Five days after officially launching her throw pillow collection, Dihandria Bright received an email from retail giant Target to feature her pillows in the company’s 9th annual Black History Month collection.
A Georgia native, Bright said the request shocked her, as she did not understand how the big-name corporation discovered her brand PillowScript, which launched in December 2021. Still, the company stumbled upon her “Love” pillow collection.
Coincidently, the day Bright met with Target representatives was the same day she left her job of eight years. Bright left that meeting with two victories: she secured a collaboration with a major retailer while gaining assurance to follow her passion as a business owner.
“The opportunities that I’ve been given have come from God.” Bright said.“I know that as long as I keep moving forward that he’s going to provide every supplication I need to make it.”
Now her “Shine” and “Glow” pillows are on shelves at Target stores nationwide and online.
“Keep a notebook by your bedside”
In 2018, Bright watched a masterclass by Spanx founder Sarah Blakely on tips to drive your dreams to fruition. Blakely noted in her masterclass to always keep a notebook by your bedside in case you dream of business ideas and forget them by morning.
One night, Bright recalled waking up around 3 a.m. with an idea she had to jot down. She recalled asking herself, “You always see pillows with writing on them, but why have you never seen a pillow shaped as the word?”
She proceeded to outline her vision for script décor pillows until sunrise.
“I started calling and looking around for seamstresses just to see if I could find someone who could hear the vision and kind of help me along with it because I had no experience in textile sewing,” Bright said.
But that never happened, and no seamstresses understood her idea. Even when Bright constructed a prototype, seamstresses responded: “if this could be made, it would be made already.”
Finally, one seamstress agreed to compose her design and excitingly, Bright supplied her with the tools and items. But Bright never heard back from the seamstress or regained her money and supplies.
Throughout adversity, Bright remained confident her vision was achievable. But she put everything on hold after finding out she was pregnant, and Covid-19 followed soon after.
“So when I found out I was pregnant, I kind of put it to the side for a little bit, and then once Covid hit I put it all the way down until my son was born,” Bright said.
While becoming a new parent and working her corporate job, Bright resumed building her business, curating a website and finding a textile engineer to create her pillows. Everything seemed to fall into place except investing fully into Pillowscript.
After working remotely for 18 months during the pandemic, Bright’s job at the time notified everyone to return to the office. With her 1-year-old she gave birth to amid the pandemic, Bright wondered if her employer expected her to find childcare in a matter of days.
After her employer granted her a two-week extension to search for childcare, all of the schools Bright inquired about were booked.
“We tried 15 schools— no one had any openings [because] it was still the height of Covid,” Bright said.
Bright said she explained the situation to her employer, and was told, “if you can’t find childcare by the 10th, that’ll have to be your last day.”
The response confirmed Bright’s dream to devote herself fully to PillowScript and being a full-time mom.
Her collaboration with Target gained attention from home décor lovers who ordered and reordered the pillows. PillowScript continues to grow, and Bright said she hopes her brand will secure a permanent spot in stores and a staff to help her one-woman show.
“I want whenever someone looks at [our] pillows to feel joy from it,” Bright said. “Because it should be a reflection of how you feel and know yourself.”