What We Do

At WakeWell, our goal is to help people live better, healthier lives both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As a company, we seek to do this in three primary ways.

First, we want to help you, our customers, through our products, by selling only high-quality, non-toxic products that improve your life, and are made from, and packaged using sustainable, eco-friendly materials to the greatest extent possible.

Second, we want to help our employees through high-quality jobs, that pay a living wage, in a safe, healthy environment where they can be built up as whole people, not just numbers.

Third, we seek to help those in need that have been affected by injustice and oppression, specifically by domestic violence, sexual abuse, or human trafficking, through our 10% Giving Pledge.

How We Got Started

Picture of WakeWell Founder Ryan Del Balso with a WakeWell Pillow. March 2020

WakeWell was sparked by an idea for a new pillow design that would be both more adjustable and supportive than any other pillow available today, yet would also be soft, comfortable, and made from sustainable, non-toxic materials.

After years of poor sleep due to neck and back pain, and a closet full of failed pillows, I (Ryan) woke up with another sore neck after another night of poor sleep. I stood next to my bed looking at my pillow, thinking of all of the different ones I had tried over the years trying to figure out what I was looking for in a pillow and why none of those I had tried worked for me. I realized I wanted the support of a contoured, solid foam pillow, yet was fully adjustable because the multiple solid foam pillows I had tried never fit me right. I also wanted one that was soft and shaped like a normal pillow, rather than one of those that look like they are pulled from a spaceship. This was because I like to move around and I wanted the ability to put my head anywhere on the pillow and still be comfortable, rather than be forced to use specific locations on it for different sleeping positions due to the shaped foam.

And then it hit me! Baffles! By using internal baffles along the length of the pillow, I could create multiple channels inside to restrict the loose fill from moving around. By adding a zipper on the end, I could make it adjustable so I could remove or add fill to find just the right firmness in each channel. This would provide the support under my neck that I was looking for and allow me to contour it to fit my body. With the right filling, I could even have the softness that I liked. Everything I was looking for in one pillow! Why hadn’t I seen this on the market?

A couple of weeks later on May 22, 2018, I hadn’t done anything about it but was finally so fed up with my recurring sore neck that I sketched out the idea on a notepad, then went to Walmart and bought some cheap curtain fabric. When I got home I set up my wife’s sewing machine on our coffee table, cut out the fabric while sitting on the couch, and sewed up a small prototype. I filled it with some shredded foam from one of the many pillows I already had, and then sewed it shut because I couldn’t figure out how to sew a zipper on the end. I tried it out that night, and while it wasn’t perfect, the concept worked!

As I thought about my design, I realized that if it works for me, others might like it too. I couldn’t be the only person that had issues with the current pillows in the market. I talked to several people I knew and almost all of them said they had bought multiple pillows in the last couple of years, trying to find one they liked. One person said he buys a new one every 3-6 months! When I mentioned I had come up with a new pillow design, they all said they would be interested in trying it. Several said they would pay over $200 to get a good night’s sleep, and one even said she would pay more than $450 if it meant she could sleep without a neckache! I then realized others could benefit from this pillow too.

And thus, WakeWell was born. It has been a long road since then with a lot of ups and downs, but we have been blessed in so many ways through it all. Let us help you get back to good sleep so you can start living well again. Try a WakeWell Pillow today.

Who We Are

Del Balso Family_Fall 2020

At WakeWell, we are a small, family-owned and operated business based in Platteville, WI. Ryan Del Balso is the manager and operator of WakeWell. His goal for WakeWell is to honor God and love others, while also providing for his family. Ryan is a building science and architectural engineer through training and experience before starting WakeWell. His career was focused on structural engineering, building systems design, sustainable building design, renewable energy engineering, and energy efficiency engineering. He has lived and worked in WI, CA, and CO, and has worked with clients coast to coast. As an engineer, Ryan is a problem solver, and his jobs have always required him to be looking for ways to make things better and more efficient. This background was a big factor in how he came up with the design for the original WakeWell Zoned Adjustable Pillow.

Ryan is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband, and a father. He loves the outdoors and especially loves spending time with his kids out in nature where he enjoys teaching them about God’s love for them as shown through His creation, and how we can always find beauty and joy in the large and small things in life. Any time his kids ask him a question about something, he just can’t resist the opportunity to teach them more than they ever wanted to know about the topic. He finds this world to be awe-inspiring and wants to do what he can to leave it a better place for his kids and future generations. Ryan loves helping people solve their problems, which is one of his primary goals with WakeWell. Ryan also enjoys spending time with Jamie (his wife), woodworking, hunting, fishing, hiking, and learning about almost everything.

Ryan’s wife Jamie is similarly first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ, a wife, and a mother. For the last 15 years, she has been working full-time as a mom, focused on raising their four beautiful children, including homeschooling them. Throughout her life, she has always looked for ways to serve others. After college, Jamie spent two years in Americorp serving in the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) where she went throughout the east coast, the south, and to Puerto Rico serving with the Red Cross after a hurricane. After this, she served with YouthWorks! for two years in West Virginia helping several communities affected by major floods. She then moved back to WI where she worked as a house mom at a home for pregnant teens for a year. Next, she worked as an executive administrative assistant for a couple of years before deciding to work as a full-time stay-at-home mom. She has served on the leadership teams of several local ministries, including helping start several ministries. She is an amazing cook and just cannot resist the opportunity to share a meal with anyone in need. She loves spending time with Ryan and her kids, in the outdoors, gardening, serving others, and serving God.

Together we have four beautiful kids. Our oldest daughter, Aviella, is a wonderful artist who loves to bring beauty to this world. She sees beauty where others see trash and can take it and make something new and beautiful. She also is a voracious reader. Our oldest son, Caelen, is a builder of anything. He has an engineer’s mind, which comes with an innate sense of how things work and how to make and fix things. Our second son, Adler, is a lover of life. He is always full of joy and laughter and has a naturally witty mind. He loves to make people laugh and has the quick wit to do so. Our youngest, Liviya, is our passionate one. She has a deep love for others and a strong will. They anticipate she will be a leader someday with her strength of will and passion.

Since 2018 Jamie has been battling stage IV breast cancer that has spread to her brain. This has truly been a family battle and it has affected the growth rate of the business as Ryan has had to step away from the business several times to focus on the family and helping Jamie. Overall she is doing well and has already beaten all the odds. As many know, cancer is a difficult battle. It has included multiple surgeries, multiple rounds of radiation, and chemo. She is now on a daily chemo regimen indefinitely. This battle has caused the kids to have missed out on many activities, but at the same time, it has brought us closer together as a family. We are so thankful to God for all that he has done, and the healing he has provided. The battle is not done, but we truly believe every day that we have together is a gift from God and we continue to have hope for a long future together.

While Ryan is the one primarily involved in the day-to-day operations of the business, Jamie and the kids are just as integral to making this business work. If it wasn’t for Jamie’s support and patience, this business never would have gotten off the ground and wouldn’t still be going. The kids have also always been very encouraging and supportive. They are willing to lend a hand when needed and have visions for the future of the business. There are times the whole family has come into the shop to help fill, package, and ship pillows, even Liviya! WakeWell truly is a family business.

Picture Gallery From the Early Days

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