at night, feather beds are probably not for you!
How much do they cost? Featherbeds are usually less expensive than a mattress topper, but more expensive than a mattress pad.
Make your bed dreamy with luxury bedding from Ogallala Comfort Company. Our Hypodown mattress enhancers and featherbeds will give your mattress the boost in comfort it needs. Our innovative Hypodown fill combines the finest down and fluffy Syriaca clusters to bring you comfort—naturally!
Just a Couple Small Town Girls April 24 2017
As you all may know from previous articles, we are currently refreshing our company brand! This is beyond exciting for us, as it is well past due. Part of our refresh is to update ALL of our photography!! Eek ☺ This could only mean one thing -- a photoshoot! We have been working with a great marketing team, GRIT., for our new material and they found the perfect place to hold our photoshoot - an adorable rustic event center in Denver, CO called Blanc.
Before I get too ahead of myself with the glamorous details, I should state that Ogallala Comfort Company is located in Ogallala, Neb., a small ranching community of about 5,000 people. We had quite the adventure traveling to Denver for a professional photoshoot (with models and all!).
Before we hit the road, we had to first, hand-craft each of the prototypes of our new products. Of course, we needed all shapes, sizes, and firmness levels. That is A LOT of product being made! So our production staff set to work to make sure we had all the luxurious pillows & bedding products we needed and they even loaded into the car for us (Thanks guys!). Speaking of our car, Cassie & I had the pleasure of getting to drive the 1994 Chevy Suburban driven by our owners, appropriately nicknamed “The Boat” -- that thing is massive! Also, like a boat, it was a little difficult to steer - Cassie could drastically turn the wheel, yet “The Boat” seemed unmoved. Thankfully, Cassie was the pilot, while I managed the important things - like the music and snacks! Also, thankfully “The Boat” successfully voyaged the 3 hour road trip and landed in Denver. These small town girls had arrived in the Big City!
We headed straight for the photoshoot location, Blanc, to drop off the props and product so that the marketing crew could start setting up. This sounds simple enough, but of course “The Boat” had other plans. Cassie goes to open the back door, but the door doesn’t budge. She pulls and pulls and eventually put one foot on the door, (you know for better leverage), but despite her best efforts… the door just wouldn’t open. Thank goodness for the photography crew - who eventually, after resorting to the use of a crow bar, got the door to open. I guess we sure do know how to make an entrance!
Once, the products and props were unloaded, we took some time to look around the venue. It was absolutely GORGEOUS! Located in the heart of Denver, this venue offers amazing views, and an urban vibe that we don’t get out in western Nebraska.
Finally, we were off to the hotel. We were looking forward to checking in and refreshing after a long day in “The Boat”. Checking in should have been a breeze - but our struggles continued. When I booked the trip, I did so in my boss’s name. At the last minute she was unable to make the trip, leaving Cassie and I to fend for ourselves. Since the reservation was in Debbie’s name, Cassie and I couldn’t just do a quick check-in. Lucky for us, the staff was really great and allowed us to call our boss so she could tell them it was okay for us to have the reservation. Except, Debbie didn’t answer the phone. ☹ After quite some time, and multiple calls, we FINALLY were able to confirm our reservation & head upstairs.
If you think our night ended there… you would be wrong! We were off to dinner with our marketing crew! Instead of pulling up downtown Denver in “The Boat”, we opted to take an Uber. Again, a novelty service not offered back in our neck of the woods. Usually I don’t get in a car with strangers, but I braved it and survived my first Uber experience!
After dinner, Cassie and I decided to explore downtown a bit. We found ourselves at a cute little bar called Beatrice and Woodsley. This place was incredible. There were trees growing inside the building, the seats were made out of logs, and the wall of alcohol bottles was held up by old chainsaws! If you are ever in Denver, I recommend you look it up; it’s so worth the trip!
Now, it’s photoshoot day!!! The photography and marketing team had everything handled, but they still asked our opinions and wanted to be sure we got all the shots we wanted. Which even included the impromptu decision to set up a bed outside, to capture pictures of the beautiful views! We had four bed setups, including this outdoor scene - each with its own unique theme and design. My personal favorite setup was the one with the record player; I’m obsessed with vinyl records!
It didn’t take long and Cassie and I were asking if we could set a bed up outside… now we know that is not where a bed goes, but when the view is that great, you can’t pass up the opportunity!
They shot all the product shots in the morning and by the afternoon, we had puppies and models join in the fun. Frisco, a golden doodle puppy who stole our hearts, can be seen featured in many of our photos. Needless to say, I think every girl there got distracted when he came in ☺ Several hours of re-arranging displays, adjusting for lighting, and making sure the angles were right - and we were done. We packed up our products & left the glamourous day, made an important stop for some Chick-fil-A (also not found anywhere near Ogallala), and waved goodbye to our cute, new, puppy friend, Frisco, in our rearview mirror.
We hope you have enjoyed the sneak peek into our journey and be sure to keep checking in as our brand refresh is really only beginning!
- Marlee Waugh
Finding the Perfect Pillow April 19 2017
Life as an Intern March 01 2017
Just like any other high school junior, I was starting to feel overwhelmed with the idea of applying for colleges and entering into the “real world”. I had always had a summer job at a local restaurant but I was beginning to look into the possibility of an internship that would help my job experience stand out for those college applications. I contacted the local chamber of commerce who helped me find just what I was looking for – a paid internship with a local business, named Ogallala Comfort Company. After an interview with the owners, Herb & Karen Knudsen, I had found myself the perfect summer job!
My days with OCC consisted of a variety of tasks depending on the day. First, I had to learn about all the products and ventures of the company & familiarize myself with everything going on in the business. I had no idea the process it took to make these luxury bedding products! From picking the milkweed, to blending the Hypodown, ordering the bedding shells, hand-filling each item to fit the customers specifications, hand-sewing the tags, and packaging each order – and those were just the basics! There was much more that happened behind the scenes. Plus, at that time, the company was just beginning the process of marketing and selling their Milkweed Balm, which has since become a whole other segment of the company!
I helped conduct market research for our various products & tried to help find places or people that could help advance our sales. I also helped with our social media at the very beginning (I’m talking less than 300 likes!) and assisted our Sales Manager, Chanielle with other sales projects. I helped gather & design the elements for our booth that we were taking to trade shows that year, and also organized and cleaned the office, storage rooms, and store front. To this day I can thank the OCC for my box taping skills – as I helped package & ship items in production every day. As a high school student, I got to sit in on office meetings, listen to conference calls & learn the overall workings of a small business.
Above all, the best thing about working at OCC were the people. We had a small team back then and it was fun to work with, and get to know every one of them. They sent me off to college, kept up on Facebook, and some even came to my wedding just this last year. Bonus: luxury pillows as a wedding gift! J Also, they liked me enough to let me come back & work for them out of my home! I currently help as a social media assistant – helping with Facebook and handling daily Instagram posts.
So I may have set out to find just a summer internship, but I found much more than that. I found a company that cares about its employees & people that make you feel like you’re part of a family.
-- Blair Cissell
Dress Your Bedroom as You Dress Yourself. February 24 2017
The ever so lovely Peacock Alley Linens shared some Wednesday wisdom with us today from their founder, Mary Ella Gabler.
"It made sense to me that these women would want to dress their bedrooms as they dressed themselves: in natural fibers, simple silhouettes and classic colors. It was how I dressed and it was how I wanted to live."
If you're like most women, you put a lot of time, money, and effort into your wardrobe. It could be because we like our clothes to be comfy and cozy, because we wear them against our skin for 12+ hours a day, and what woman doesn't love a good compliment!? So why not treat yourself to these same luxuries when choosing your bedding? After all, we do spend 1/3rd of our lives sleeping in that bed!
By dressing your bed in Ogallala products, you are not only surrounding yourself in naturally hypoallergenic luxury, you are helping support and revive the Monarch butterfly population. How, you ask? Our luxurious Hypodown® products are made with 70% white goose down, and 30% Syriaca clusters (also known as Milkweed fibers). By responsibly collecting milkweed pods to make Hypodown®, we help preserve the native milkweed stands and create demand for milkweed products.
Do yourself, and the Monarch butterfly population, a favor and treat yourself to one of many Hypodown® products at Ogallala Comfort Company - www.ogallalacomfort.com.
For more information on the Monarch butterflies and our story, visit www.monarchflyway.com
-- Cassie Knoop
Vintage? February 07 2017
As much as we'd like to consider it "vintage", our company sign has been up for over 30 years and didn't quite age as well as we would have liked (I wish I could insert an emoji here). Designing our shiny, new signs was a lot of fun but once we returned to our showroom all bright-eyed and full of creativity, we knew that it needed some new life breathed into it as well.
Side note: all of this was decided while the bosses were traveling for the week. SURPRISE!
Being located in a rural, ranching community of 5,000 people, you can probably assume the bulk of our business is not in store. Instead, we shift our focus to maintaining a significant online presence and making sure your incredible Hypodown products are quickly out our door and into yours! Have I mentioned that we make everything to order? You won't find your product sitting on a dusty shelf here! You'll find it being carefully hand-crafted by the skilled members of our production team. You, our wonderful and faithful customers, sure keep us busy (thank you!), but who says we can't make time for a little wallpaper removal? Check out a little "behind the scenes" remodel in action and check back soon for the finished product!
-your Ogallala Comfort Company crew
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