ST. GEORGE —When two brothers combined their design skills and a love for sleep, they created a one-of-a-kind pillow technology that could transform the sleep game forever.
“What’s appealing is that everyone sleeps,” Mark Rane told St. George News. “How can we not find a good pillow? As designers, the idea of recreating a product that’s been around forever and changing the way people interact with is really appealing.”
Brothers Mark and Peter Rane, creators of The Fully Adjustable Pod-Pillow, are both industrial designers who studied at BYU. Since graduation, Mark Rane said they have “lived all over the place,” working for various companies as corporate in-house designers.
“We know how to design stuff, how to source things and how to make a good product,” he said. “And we’re the company. When people email for customer service, they’re talking to us. We’ve put all of our efforts into this, and we’re in it for the long haul.”
Peter Rane has done product design for everything from furniture to computers, and after working with the same company for five years, decided he was ready to branch off and make his own. Mark Rane mostly worked with outdoor sporting goods such as bicycle parts and coolers and was also ready to venture out on his own.
The idea for the pillow all started when Peter Rane wasn’t sleeping well. After another sibling showed him a new adjustable foam pillow he bought, he found himself intrigued. While he liked the initial concept, the messy, shredded foam design didn’t work and he knew he could do better.
“It was really about tearing down a product that exists and understanding the real problems, then prototyping more and more to get it right,” Mark Rane said.
Inspired by the pillow, the pair began collaborating, and over a three-year span, developed both the idea and product through hundreds of prototypes. A majority of the foam filling now comes from Utah and part of the manufacturing process takes place in St. George.
“We sourced everything we could here,” Mark Rane said. “The attempt for us is always to do as much as we can locally.”
Designed for any type of sleeper, Peter Rane said The Pod-Pillow consists of a soft, outer layer that unzips to reveal pods filled with foam. The pods keep the foam compartmentalized, creating a no-mess filling. The user can adjust the pillow by adding or removing pods to achieve the size and shape they desire. Once the pods are placed, the pillow is zipped up and given a “fluff,” bringing it all together. The stretch layers of fabric then integrate with the pods to create a soft, smooth surface.
By studying industrial design, the brothers’ long-term goal was to create their own products and brands. The Pod-Pillow is the first of many products they plan to create together.
“We’re just excited for people to see the pillow and to try it out,” Mark Rane said. “We really think we have something cool, something different, something that’s really going to help people, so we can’t wait to get it in front of everyone.”
On Nov. 17, the Pod-Pillow campaign on Kickstarter – a platform that exists to help bring creative projects to life – began, and will end on Friday, Dec 16. Find more information on the Pod-Pillow and/or help fund the project campaign online. To purchase the Pod-Pillow, visit their website.
The whole goal of studying industrial design was to be able to create our own products and our own brands,” Mark Rane said.
“We always wanted to go out on our own and now we’re doing it,” Peter Rane added.
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