HOME - INTERVIEW
Thursday, June 7, 2018
HOME - INTERVIEW
by Mehmet Kaplan
Even the seats or accessories we use for 5 minutes in our daily life have adjustable designs. Why would not our bed to be also adjustable? This is no longer just special for beds in clinics, now there are designs available for you to use at home. Johannes Sauer conducted a long-running study under the Yaasa brand to present his new Adjustable Bed. He aimed to create a functional and stylish combination of both the bed construction and the flexible mattress.
In order to learn more about Adjustable Bed, Yaasa Studios, and his future plans, I asked Johannes Sauer, Founder and CEO of Yaasa Studios. Relax and enjoy the interview!
Johannes Sauer, Founder and CEO of Yaasa Studios
Johannes, could you tell us about your background and industry experience?
I was born and raised in a small town in the southern part of Austria. My educational background is in IT and I also got a MBA from the University of Graz in Austria. After working in IT for a few years, I decided it was time for a change, and I started working as a Sales Manager for a high-tech Austrian company that makes adjustable furniture. It was that job that brought me to the US for the first time in 2008 and I fell in love with this amazing country immediately. Amongst my many clients where big name brands like La-Z-Boy and Tempur-Pedic – which started my journey in the furniture and more specifically bedding industry in the US. After 8 successful and fun years, I felt it was time for my next move and I went to pursue my dream of running an e-commerce startup. With that, Yaasa was born.
How do you first became interested in adjustable furniture for healthy sleep? What inspired you?
My interest in the adjustable furniture industry stems from my personal history. At the young age of 25 – during my first job – I was already experiencing lots of back pain. I thought to myself: "This should not be the case, I am working out, my diet is healthy, yet here I am." It was only after I joined the Austrian tech company that I first learned about the power of adjustable furniture. Every single desk at that company was electronically height-adjustable, which allows every employee to switch between sitting and standing while working. Having access to an adjustable desk took care of my back pain immediately. Ever since, I have been fascinated with the great benefits that adjustable furniture can bring to each individual's life, and how little is known about those benefits or about adjustable furniture in general. I have made it my vision to help educate people about the benefits of adjustable furniture and that is at the core of what Yaasa is.
Could you tell us about history and philosophy of Yaasa Studios?
Yaasa was founded in 2016 with a mission to design world class adjustable furniture that intuitively adapts to improve peoples’ lives.
What type of products and services do you offer to your customers?
Yaasa currently offers a one-of-a-kind Adjustable Bed, a Mattress-in-a-Box, a health and wellness blanket, as well as luxury scented candles. All of our products are sold online through our website yaasa.com and a few select e-tail partners. One of the amazing things about Yaasa is that all of our products are conveniently delivered straight to our customers homes’, free of charge.
You described your bad with these words "The Bed That Adjusts To You". Could you explain us your Adjustable Bed and its features?
Absolutely. The Yaasa Adjustable Bed improves your sleep and resting positions at the touch of a button, elevating your upper body for reading, working or watching TV, or for raising your legs to promote circulation and ease back pain. The Yaasa Adjustable Bed works with virtually any kind of mattress and can easily be integrated in existing bedroom furniture. In addition, it features 2-preset positions – Anti-Snore and Zero-Gravity. When resting in the Anti-Snore position the upper body gets increased support and can get relief from snoring and even indigestion, giving you the most peaceful and uninterrupted night's sleep possible. The Yaasa Adjustable Bed’s Zero Gravity position alleviates pressure and cradles you in blissful support to ease tension and relieve pain throughout your whole body. The Yaasa Adjustable also features two USB outlets so you can charge your smartphone or tablet and stay connected while you relax in bed.
Which features of your design makes Adjustable Bed unique and different from competitors?
Two words – style and simplicity! When people think about an adjustable bed, usually the first thing that comes to mind is a hospital bed. We have designed an adjustable bed that impresses with its beautiful aesthetics – the bed features an aluminum body and a wooden veneer platform, where other beds use steel and upholstered platforms. The minimalist design has hidden motors and technology, and the minimal cords give you ample under bed storage space. With precision engineering and attention to detail, this iconic minimalist design is the perfect addition to any bedroom space.
The Yaasa Adjustable Bed is shipped in two boxes right to your front door and can be setup within minutes. Not only is it easy to setup, but also to break down in case you have to move (and you don’t need a moving crew to do it).
You have two more complementary products, The Yaasa Mattress and The Infinity Blanket. Could you tell us about their functionality and features?
The Yaasa Mattresses are the best value luxury 12” inch hybrid mattress in the industry. They feature a combination of pocket coils, different foams, and latex. Most foam-only mattresses cannot achieve the same type of support the Yaasa Mattress provides. Our hybrid mattress adjusts to our customers’ individual needs and delivers the best support, comfort, and breathability you could imagine. Unlike the vast majority of our competitors, we offer two different types of firmness. All of our mattresses are shipped in a small box straight to your home; you can try them for 100 nights and if you are not absolutely happy with them we offer you an exchange for a different firmness or a full refund.
The Infinity Blanket by Yaasa was launched as a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017 and was later carried on as an Indiegogo InDemand campaign. We raised over $130,000 for The Infinity Blanket through our crowdfunding campaigns. The Infinity Blanket is a health and wellness blanket that increases local blood flow, aids recovery, and enhances rest with the use of Celliant® fiber technology. Celliant® is a revolutionary, FDA determined, patented technology that recycles the body's natural heat energy (Infrared Light), and emits it back into the body's tissue. We have blended Celliant® with Organic Cotton and the result is a responsive textile clinically determined to increase energy, endurance, performance, and recovery, all while promoting restful sleep. The Infinity Blanket is also very eco-friendly. It is produced using green practices in Europe, with up to 12 plastic bottles being recycled in the production of each blanket.
Should we wait for new designs and products? Do you have new sketches on the drawing table?
We have three exciting new product introductions planned for 2018 – it is going to be a big year for the Yaasa brand. While I can’t share too many details about the upcoming products yet, I can share that we will be introducing a new blanket and a height-adjustable home office table in the fall. We are also going to be introducing a brand new product that will revolutionize small living spaces.
Could you tell us about your team members and their roles?
The US headquarters of Yaasa is located in beautiful Santa Barbara, California – the global Headquarters are located in Saint Gallen, Switzerland, where our European team serves the German, Austrian, and Swiss markets. Both teams collaborate to design and develop our brand and our products globally, while marketing efforts and customer support are executed locally.
Which advertising methods do you prefer for marketing your products and increasing your brand awareness?
We are using a good mix of paid advertising, influencer and affiliate marketing, as well as PR.
What do you think about social media? Which social media platforms do you prefer?
That is a big question. It fascinates me how social media has changed our lives and what strong presence it has taken. I feel like it has added a lot of transparency in certain areas since individual consumers are given a public voice, which was not that easy prior to social media. It also allows us to really engage with our customers and have a dialogue that helps to improve our products and services.
We are predominantly using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn. Each of those platforms has their own unique purpose as far as our brand is concerned and how we utilize them.
How can our readers buy Yaasa products? Do you offer White Glove delivery service?
Your readers can simply go to our website at yaasa.com and buy from there, or they can call our excellent customer service at 855-622-3711 and place an order over the phone. We are going to introduce an optional White-Glove Delivery Service this month which is going to be available for purchasers of The Yaasa Adjustable Bed.
What are the next steps or milestones for Yaasa Studios?
As I mentioned earlier, we have three major product introductions planned for this year and a bunch of fun campaigns that we will be rolling out. One of the product introductions will be done as a crowdfunding campaign – we simply love the interactivity of crowdfunding space and the immediate customer feedback that we receive. We have also just redesigned our showroom here in our Santa Barbara location and are going to opening it to the public soon.
Another major initiative is going to be the full Yaasa brand roll out in Europe. We have launched a new mattress product in Europe that we are very excited about – it is a mattress with 4 layers that can be changed on demand. That way the customer can change the firmness of the bed within a few minutes.
Anything you would like to add that I haven’t asked?
Yes, if your readers are ever out in sunny Santa Barbara they should come and visit our offices at 511 Olive Street. We are more than happy to show them our brand and products. Lastly, I wanted to thank you for the interview and your interest in what we do here at Yaasa!
Thank you Johannes.