Married couple Jimmy and Steph MacDonald wanted to take their commitment to buying “Made in the U.S.A.” products to bed with them. But when they couldn’t find any high-end sheets manufactured stateside, they decided to make their own.
The husband and wife team co-founded Redondo Beach-based Authenticity 50 last year, funded it with $41,000 from an October Kickstarter campaign, and started shipping their sheet sets in February.
Authenticity 50 markets its sheets as luxury bedding at reasonable prices, starting as low as $139 for a twin set. They’re made from cotton grown in the San Joaquin Valley; spun in Georgia; and cut, woven, and sewn in the Carolinas.
The MacDonalds said the company has shipped 500 sets so far and brought in $100,000. Based on the success of the sheets, the company has duvets, blankets, and towels in the works.
The low-price luxury model only works because Authenticity 50 eschews department stores in favor of direct selling via the internet, said Jimmy MacDonald, 35.
“Otherwise the product would be too expensive,” said MacDonald, a former banker in the prime brokerage division of Paris-based multinational lender Societe Generale. “It would be $300 to $500 for a set of sheets, if we were in Barneys New York or Bloomingdale’s.”
Authenticity 50 is growing sales through word of mouth, Google AdWords, and Facebook ads, he said.
They’ve been approached by retailers and are considering working with a couple of small ones that only sell “Made in the U.S.A.” wares, said Steph MacDonald, 33, who’s also an actress and producer.
“The more products we can sell, the more jobs we can bring back to this country and skilled workers we can put back to work,” she said.
– Marni Usheroff
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