Judy Schott and Nita Gassen
Creators of the Better Bedder
A simple idea to make a daily task easier has turned two Mandeville mothers into successful inventors. “We never intended to create a product nor a business. We both had careers that we love,” says Nita Gassen. “We created this to solve a personal problem. It quickly evolved once we realized the Better Bedder could help other people.”
Nita and Judy Schott, both in their 50s, have been working on the Better Bedder for years after Judy began searching for ways to revolutionize the looming task of morning bed-making. Feeling determined, she called Nita, a longtime friend and Luling native, who immediately went to work on this new game changing invention.
“I told Nita that we have to create something. This is a daily task, and it’s such a hassle,” Judy says. “It just shouldn’t be so difficult to make a bed.”
While continuing to work full-time jobs, the duo started using their nights and weekends to pursue this innovative endeavor. They wandered around a Home Depot together looking for inspiration, and then Nita had an idea. She then bought a sewing machine, and she
taught herself how to sew.
The first Better Bedder was intricately pieced together in 2018, which they describe as a giant headband that wraps around the sides of a mattress to keep both the fitted and flat sheets in place. Once it’s on, it can be considered part of your mattress allowing you to tuck your sheets directly into the Better Bedder instead of beneath your mattress. The bed band allows for making the bed with minimal effort.
Hardly a seamstress, Nita was not up to the task of churning out Better Bedders. Instead, the pair embarked on a search to find a manufacturer. After visiting facilities all over the region, they found the perfect sew shop in Algiers.
“Once the invention was created, we immediately realized this product could dramatically change the morning routine of millions of people who usually resist making the bed,” Nita says.
Before long, Nita and Judy were selling Better Bedders at local markets and online. Their adult children began to help them, taking shifts at the sales booths and ramping up their online presence. As their hobby turned into a family affair, the positive customer reviews poured in, and they realized they were indeed really helping people.
The zeal for their product is obvious from their Facebook page, which is flooded with overwhelmingly upbeat reviews. One reviewer wrote: “I have a bad back and changing or making the bed was a chore, but the Better Bedder really has changed that for me. Making the bed everyday takes minutes and is painless!”
An aspect of the Better Bedder that customers love is that it does not require any special sheets. Customers can use any sheets from any store. Another perk is that sheets will stay in place all night. The corners will no longer pop off, and your bed will stay neat.
“We just genuinely hope that one day there will be a Better Bedder on every bed in the world,” says Nita. “We are convinced that it can help so many people especially seniors and the disabled. From RVs to truckers to busy moms, the Better Bedder can help everyone.”
Nita and Judy are not the only ones who believe in the Better Bedder as proven on a Shark Tank episode in late February. Judy says about the experience: “It was surreal pitching to the Sharks. When the doors opened and we walked down the hallway, it felt as though we were entering the twilight zone. We immediately went into our scripted pitch, which we had practiced a thousand times. From that point it was just a race to try to get as much information to them as possible before they rejected us!”
However, rejection was not the case for the Better Bedder. “My first thought was ‘thank goodness we got at least one offer’ and then suddenly we were faced with three offers,” says Judy. “That’s the part that we hadn’t planned for and really weren’t able to coordinate. It became chaotic and a free-for-all. Getting the three offers and trying to decide on the spot was the most stressful point of the entire process.” The two went with Lori Greiner’s offer.
After their successful pitch, the women had to remain tightlipped about the show and the entire experience. “It was extremely hard to keep it a secret! We continued to tell each other that it seemed unreal. ‘Did we really just go on Shark Tank?’” laughs Nita. “And we didn’t know the air date until three weeks prior! Plus, until the show aired, we really didn’t know for sure if it would be aired. We were forewarned that at any point in time it might not actually make it on the air so we were nervous up until we watched ourselves on television.”
Looking ahead as the Better Bedder business continues to grow, Nita will work full-time for Better Bedder while Judy continues her role as COO of Gilsbar LLC, a local health and life insurance services provider. “If you believe in something, you can do it,” Nita says. “We became believers in this Better Bedder and it is for that reason alone that it actually turned into what it is today. No other reason whatsoever. We believed that it could help people.”
Watch the episode at abc.com and learn more about the Better Bedder at thebetterbedder.com.