PRESENTATIONS: Meet Deborah McIncrow | Community | Savannah News, Events, Restaurants, Music

Deborah McIncrow is an upstate New York transplant who moved to Savannah 17 years ago with her family. She is a wife, mother and former teacher who has recently taken on another role: entrepreneur. McIncrow is the founder of PillowSak, a protective cover for your pillow while traveling. She was inspired to invent the PillowSak to solve a personal problem.

“For years I worried about traveling with my pillow, keeping it clean and safe, and making sure that when it came to bed it was nice and germ-free. It was just a constant struggle. was packing for a trip and I was telling my husband ‘don’t put him under all the luggage’ or ‘don’t put him in the back of the car because I took the dog to the vet.’ Or ‘don’t put it in the front seat because I spilled some Lowes dirt,’ and it went on like that for a few years before the straw broke the camel’s back,” McIncrow explained.

That straw turned out to be a trip she took with her family last year to the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. It was a rainy day and she was struggling to keep her pillow dry. Also, it proved difficult to travel with all of his luggage and pillow.

“When we finally arrived at the hotel lobby, I placed my pillow on the back of my suitcase and balanced it. We continued on our merry way to check in and when we arrived at the check-in counter. ‘check in, I turned around and my pillow was gone. It was way out in the lobby, meanwhile, it was dirty and filthy and I was just mortified,’ she recounted.

Upon returning from the trip, McIncrow went online determined to find a product to help her travel with her pillow in peace, but she was unsuccessful. There was nothing on the market available, and so for a while she gave up her pursuit, but she was obsessed with the thought.

“It kept regurgitating with me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t let go. Weeks passed and I was still disturbed that there was nothing on the market that shelters your pillow when traveling. So, I said, ‘well, maybe I’m supposed to do something about it,'” she said.

She took out a notebook and started jotting down ideas and rough sketches. The sketches became prototypes and these prototypes led to the final product, the PillowSak, which was officially launched in July 2022. A protective cover for your pillow, the PillowSak is made with a 100% cotton canvas material, resistant to liquids.

“It protects against dirt, germs and grime that you might pick up along the way to your destination,” she explained.

The PillowSak is available in a variety of prints, providing complete pillow protection and privacy. For McIncrow and many others like her, pillows are an investment.

“You invest your money in a high quality pillow because you’re going to use it for a while. You use it every day at least once a day, and if you take naps, maybe more than once a day. So I wanted to make sure that whatever I created protected that investment,” McIncrow said.

She also wanted to make sure customers had the freedom to bring their good night’s sleep when traveling.

“Whenever you go away and sleep on other people’s pillows, or are in a hotel using their pillows, you really have no idea what’s happening to them. I wanted to solve this problem by providing something that allows you to bring your pillow, get a good night’s sleep and have peace of mind so that you can wake up the next day completely rested to face and face the day ahead. waiting for you,” McIncrow said.

Since its launch last summer, McIncrow has enjoyed a warm welcome for the PillowSak. The product is currently available at approximately 25 retailers across the Southeast.

She also sells at local craft markets throughout the year. McIncrow is a regular vendor at the Isles Farmers Market, which is a particular point of pride. More than a decade ago, McIncrow gathered friends in his backyard to create a farmers’ market on Wilmington Island where the community could gather. With the support of the community, she was the catalyst that conceptualized the market and brought it to fruition. So coming back years later as a seller to the marketplace she founded is truly a looping moment.

“It was so surreal . . . It’s really exciting and I’m really proud to know that what we started over a decade ago is still thriving,” she beamed.

She hopes to appear on the investment TV show Shark Tank and strike a deal with several investors. She sees lucrative licensing opportunities for PillowSak with sports teams and Disney. She also plans to sell in superstores like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond.

“I don’t see an end in sight. I will continue to push and move forward every day and strive to make the best product possible,” she said.

McIncrow will be a vendor at the third annual Christmas Festival at Trustees’ Garden on December 17.

To learn more about PillowSak, visit pillowsak.com