Starting her own business was always in the back of Katerina Rothman’s mind, but she couldn’t decide what to pursue. “I’ve worked in the corporate world, in diamonds, real estate, and oil and gas,” she says. “However, since college, I had a dream that I wanted to work for myself. I just wasn’t inspired enough by something to figure it out.”
Inspiration struck in a slightly unusual way after Katerina met her husband Sam, an Englewood, Colorado native, and discovered he was a hot sleeper—constantly struggling to stay cool and comfortable throughout the night. She then thought of her mom, a creative seamstress who often used linen to craft colorful hats and gloves for Katerina as a child growing up in Russia, so that she could easily spot her from far away. “She also made very pretty coats,” Katerina recalls. “I was the most sophisticatedly dressed kid.”
In researching linen, Katerina learned it’s made from fibers in a flax plant and is one of the most natural, breathable fabrics in the world. (Quite the versatile and sustainable plant, flax is also coveted for a variety of culinary and medicinal uses in seed and oil form.) Linen is inherently durable and moisture-wicking, making it an ideal textile for bedding. “It’s going to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the wintertime,” Katerina says. “It’s a magical fabric.”
Using her own savings, Katerina started Beflax Linen in December 2017, two years after the idea first came to her. Her Denver-based e-commerce platform launched with cozy white linen bathrobes as a test for customer interest. “The bathrobe covers most of your body and gives you that breathability and temperature regulation,” she explains. Enthusiastic reviews followed, prompting the company to expand into sheets. Katerina partners with a family-owned factory in Portugal that sources its linens from France and Belgium, where the climates are perfect for growing flax.
Available in gorgeous neutrals like cream, bone and charcoal and lively hues of mustard, terra and denim, Beflax products now include pillowcases, shams, comforters, throws and blankets, all made with 100 percent linen. For hot sleepers like Sam, those with sensitive skin, menopausal women and even babies, these non-toxic, hypoallergenic pieces are extremely helpful for getting a great night’s sleep.
Sustainability is also important to Katerina, who says customers receive Beflax bedding in recyclable bags that match the color of what they ordered. Some reuse the bags for laundry when traveling, to dry herbs or to hold bread. “It's a crime to open a business in the 21st century that isn’t sustainable,” Katerina shares. “There has never been any piece of plastic in our packaging. I feel like we can all do a little better to lead healthier, happier lives and not be wasteful.”
Beflax Linen can take custom orders, like a pair of linen gloves a client recently requested. In a full circle moment, Katerina’s mom moved to Colorado to help with these bespoke projects. Beflax’s staff is small—just 3 people—and Katerina outsources services like digital marketing so she can focus on growing her offering. A baby collection is in the works for next year. “You know, it would be so much easier to have a corporate job than to run my own business,” she says with a laugh, “but I do not regret it one single bit.”