From The Desk Of … Room 422
As part of Summit this year some of the attendees were given the opportunity to pitch their businesses to the media. I knew this was on the schedule and when it came up I was in attendance but had decided to use the time to make notes on things I needed to do and people I would love to connect with the next day. I was sitting at my table with a glass of water and a snack using my time “wisely”. All of a sudden I was distracted by a darling powerhouse duo I couldn’t not pay attention to. The energetic twosome on the stage were pounding through their allotted time like they owned the stage and for that brief moment in time they did. I had to abandon my original idea of zoning out and completely pay attention. They were incredible and their business was brilliant. They delivered the pitch with perfection and I wanted to stand on my chair and cheer. So much for not paying attention.
I am speaking of the duo behind Room 422. This powerhouse team and their incredible business idea can not be ignored. They are smart, talented, charismatic and their business model is unmatched on the market. Room 422 sells dorm bedding and has honed in on college students heading to school. A few minutes on their site and your room is completely dressed for school. It’s one stop shopping at its finest. You can purchase everything from a headboard to the bed skirt and all the fabulous in between. And this isn’t just a simple bed in a bag, this is a well dressed room complete with incredible fabrics and monogram pillows. Their collections put my matching pink, green and orange flamingo bed linens and custom bed skirt with contrasting trim circa 1988 to shame.
I knew I had to meet these darling girls and immediately messaged them to say I wanted to know more. Frances and Pierce were even more precious one on one and I have found myself screaming their names from the rooftops. Their collections are perfect for college students but also for singles setting up a home and even teen girls setting up a big girl room for the first time. Affordable bedding that makes any room look as if it was custom designed from head to toe. Yes please!!
You will love every single thing about Room 422 …
First of all, tell me about each of you. Where did you grow up and how did your childhood influence your life and who you are your today?
P: I grew up in Macon, GA in a neighborhood where almost my entire extended family (about 50 people) lives- this meant family get togethers, random run-ins and a lot of older cousins for me to admire. When you are around that many people you have to find a voice of your own, a way to be known and seen! From a very early age I had to gain the confidence to be who I wanted to be and to overcome anything that would prevent me from pursuing my passions. Whether it was a sorority position, a new job or simply choosing which movie to watch I am pretty vocal about what I want to achieve and how I’m going to accomplish something and I think it’s fair to say this stems from trying to get a word in with all those family members.
F: I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. I feel that my upbringing and passions are what truly led me to this point. For as long as I can remember I have loved all things creative. This is a passion I get very honestly from my mom. I can confidently say my mom is the most creative person I know. I believe that I am where I am today due to the values that both my parents instilled in me from day one. They always encouraged me to dream big, work hard, be kind and follow my heart.
As a little girls what did you want to be when you grew up?
P: From the time I started walking to my junior year of high school, I was enrolled in ballet class several times a week. Dance was my absolute favorite thing to do; my outlet, my getaway. I had a different group of friends at dance than I did at school and I loved spending time with all of them. My dream was to be a Rockette in New York City- I mean who doesn’t want to be a part of that kick line? Although I realized in high school this dream wouldn’t necessarily become a reality, the discipline and responsibility I learned from being a dancer was forever ingrained in my DNA. I truly believe it molded me not only into the person I am today, but also the decisions and dreams I aim for now.
F: I wanted to be several different things. It was always changing. I wanted to be a teacher then I wanted to be an artist but most of all I wanted to be my mom. She worked very hard owning her own business but she also did not miss one part of our family personal life. She was at every sporting event, dance recital, school play, birthday party, etc. She had it going on and still does to this day! I still want to be my mom when I grow up- a job I love and a family I love even more!
Tell me the story about how you Room 422 came to be.
F: The original dream of Room 422 started the summer of 2010 as I was getting ready to head to The University of Alabama for my freshman year. As I got ready to head to college, I quickly realized that finding bedding to my liking was going to be harder than I anticipated. It was at this moment that my mom and I decided to create my own unique bedding specifically to fit my dorm room. This ultimately led to the realization that easily accessible dorm bedding was missing from the market- and this is where the idea of Room 422 originated. Soon after graduating I decided to follow my dream and act on an opportunity that I believed was too good to not pursue. In March of 2015 my dreams turned into a reality, and here you have Room 422.
What is the message you want people to know about Room 422?
P: Room 422 is a one-stop-shop for all of your room necessities. Our goal is to provide absolutely everything you need to create your dream room. We begin with the essentials- headboards, euros and accent pillows, but we don’t stop there! From storage cubes to rugs, and jewelry hangers, we want our customers to know that we go beyond the basics. We provide unique decor options for an added pop of fun that is not exclusive to just a dorm room but to any room.
F: Room 422 serves as a one-stop-shop for unique dorm bedding at an affordable price. With a full range of options and styles, we assist our customers in creating the bedroom of their dreams! I believe it is important to make your dorm room “your home away from home”. After-all it is going to be your home for the next 9 months. We strive to help our customers find their own unique interior style. We believe it is important to make your dorm room a personalized expression of yourself. Room 422 allows roommates to mix and match their bedding to their liking. We offer exclusive pattern options in different colorways so that each customer can create the perfect bed. This gives each customer the opportunity to express their individuality. Room 422 not only exists to fulfill this need but to make sure it is done with ease. We strive to eliminate one less stress when getting ready to go off to college.
Share two people who have inspired your journey(s) and why?
P: One of my best friends since childhood decided to move to a completely new city, alone, and follow her dream of blogging. Watching her make sacrifices and stop at nothing in order to accomplish this goal was one of the most inspiring experiences I’ve ever seen. I was able to witness the hours of work and effort put into this dream, which made the reward and success that much greater. It is a constant reminder to me that when you want something- you should go after it no matter what!
F: My mom has inspired my journey in more ways than I will ever be able to express. From day one she has showed me hard work, ambition and love. She taught me to dream big, work hard, be kind and follow my heart. Beyond being the ultimate #girlboss she has been there to mentor and encourage me my entire journey. I will be forever grateful to be learning from the best of the best in this industry but even more grateful for her being the absolute best mom I could ever dream of!
Can you share a high point in your journey(s) and what was that like for you?
P: I just started working for Room 422 in January, so I am new to the scene. But a high point in this journey was definitely the opportunity to pitch at the Southern C. I interned for one of the founders in college, so attending the Southern C has always been a goal of mine. When Frances proposed the Summit, I immediately jumped on board. Then, to take it one step further we were chosen to pitch Room 422 to a room filled with talented women. Being able to discuss what I am passionate about with over 300 #girlbosses was seriously amazing. I loved every second of it.
F: A high point in my 422 journey was my road trip last year. I had a 5 day road trip planned which quickly turned into a 14 day road trip all the way to Texas and back. It was exciting to see others get excited about Room 422 the way I do. Each show kept leading to other shows. It was fun to witness Room 422 grow! It was a huge highlight last year. I love everything about Room 422 and sharing it with more people is a dream come true! We are hitting even more cities on our road trip this year and I cannot wait!!!
I absolute love each of your collections, do you have a favorite?
P: Every single day I tell Frances I want to redo my room in “this pattern” or “that colorway” and yet I am highly indecisive. However, in our new collection we are introducing Blush and I am SOLD. Seriously- everyone is going to want it. The blush is quickly becoming my favorite color no matter what the pattern.
F: I’m not going to lie I have a new favorite every other day. But I will say a constant favorite of mine are the faux leathers. I love the texture and depth that they have. They are neutral and allow you to go several different routes. You can stay all neutral with the greys, tans, white, metallics, furs or you can throw in a pop of color. For me, I do it all! I am always switching things around and adding new items.
What would you say are room must haves …
P: I am probably the most cold natured human you will ever meet, so a good blanket is an absolute must for me. That is why at Room 422 we have so many amazing blanket options. We have a fleece blanket, deluxe fleece blanket, fur blanket and a duvet. You take your pick and price point to accommodate your needs!
F: I agree with P the blankets are a must! I particularly love the deluxe blanket. It is fabric on one side and fleece of the other side. It is the best of both worlds. It is stylish and chic on one side and comfy cozy on the other side. I will say our signature headboard gives you a lot of bang for your buck. The headboards not only make a huge visual difference, they are nice cushion to lean up against. They make a dorm room look more like a bedroom and less like a jail cell. The storage cubes are great too! They have so many useful purposes. They serve as a stepping stool to get up to the lofted dorm bed, a extra seat for when you friend comes to hang out in your room and another space for storage which is always great in the tiny dorm room.
Anything not needed?
P: This question can be answered based on where you are going to school! The most common factors to consider are the size and setup of the room. Some beds need bed skirts while some are lofted and do not. Some beds are so high it does not require a headboard and others are lower so you will want the whole sha-bang! Totally depends on your preference and set up, but trust me, you’re going to want it all. 😉
F: What P said. We create products custom to different types of dorm rooms. So although not every customer may need to exact same thing, my hope is that you can substitute a headboard for an oversized pillow depending on what fits best for your room.
What is your vision for the company in two years?
F: In two years I would love to see Room 422 as more than just dorm bedding. I would love for it to be a one stop shop to deck out ANY room! Whether that be a dorm room, kids room, guest room, master bedroom, etc.
P: Could not agree more with Frances! We have seen Room 422 organically grow into bedrooms outside of dorm rooms. I am hopeful that as time continues we will be able to focus on other rooms as well. In addition to this, my hope is that in two years Room 422 will have made it to every state! We’ve shipped all over the country, but I would love to check off all 50 states!
Anything you must to spurn creativity?
P: I am all about some organization and a dance party. I can’t accomplish anything if the room is not organized so I usually spend a good amount of time getting everything in order, turn on some good tunes and let the rest unfold!
F: I have been fortunate in the past to travel to some amazing places and the inspiration and creativity I have taken from those trips has been immeasurable. Experiencing different cultures, architecture, art and design has inspired so much of my work- it is exciting to see them pulled out through my bedding. There are so many talented people out there and I want to continue to be challenged by them!
What is your favorite way to unwind?
P: After a long day or weekend there is nothing I enjoy more than cuddling up on my couch with a good blanket, water with lemon, a snack and catching up on all my favorite shows.
F: My favorite way to unwind is definitely hanging out catching up with my friends. (preferably outside on a porch! )
Five must haves.
P: Ketchup, lipstick, Ruff Ruff (my stuffed animal), a toothbrush and a Taylor Swift cd.
F: This is tricky. I love A LOT of things! But 5 things that I have with me at ALL times are: chapstick, cash, gum/mints, hair clip/rubber band, and a pen [or pencil or marker- just something to write/ doodle with:) ]
P: “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” – Kid President
F: “Expect the unexpected and smile” – unknown