By Amy Rosner By Amy Rosner | September 2, 2021 | Style & Beauty
Meet Jordan and Zac Stenmark, Co-Founders of Dreamers, international models, and successful businessmen.
The Stenmark duo has spent the last nine years traveling the world, working with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Armani, Amex, Mercedes-Benz, and Apple.
In this fast-paced world of business, fashion, and entertainment, it can be difficult to live a truly healthy lifestyle.
Based on their first-hand experiences, the twins were able to identify the larger problem in the sleep landscape.
The Problem: 1 in 3 of us suffer from chronic sleep issues largely caused by an overexposure to blue and green light emanating products (phones, tv, laptops, etc).
These products are a major part of our lives and are drastically depriving us of sleep which is scientifically linked to weight gain, anxiety, and depression, high blood pressure, etc.
Noticing a critical gap in the sleep market, Jordan and Zac found scientific solutions that lead to a healthy, balanced, and attainable lifestyle for all.
Dreamers patent-published eyewear delivers the most optimal environment to achieve a truly healthy night’s sleep for greater health and performance.
The product is scientifically proven to block 99.9% of sleep-disrupting artificial blue and green light from technology.
There has been major buzz from leading names in the industry, including Barbara Palvin, Maeve Reilly, Brooks Nader, Charlotte D’Alessio, and Riley Hubatka, to name a few.
Keep reading for more on how the Stenmark powerhouse is changing the sleep hygiene infrastructure one pair of glasses at a time.
You guys wear many hats. International models, influencers, and now businessmen. How do you manage it all?
J: It’s a constant balancing act that we all play because we all wear so many hats. From being involved with your family, to business, to personal relationships, to your health, it’s a constant for all of us. We try not to look at this balance as a simple equation of four quarters in a day, 25 percent goes here, and another 25 percent goes there. Instead, we ask ourselves “Ok what are our priorities for the day, and what are our specific goals at the time?” and make sure that we allocate the appropriate time to prioritize these things. When you wear many hats, earning that skill of prioritization is extremely important. I will also say that to be successful you need to surround yourself with really good people, and we really do have great people around us. On the modeling side, we have our agents, and on this Dreamers project, we have a really good team of advisors, including our chairman, our father, who’s a life mentor, and a business mentor. We have a great team that supports us on a day-to-day basis.
Z: It's really about understanding how these different aspects all feed into each other. Our fashion and modeling careers have really helped develop and nourish this business. I think they go hand in hand- they’re not singular, they’re part of a much greater whole for us. Once you figure out how these different pieces fit together, it becomes a lot easier to balance. We both try to schedule our time relative to these different weightings that Jordan mentioned. If we have a lot going on in the fashion space, we put our focus on that, while still giving enough time for the important stuff in the business and vice versa.
Q: That leads perfectly into my next question. What inspired you to make that transition from model to entrepreneur? How did you apply the skills you had acquired and the network you have built to this new role?
Z: The transition is interesting because entrepreneurship is something that we have learned from our dad, number one. He had a startup before they were called startups. Our dad owned a large sports marketing and advertising company in Australia and worked for some of the biggest brands in the world. This is something that was always engrained in us. So, Dreamers was an idea that was spurred out of necessity. Our modeling job requires us to travel around the world and constantly be hopping from one place to the next on different flights. As a result of that, we were always struggling with sleep, and we have now learned the fundamental importance of sleep to our health and overall wellbeing. We started to build this amazing team of scientists from Standford and Yale. As we started to understand this stuff ourselves, it wasn’t as much a transition to the entrepreneurial space, but more about creating products that we desperately wanted to have in use. We thought that a lot of our friends with similar experiences and lifestyles would benefit from this as well. It was definitely one of those things that came out of both love and necessity.
Q: Transitioning to talking about the product itself, how does your product fill a critical gap in the market?
J: Once we started to see the landscape of the blue light space, and also the sleep category as a whole, we immediately noticed there was a gap in the market. People were attacking the blue light space in terms of digital eye strain, but nobody was looking at it from the sleep angle. We believe that this is a sleep problem. Our devices are majorly impacting us during the day, but even more so at night when it is impacting our sleep quality. From that, we said okay, we want to set out and create the best product that blocks the light which prevents our body from producing melatonin. So once we understood our goal, we could go out into the world and speak to our team of incredible scientists and actually achieve that. And that is where the gap was, other people weren’t making that link. So, we wanted to make that best in the market, scientifically backed and proven product, and from there, the future aim is to make a whole suite of products that help people with sleep hygiene and sleep routines.
Z: I think the super quick answer is we saw gaps in the current technology that was in the market. We felt we could do it better, and we do. With our products, we are able to block more of the light that stops the body from producing melatonin naturally. From a fashion perspective, we felt we could make these products more fashionable, more user-friendly, and more wearable as well. Better technology, but also better-looking products. We also felt there was a lot of education that needed to be done in the sleep and health category. We are able to achieve that through the lens of Dreamers. We bring a very clear message of why our product is important. Life is relative to how your body naturally falls asleep and stays well. And from there, as Jordan said, we are ultimately progressing to other fundamental components of sleep. Because we truly understand how important sleep is for your overall health, and we are aiming for you all to understand that too.
Q: How has the pandemic and remote working/learning increased the need for your product?
J: I think the pandemic has definitely increased the need for our product. I’m not only attributing this to the heightened use of screen time, which don’t get me wrong, is fantastic in so many ways. The fact that we’re able to have this conversation from other sides of the world is truly amazing. However, exposure to blue and green light is massively impacting our body’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, and we have seen this have detrimental impacts on our physical and mental health. So there’s this huge increase in screen time, but there’s also the fact that people are getting outside a lot less. These factors really prove we need this product more than ever to get a more regular circadian rhythm, which is our goal at the end of the day. People are seeing a lot more of this light at night. Our bodies were never meant to receive blue and green light after the sun went down. Before we had all of this technology, the human body had adapted. When the cavemen were running around, they would wake up with the sun and get this big burst of cortisol, which is an alertness hormone. With cortisol, the cavemen were able to gather food and survive. When the sun went down, the body would naturally produce melatonin to get sleep and regeneration which is critical for our cells. So, the introduction of harmful blue and green light into our technology has become such a massive factor in preventing great quality sleep, and the necessary regeneration of our cells. In order to get adequate sleep, the little engines in our bodies, called the mitochondria, must be renewed. If you don’t get these cells to regenerate, there are huge health ramifications. This can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, depression, diabetes, and many other serious health problems. It’s such a flow-on effect- it’s like a map. There are so many elements to health that are being affected by this increased use of screen time, which is particularly high in the current state of the world.
Q: Your product balances fashion very well with usability. Was it difficult to create a product that blended the two harmoniously?
Z: I’ve learned more about eyewear more than I ever thought I would in my life. I love the eyewear space so much, but it is so complex. We wanted to create something that really covered everything: sleep, screen time, and fashion. It was important for us to make a product that was comfortable and wearable. The aspects that were industry-standard really helped us make this product. We noticed different trends in the eyewear space, like bigger glasses that covered the eye more. But the challenge we faced was trying to understand the positioning of the eye and the lens. So when we were learning about that, from the more technical side, we were also trying to put that into a fashionable design. We were really lucky that we weren’t the first to make glasses, and we work with some really great people in the industry who are familiar with this space. We were able to lean on our fashion experience and knowledge, and then confer with our friends about the shape and design. Despite working in such an incredible, advanced industry, there were definitely hurdles to jump through. The key factors were being able to create two pairs of glasses that looked really nice, but had function at the same time. When sunglasses first came onto the scene, they were purely seen as a scientific product that people wore to block out the glare from the sun and protect their eyes. We are looking at our product as the exact same proposition, except for the fact that it’s for nighttime. Obviously, fashion is such a big part of it, because we all want to look cool in the product that makes us feel good. They make us feel good not only by using the technology but also by the way we look in them. In short, marrying science and fashion was super important for us.
Q: There’s an important philanthropic component of your brand. Can you talk a little about the organizations you work with and how your brand is trying to foster social change?
Z: Dreamers as a whole is not only in the name, but it’s in the ethos of what we’ve tried to create. It’s an environment for people to dream and to want to achieve things that they think about all the time and are passionate about. That’s why the name Dreamers came so easily for us because the idea was creating a product that started this health revolution. Many people can’t achieve their goals of starting a new job or losing weight because they don’t have the proper tools to fall asleep early, and embark on that health journey. We want to be the first to start that journey. So that’s where the name came from. From a charitable perspective, we realized how important anxiety and depression research is, not just for the youth, but for everybody.
J: For us, it’s something we’re super passionate about because we’ve seen the effects of anxiety and depression on so many of our friends and family. And now we have the ability to address these problems because our product directly affects this space. Giving back to anxiety and depression research was a no-brainer for us. Not only is our product beneficial to this space, but it also speaks to the consumer who fits into the demographic that is directly affected. Because of that, we felt that there was no better choice.
Q: Where do you guys see yourselves and your brand within the next 3-5 years?
J: It’s all about that owning of the sleep routine. It’s very important that sleep can be seen as a foundation of health by everyday people. We feel that starts with the basics, the basic routines, and hygiene needed for maximum health, just like dental hygiene. They say keeping your mouth clean is the gateway to your health, and we see sleepwear as the same thing. You have your toothbrush, your toothpaste, your mouthwash, and it all comes into one environment of dental health. And we want to create that environment for sleep. If you’re not sleeping, you don’t feel like getting up and exercising. Without sleep, you lack motivation and this can greatly impact your mood. We really feel that positioning this sleep culture at the foundation of health is so important. If we can develop products that people turn to, from supplements to sleepwear, etc, this will allow people to have multiple touchpoints and address sleep issues in many different ways.
Z: Our goal is to fill the needs of this sleep hygiene space, as we are calling it. The eyewear really hits the mark as our primary product, but there is so much room for growth and expansion. We want our company to be the go-to destination for all sleep products. We want to inspire people to take action and control of their destiny, and they will be able to do this by trusting our brand and our products. We see ourselves as educators in this space since we really understand all of the science behind it. That’s why we have built such an amazing team, so we can be a reputable source for sleep information. That way we can educate people and empower people to make these important health decisions themselves. We’re inviting everybody to go on their own personal sleep journey, and we’re here to lead the way.
Photography by: Sourced from Danielle & Alix