NEWH - Summer 2020 - 58

COVER STORY

Sweet Dream
Down Etc's continuing mission to help guests get a great night's sleep
By Alia Akkam
Photography by Judy Doherty and courtesy of Down Etc

D

uring a stint as an au pair in Paris during college
Rebecca Litwin grew enchanted with the city, and was
able to return frequently for her work in the fashion
business over the next 18 years. Litwin, founder of the Millbrae,
California-based pillow, bedding, and bath business Down Etc,
spent much of that time as a casting director at the fashion
house of a Japanese designer. "He was a master of origami in
his work, which deepened my appreciation for the way in which
fabric and shape influence each other," she recalls.
That international exposure to craftsmanship-as well
as her mother's devotion to attending dinners armed with
hostess gifts-helped shape Litwin's dual passions for design
and hospitality, ultimately leading her to launch Down Etc in
2000. "I have an almost tactile memory of the velvet and silk
fabrics in homes and hotels I have visited. This fascination,
along with my belief that a pillow is the perfect accent to every
room, is what compelled me to create Down Etc," she explains.
Although Down Etc's roots are in designing and
manufacturing down and feather pillow inserts in a
variety of geometric shapes (there are now over
150 styles) and creating collections of decorative
pillows with covers in sumptuous fabrics
such as Dupioni silk, the company has
expanded to offer all of the soft goods
for the bed and bath. One recent
addition is Doggie Down, a breathable,
waterproof, noiseless mattress pad for pets
featuring 100 percent polyester microfiber
quilted onto a 100 percent polyester non-woven
backing. Soon, Down Etc will unveil Zip and Store
Etc, zippered nylon closet bags that fully enclose
and maintain the hygiene of extra pillows and blankets
provided in guestrooms.
Collaboration is essential to the Down Etc ethos,
exemplified by a robust private label program as well as
its joining forces over the years with designers, architects,
developers, management companies, and hotel housekeepers
to both generate product ideas and champion positive
sleep rituals. In 2018, for example, Down Etc wrote Roll Into a
Perfectly Made Bed: All You Need to Know About the Art of
Bedmaking, penned with leading hotel and laundry experts.
The company believes sleep hygiene is essential to health

58 www.newh.org

and wellbeing. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Down Etc had
consistently recommended designers use removable pillow
covers when including decorative pillows in their designs. In
one instance, Down Etc. worked with a client's housekeeping
department to design a decorative pillow cover that could
be removed and replaced quickly. Down Etc consulted the
client's laundry department to determine the best material and
construction for the cover, which would be subject to repeated
industrial laundering. This collaboration resulted in The Pillow
Sleeve.
In response to more intense concern with hygiene as a
result of the pandemic, Down Etc recommends hotels consider
forgoing decorative pillows throughout their properties
unless the covers can be appropriately sanitized. This
recommendation is one of many suggested by professional
housekeepers in response to Down Etc's request for proactive
measures that could and should be taken to reassure guests
upon their return to overnight travel and hospitality.
Education about the importance of good sleep
practices to general health and wellness and the
necessity of quality bedding is an important
pillar of the Down Etc mission. "People in
general, and travelers in particular, are
much more knowledgeable and come
with greater expectations," Litwin
says. "Sleep and health-physical,
emotional, and spiritual-are inextricably
intertwined. We recognize the connections
in the programs we create."
This holistic approach is manifested in such
hospitality initiatives as the Pillow Butler, which includes
a customized pillow menu and a delivery and storage system.
The Sleep Like a Guest program extends wholesale prices to
a hotel's employees, and Pillowcise, through a guide and video,
encourages guests to gently stretch before rising.
Social responsibility, points out Litwin, "is a movement that
is in harmony with Down Etc's goal of providing a great night's
sleep," and so she donates the Hug It Like You Love It heart
pillow to hospitals and charities, and dreamed up the Globeathon Purple Wash Cloth, with a portion of every purchase
going towards Globe-athon's efforts to end women's cancers.
Importantly, amid the COVID-19 crisis, Down Etc has


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NEWH - Summer 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Summer 2020

NEWH - Summer 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
NEWS
GUEST PERSPECTIVE: SAMUELSON FURNITURE
GUEST PERSPECTIVE: PEOPLE MATTER
WHO’S WHO
CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
HAVE YOU SEEN?
SCHOLARSHIPS
SCHOLARSHIP HEROES
INTERVIEW
SUSTAINABILITY
PREMIUM BUSINESS MEMBERS
Q&A: TERI UROVSKY
Q&A: NATASHA GOMEZ
Q&A: JULIE ZANELLA
ON THE COVER
PROJECT: LA SUITE
PROJECT: MAHANAKHON BANGKOK SKYBAR
PROJECT: THE HENRY
PROJECT: THE ARMSTRONG HOTEL
PROJECT: STAR CINEMA GRILL
CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
SAVE THE DATE
NEW MEMBERS
NEWH - Summer 2020 - NEWH - Summer 2020
NEWH - Summer 2020 - Cover2
NEWH - Summer 2020 - TABLE OF CONTENTS
NEWH - Summer 2020 - NEWS
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 5
NEWH - Summer 2020 - GUEST PERSPECTIVE: SAMUELSON FURNITURE
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 7
NEWH - Summer 2020 - GUEST PERSPECTIVE: PEOPLE MATTER
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 9
NEWH - Summer 2020 - WHO’S WHO
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 11
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 12
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 13
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 14
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 15
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 16
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 17
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 18
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 19
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 20
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 21
NEWH - Summer 2020 - CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 23
NEWH - Summer 2020 - HAVE YOU SEEN?
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 25
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 26
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 27
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 28
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 29
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 30
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 31
NEWH - Summer 2020 - SCHOLARSHIPS
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 33
NEWH - Summer 2020 - SCHOLARSHIP HEROES
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 35
NEWH - Summer 2020 - INTERVIEW
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 37
NEWH - Summer 2020 - SUSTAINABILITY
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 39
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 40
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 41
NEWH - Summer 2020 - PREMIUM BUSINESS MEMBERS
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 43
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 44
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 45
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 46
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 47
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 48
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 49
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 50
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 51
NEWH - Summer 2020 - Q&A: TERI UROVSKY
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 53
NEWH - Summer 2020 - Q&A: NATASHA GOMEZ
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 55
NEWH - Summer 2020 - Q&A: JULIE ZANELLA
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 57
NEWH - Summer 2020 - ON THE COVER
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 59
NEWH - Summer 2020 - PROJECT: LA SUITE
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 61
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 62
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 63
NEWH - Summer 2020 - PROJECT: MAHANAKHON BANGKOK SKYBAR
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 65
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 66
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 67
NEWH - Summer 2020 - PROJECT: THE HENRY
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 69
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 70
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 71
NEWH - Summer 2020 - PROJECT: THE ARMSTRONG HOTEL
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 73
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 74
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 75
NEWH - Summer 2020 - PROJECT: STAR CINEMA GRILL
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 77
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 78
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 79
NEWH - Summer 2020 - CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 81
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 82
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NEWH - Summer 2020 - 85
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NEWH - Summer 2020 - 87
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 88
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 89
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 90
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 91
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 92
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 93
NEWH - Summer 2020 - SAVE THE DATE
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 95
NEWH - Summer 2020 - NEW MEMBERS
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 97
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 98
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 99
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 100
NEWH - Summer 2020 - 101
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