Article L'avenir The Pillow and Work are Adapted

Article from "L'avenir"

Two young entrepreneurs from Namur have created an ergonomic pillow filled with millet and 100% organic, awarded an Alfer.

Their innovation offers an effective solution to cervical problems related to bad sleeping positions, thanks to the adaptable nature of millet.

Produced locally by Entranam, an adapted company in Fernelmont, the millet pillow aims for an ecological approach with 100% organic materials. This initiative has also enhanced the company's credibility among partners.

Published on 15 mar 2024

Reading time:4 minutes

Excerpt from the article

The Pillow and Work are Adapted

A pillow filled with millet: this is the great idea of two young entrepreneurs from Namur who have just been awarded an Alfer.

An original idea often comes more easily after a good night's sleep. The story does not say if Assia and Vincent, still marketing students at IESN at the time, were particularly well-rested when they decided, for their final year project, to create an ergonomic pillow filled with millet and 100% organic. As diligent students, the two young people from Namur first identified a promising market. "My dad is an osteopath," Vincent Le Gal points out. "And he notices among his patients increasingly acute cervical problems, recurring back pain... Much of this often comes from the bad position one adopts during sleep." And to correct bad alignment between the cervical and vertebral columns, an ergonomic pillow, one that perfectly adapts to your body, is an effective solution.

"Our originality is filling the pillow with millet," develops Assia Beksultanova, who, with Vincent Le Gal, launched the company Millet Pillow. The husk of this cereal forms a small bead (1.5 millimeters). "It's soft and will perfectly adapt to the morphology of your neck, in the various positions of your sleep. Plus, these small beads do not make noise when moved. It won't wake you up," continues the young entrepreneur.

Millet also has other advantages. "Even over time, it does not emit any odor," Assia points out. "Unlike a feather pillow, there is good ventilation in the millet one. This prevents moisture and especially mites," Vincent continues.

For both the filling cereal and the cotton case, the duo opted for 100% organic. "In the most sold pillows, there is a lot of plastic and synthetic products. That's not what we wanted to develop," insists the woman from Namur. The same option for the packaging bag. "We preferred this to cardboard. And with the little bow, it's an idea that was inspired to us by Yvonne, an 80-year-old lady who is always very creative."

The manufacturing is entrusted to Entranam (see elsewhere), the adapted work company located in Fernelmont. "We wanted to keep the local anchor, with the assurance that the conditions would be good for the workers." All boxes are therefore checked. And today Millet Pillow can thus look to the future with great serenity. Ideal for maintaining good sleep.

The Alfers are also the awards given each year by the Economic Office of the province to the most remarkable and/or promising companies or young entrepreneurs. Entranam thus received the Heartthrob award. "For our teams, this award is a certain pride," assures Fabrice Boucherie. "We're not here to beat growth or profitability records. But this Heartthrob award is also a recognition of our values."

The young company Millet Pillow was also honored. "It gives us more credibility," notes Vincent LeGal. "We see it also in the relationships we have with certain interlocutors. It opens doors."

Entranam is an institution in the world of adapted work companies. In 1966, the year of its creation, the company enabled ten people with disabilities to integrate into the world of work. Today, they are 250, mainly active in the large workshops of the Fernelmont zoning. "In the mechanical, carpentry, or assembly sectors, we are well established. Some customers have been loyal for more than twenty years," states Fabrice Boucherie, marketing manager of the social-purpose company.

For Millet Pillow, Entranam performs sewing work for the case and filling for the pillow. "This sewing sector really regained vigor during the Covid period. The sewing and filling work was carried out by the Entranam teams. We were thus solicited for the making of masks. We ultimately produced 70,000!

This collaboration with a young company also motivates Entranam. "It allows us to stay in the movement, collaborate for new ideas, different ways of producing. For us too, it's important."

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