Secret Pillow Project is a social business empowering women in India through the making and selling of Secret Pillows and other foldable, useful, purposeful and charming products. A Secret Pillow is a pillow that unfolds into a blanket.
Leader of the project, Fritha Vincent, invites you to join an important experiment. Please watch the video above and meet Fritha and Secret Pillow Producers, Shireen, Shabana, Reshma and Shahreer.
If the experiment is a success the way Secret Pillow Project fulfills orders from its customers will be transformed. The result will enable Secret Pillow Project to take another step towards realising its vision of all women having the confidence and resources to make their own choices for themselves and their children. (New to Secret Pillow Project? Click here to watch a 2 minute film all about the project)
Secret Pillow Project Experiment
The current situation
Secret Pillow Project was set up in 2014 in UK and in 2016 in USA and India. Secret Pillow Project has over 1,700 global customers who receive their Secret Pillows from a store room in UK or a store room in USA. We ship a large number of Secret Pillows at a time, then we sort them and photograph them and then sell them. However rather than paying 2 lots of shipping costs we now want to streamline the process, reduce the time it takes for a Secret Pillow to reach the customer from the producer. By becoming slicker, faster and more cost effective we can scale up our project, increase our "Empower Fund" and be able to invite more women to be producers. This will have benefits for both our producers and our customers.
How could we do this? We dreamed of direct shipping from India. Was this possible?
One day Rachel, our production manager, ordered something beautiful online and it was sent direct from India. It arrived in 5 days! She came rushing into the office saying if this company can do it, so can we! We whooped and cheered and sent an email to the company the product was brought from and they gave us the name of the company they used to deliver it. We had meetings with a logistics company in India and another rival company and have set up business acounts with both of them. This was how our experiment came about. We are going to find 50 people from UK to order Secret Pillows and put the companies to the test. From there we can decide if a) fulfilling direct from India works b) which company is the best at doing it.
Please will you help? Order a Secret Pillow and promise to send us feedback.
How it will work....
1. Customers will order a Secret Pillow (£55 including shipping / same price as being offered by www.secretprojects.org) made in 1 of the 12 fabrics below by choosing a reward and backing this crowdfunding campaign
2. Once the campaign is finished the fabric needed to produce all the orders will be purchased from one of the projects favourite fabric shops in a busy, local, Bengaluru market
3. The fabric with wadding and labels will be distributed to Secret Pillow Producers living in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
4. Secret Pillow Production will take place. Each producer will make their own Secret Pillow in their home or community centre and sign a production certificate and slip it inside the Secret Pillow
5. The Secret Pillows will be collected and the producers will be paid directly via cheque
6. The Secret Pillows will be packed up in posting bags ready to be collected by two different international delivery agencies
7. The Secret Pillows will be collected and sent out. All customers will recieve a fulfillment email telling them which agency will be delivering their pillows along with an estimated delivery date
8. Customers will be asked to email Secret Pillow Project to let them know their Secret Pillow/s have arrived safely
9. Customers will recieve a survey from Secret Pillow Project's Corporate Partner, Service Tick, who have given their services to Secret Pillow Project pro bono.
10. Secret Pillow Project will review the survey responses and make an assessment of the results and a decision will be made to fulfill directly from India or not
Enjoy the fabric choices available
Fabric Choice 1 / Monarch Green
Fabric Choice 2 / Monarch Blue
Fabric Choice 3 / Monarch Tangerine
Fabric Choice 4 / Forever Circle
Fabric Choice 5 / Forever Flower
Fabric Choice 6 / Little Cloves Pink
Fabric Choice 7 / Little Cloves Red
Fabric Choice 8 / Little Cloves Yellow
Fabric Choice 9 / Little Cloves Blue
Fabric Choice 10 / Rajasthan Blue
Fabric Choice 11 / Rajasthan Red
Fabric Choice 12 / Wild Paisley
Fabric Choice 13 / Fire Paisley
Fabric Choice 14 / Sea Paisley
Fabric Choice 15 / Wooden Paisley
Please choose a reward and back our campaign now! Anyone that buys or owns a Secret Pillow is known as a Secret Pillower. They are part of our ambitious mission to empower.
1. What are the dimensions of Secret Pillows ordered through this campaign?
Folded: 45cm x 50 cm
Unfolded: 110 cm x 150 cm
2. What are Secret Pillows made out of?
100% cotton with 100% polyester wadding filling
3. Can I wash my Secret Pillow?
Yes at 30 degrees C in the washing machine. But don't iron it or tumble dry or dry clean it. They polyester won't like it at all.
3. I love Secret Pillows and want to buy now. Is it possible?
Yes, click here to visit the UK site.
4. How does Secret Pillow Project unfold women's power?
Secret Pillow Project invites women to be trained as Secret Pillow Producers for free and gives them an Empower Fund grant that is equivalent to one month's wages. They make Secret Pillows for 500 rupees each (approx. £6) and they go through a 4 stage empowerment programme. This price for stitch is excellent compared to other producers in the marekt. The stages are training, professionalism, development and entrepreneurship. Click here to watch a short movie about the project.
5. What is the breakdown of the cost of Secret Pillow?
£5-6 - goes to the producer for stitching
£5 - pays for the cotton, wadding and labels
£5 - contributes to Secret Pillow Project India's cost of running training programme, giving out Empower Funds
£5 - goes towards the logistics of the project, transporting materials to the communities where the women live and picking up the product
£10 - goes to shipping
The rest covers lose on exchange rate, cost of marketing the products and paying a small, partime, freelance team that make Secret Pillow Project happen. Any profits are driven back into the company to develop it further.