DreamKeepers ends design nightmares for kids

Dennis Nessler, Staff Staff, April 16, 2001

NEW YORK — When DreamKeepers founder and owner Denise Wheeler wants to augment the company's children bedding collection she goes back to the drawing board, literally.

Wheeler, who started the company three years ago following a frustrating search for a "unique, high-quality bedding pattern" for her son, exhibited DreamKeepers' wares at the spring market here for the first time.

After sketching what is now the company's F-14 Tomcat pattern on a piece of paper, Wheeler asked her husband to have it printed on a pillow for their son. And the rest is history.

"We've tapped into a market that was missing for a long time," said Wheeler. "There's no one else doing this. It covers all kinds of phases."

The company's tagline reads "Imaginative bedding for children who love to dream."

The Los Angeles-based company, which started with just six pillowcases, now also includes a wide variety of duvets, flat sheets, shams and bed skirts, as well as crib bedding, accessories and infant wear.

Made of 220-count, all-cotton construction, the company's coordinated bedding targets both boys and girls from ages 2 to 10.

The boy's themes include Transportation, Sports, Nautical and Western in blue and white strip ticking, red plaid, blue plaid and navy plaid.

The girl's themes include Butterflies, Sunflowers, Flowers & Hearts, and Ballet in patterns such as tropical sunflower, pink floral, blue floral and tropical lilac.

Wheeler noted that the majority of the company's sales come from the boy's lineup. However, she remains focused on building up the girl's lineup, which is one of the reasons she attended this show, in addition to building on the company's some 300-store distribution.

Some of the company's standard pillowcases include images of a dump truck, tank engine, rescue van, bi-plane, F-14 Tomcat, schooner, cowboy, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, hockey, golf, ballet and hearts.

Some of the newer patterns the company is showing off here include space, military, race cars, surf, hula and groovy for girls.

DreamKeepers does everything from its 10,000-square-foot facility, where the company employs 17 people. The company has attended such shows as JPMA, High Point and Kids Fashions but wanted to target the home more specifically with this show.

The company offers a website, www.dreamsleepers.com, where it provides specifications and details on the company's various products.

Price points for the collection include wholesale prices of $18 to $20 for shams; $98 to $120 for duvets; sheets for $22.50; and pillowcases for $15.50.

"Parents are spending more money on children's rooms," Wheeler observed.

"I've always wanted things a certain way, and I think there's plenty of people like me out there. Nobody else has the vision we have."

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