Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Khaliah Guillory, founder of Nap Bar Inc., located in Houston, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Nap Bar™ —the first of its kind, scientifically proven white-glove resting experience for health-conscious professionals, travelers, stay-at-home parents, and entrepreneurs. This IS the competitive advantage for busy people.
Nap Bar™ will forever disrupt and innovate the $4 trillion-dollar health and wellness ecosystem by curating on and off-site curated sanctuaries that include Virtual Reality Rest Therapy™ and our white-label, Better Sleep Box™.
Our social impact is to solve the $411 billion-dollar US economic loss due to sleep deprivation. We are committed to helping sleep-deprived humans reclaim productivity, wellness, and mindfulness one rest at a time. Our services are scientifically proven to:
- Reduce human error
- Reduce mental stressors
- Increase productivity by up to 34%
- Increase alertness by up to 54%
- Boost creativity by up to 40%
- Increase mental acuity
Tell us about yourself
I was in my late 30s, VP at a Fortune 100 company, working 80+ hours a week, traveling 75% of the time. I found myself sleep-deprived and at the intersection where my contribution and satisfaction were no longer aligned. I've been an avid napper my entire life. I was the kiddo in kindergarten when the teacher said, "go and get your red and blue mats because it's nap time" she didn't have to fight with me!!! I continued to nap throughout high school, and I am certain I maintained balance, performance, and mental acuity as a student-athlete due to power naps! As an adult working in corporate America, I often took naps in an unused conference room, the uncomfortable chairs at the airports, parking garages...you name it.
In 2018, I risked it all and transitioned away from a 14-year cushy career in financial services and invested in myself. Overnight my 401k became the silent partner in Nap Bar™, the first-of-its-kind white-glove rest sanctuary experience for sleepy humans. I committed to 10,000+ hours of research. After five months of beta testing, including Bush Intercontinental Airport, and George R. Brown Convention Center, we opened our doors for business in November 2019 inside the Galleria Mall in TX to allow sleepy shoppers and employees an opportunity to rest, recharge, and rejuvenate.
Then COVID happened. We faced the challenge of being deemed “non-essential” and closed our doors. We took a risk, pivoted to e-commerce, and developed the Better Sleep Box™. We are committed to making sleep sexy again by offering white-labeled vegan candles, pillow mist, eye masks, and exclusive brain wave soundscapes. Throughout the pandemic, per Google Trends, "Covid + Insomnia" were the most searched words. We knew people's bedrooms were being transformed into the lunchroom, classroom, and office. Doing so, sleep would be interrupted when you add in the additional anxiety due to the current state of the world.
In 2022, we debuted the next disruptor in the wellness space, Nap Bar Virtual Reality™ (NBVR), at the world-renowned SXSW Music and Film Festival. We curate virtual pop-up experiences for napping, sleeping, meditation, and practicing mindfulness at corporations, hospitals, airports, and sporting venues. That’s right! We are on a quest to invade places and spaces all over the world to combat sleep deprivation.
My motivation is two-fold:
- To solve the 411 billion dollar US economic loss due to sleep deprivation and bring sleep awareness to humans all over the world so everyone can achieve restorative rest and mindfulness.
- To allow generational curses to die with my parents and birth a generation of wealth, generosity, and innovation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We have helped over 10,000+ travelers, professionals, entrepreneurs, and stay-at-home parents achieve restorative sleep, and we're on our way to the intention of impacting over 10 million!!!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Racing against time and money—you’ll never have enough of both in any given 24-hour period. Strategic time management is key. Be specific about how you choose to spend money and time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- GO until it’s a NO!
- Operate in your genius and delegate the rest—hire a core team sooner than later who are subject matter experts in your areas of opportunity.
- Protecting my energy and vision. In the beginning, after sharing, I would leave my cushy corporate job to create a “place for folks to nap,” many thought I was nuts and discouraged me from chasing my dreams. I’ve learned to stop sharing my vision with folks who can’t understand my greatness.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.