SleepPhones®: The World's Most Comfortable Headphones for Sleeping
AcousticSheep LLC was founded in 2007 by Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, a family physician, and her husband Jason Wolfe, a video game developer. Dr. Lai struggled with falling back asleep after receiving patient phone calls in the middle of the night. Wei-Shin needed to listen to some meditative music to help her relax.
However, headphones were bulky, and earbuds were uncomfortable. Since there were no headphones specifically designed for sleeping, Wei-Shin invented her own and called them SleepPhones®.
SleepPhones® worked so well for her that she decided to offer them to all of her patients taking sleeping pills. Her husband soldered, and she sewed the first 500 pieces themselves on their kitchen table.
Initial feedback was phenomenal. One women was finally able to wean off her sleep mediation after taking them for ten years. Another said SleepPhones® saved her marriage because she could finally sleep in the same bed as her snoring husband.
Wei-Shin and her husband decided to patent their invention and start a business. They completely sold out in their first year.
For the first six years, Jason and Wei-Shin ran the business from their kitchen table. After selling 100,000 pieces, they decided to take their business to the next level, hiring their first full-time employee and setting up their warehouse in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Since leaving their day jobs nearly a decade ago, Jason and Wei-Shin have won numerous awards such as Entrepreneur of the Year in PA (SBA), Entrepreneur of the Year in Western PA & WV (Ernst & Young), and Small Business of the Year with the Consumer Technology Association. They have won eight Consumer Electronics Association Innovation Awards for their products, two Pennsylvania ImPAct Awards (Entrepreneur and Exports), and a Red Dot Design Award. Locally, they have won the Disrupt Erie Award, Ben Franklin Award, and the Commitment to Erie Award.