Two minutes to show time, CEO David Haggerty handed out single-stemmed roses to the women huddled around the TV in his North Tacoma living room.
“I appreciate all the support and everything,” Haggerty told his mother, Hazel; wife, Jeanette; daugther, Melissa; sister, Dawn; and friend, Wendy.
The young Tacoma company, which makes a novel bed sheet set with warm fleece on one side and cool cotton on the other, hit the big time at 2 p.m. this afternoon with a six-minute sales segment on the nation’s most popular shop-from-home TV station.
I told you the Split the Sheets story in an Oct. 19 column.
So, how did sales go?
Just before the show, company partner Mike Walters opened his three-ring binder to review two pages – today’s CNN.com news headlines and a weather service map showing what Mother Nature had done to the country this morning.
The QVC contacts had told Walters that product sales have swung wildly with each day’s economic news. Today, the Dow Jones stocks rose 189 points and the national Gross Domestic Product hadn’t fallen as far as predicted – two good signs.
The weather, meanwhile, looked mild throughout most of the country except for a snowstorm that hit in New Jersey, knocking out power in places. No power could mean no sales. And most of QVC’s sales come from the East Coast.
“I’ve got to get all the butterflies flying in formation,” Jeanette Haggerty said.
Then the sheet segment came on. Host Antonella Nester and bedding expert Donna Quinn led off with Split the Sheets.
"Come to your TV if you’re away from it," Nester implored viewers.
"I’ve never seen more interest from the male population than in this sheet set," Quinn said. “We can’t make promises, but it can be very good for the marriage.”
She referred to Split the Sheets’ ability to keep one spouse warm and the other spouse cool when they have mismatched body temperatures.
The bonus? You can buy Split the Sheets from QVC at about $20 off the regular retail price found on the company’s Web site: splitthesheets.com.
After the segment ended, the group waited for a phone call from their QVC contact to tell them how the sales went.
“I’m sweating,” Haggerty said. “But I can breathe again.”
The cork popped on the champagne even before the QVC called with its sales report.
Then the call came. Apparently, all QVC sales went sluggishly Thursday. Among the seven products featured in a one-hour Simply Sheets segment, Split the Sheets finished in the middle of the pack, Walters reported after the phone call.
“It was a good first shot,” he said.