With an emphasis on fashion and function, Edina-based company Softies combines the cooling properties of athletic wear with ultra soft women’s comfort wear to offer eternal coziness.
Owner and Edina resident Dennis Murphy created the company back in 2006 after working in the women’s sleepwear business for almost four decades. He and the designer Lily Nguyen were inspired by the moisture-wicking properties in Jockey—the company they were working for at the time—foundation wear. They left that company to merge cooling technology with sleepwear, and Softies was born.
“Our [moisture-wicking] properties are spun into the DNA of the fabric and never wash out or require special care,” Tim Murphy, Dennis’ son, says.
After Dennis retired in 2014, Tim took over complete operational control of Softies as its president.
Softies started as a business-to-business and wholesale company only selling sleepwear that keeps the wearer 10 degrees cooler at night, wicks perspiration and is odor-free. “We used to be in my parents’ house, and then we were in the back room of the Park Tavern next to Chili’s,” Tim says.
Now, they’ve been in a warehouse for seven years and offer a variety of products. From nightgowns and pajama sets to robes and loungewear, the eco-friendly products fight odors with antimicrobial Fresh Guard and alleviate night sweats associated with hot flashes with the Dri-Release moisture-wicking properties. Along with no special washing instructions, there is no fading or shrinking.
“We were humming along this PJ route for almost 10 years when people started asking us for adjacent products like robes and loungewear,” Tim says. “Since 2012, robes and loungewear have become a predominant part of our business.”
It was the loungewear that caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey, making it onto her “favorite things” list in 2017 and 2018.
In 2017, Tim went to a trade show in Texas that he almost didn’t attend. Some of Oprah’s people checked out his booth in the final hour of the show and ended up loving one of their products called the snuggle lounger.
“Two months went by and nothing,” Tim says. “August rolls around, and I get a call from Oprah’s people saying this has been selected for Oprah’s ‘favorite things’ 2017 list.” That was the pivot point for the business. “We went from two people to 15 people in the snap of our fingers [for that quarter],” Tim says.
Softies’ prices range anywhere from $75 to $119. If you’re looking to get in on the cozy cooling action, their products can be found in upscale boutiques across North America and locally at Blanc de Blanc in Wayzata, Judith McGrann & Friends in St. Louis Park and Allure in the Galleria, as well as on their website and places like Amazon.