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Erie's "Acoustic Sheep" CEO named 2016 PA small business person of the year

Dr. Wei-Shin Lai founded the sleep-aid company in 2007.

ERIE, Pa. - A local CEO is named the U.S. Small Business Association's "Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year."

Dr. Wei-Shin Lai is a former family doctor, and says she founded AcousticSheep, LLC. in 2007 when she had trouble getting back to sleep after taking late-night patient phone calls.

She says at the suggestion of her husband, she listened to music to help her fall asleep but quickly found that traditional headphones and earphones were both too bulky, uncomfortable and actually hurt her ears while trying to find a suitable sleeping position.

Dr. Lai says, that's when AcousticSheep was born - a company that manufactures comfortable, form-fitting 'SleepPhones' with thin speakers that allow for comfortable sleep at night.

"As a doctor I saw how important it was for people to get a good night's sleep," said Dr. Lai. "If you don't sleep well, you're actually more prone to very, very serious diseases. About a third of us don't sleep well and that's where our products come in - if you can wear our sleep phones, listen to relaxing music, get to sleep a little bit faster, perhaps drown out the snoring that's next to you."

The AcousticSheep brand now encompasses two lines of products: their original SleepPhones designed to help you fall asleep, and RunPhones, designed for active, on-the-go lifestyles.

Their products are currently sold through places like Best Buy and Amazon, as well as through their own website. So far, Dr. Lai says they have sold to every single continent! Yes, she says, even Antarctica!

Of the PA Small Business Owner of the Year award, Dr. Lai says she is honored to be recognized.

"They want to see small businesses that had a great idea and were able to roll it into something that is profitable, hiring lots and lots of people and really changing the industry," she said. "It's a great honor and if we get more awards on top of that it would be just gravy!"

Dr. Lai will join other state winners in Washington, D.C. in early May to compete for the National Small Business Person of the Year Award.

For a complete list of AcousticSheep products, visit their website by CLICKING HERE!

For a list of retail locations where their products are sold - CLICK HERE!


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