VERNON HILLS – Famously known as That Pillow Guy, Oleg Lee wanted to have an answer for the most common question he receives: “What is the biggest pillow you’ve ever made?”
On Oct. 23, that answer became a body pillow of celebrity internet personality David Dobrik, a Vernon Hills native.
Not only was it the biggest pillow Lee had ever made, it was the biggest pillow ever. Assembling the nearly 3,000-pound pillow at his Vernon Hills facility, Lee officially earned the Guinness World Record for the “World’s Largest Body Pillow.”
The pillow was 60 feet tall, 18 feet wide and 4 feet thick.
Joined by about 25 employees, Lee worked on the pillow for about three weeks.
Using a crane on the day of the reveal, they pulled it outside to be stuffed from top to bottom using pipes from Lee’s nearby factory. The process took about eight hours.
Then it was time for the big reveal, videotaped by Dobrik.
“It’s my first time getting a Guinness World Record, thanks to your help,” Dobrik tells Lee and his fans. “This is going to be huge.”
Upon first seeing the pillow, his only words are “Oh, my Lord.”
Dobrik later said that when he first heard about Lee’s intentions, he thought the pillow would be maybe 15 feet tall.
“I was definitely impressed, but also a little bit terrified,” Dobrik said. “I was definitely shocked and surprised.”
Even before actually seeing the world-record pillow, Dobrik had heard about it from friends in Vernon Hills on the day of the reveal.
“I was just driving down the street and I saw your face peeking over the building,” they told him.
Born in Russia, Lee began making custom-shaped, personalized pillows in a garage with his father, Victor Lee, and several other employees about five years ago. They’d sell the pillows at flea markets. Gradually, the business expanded as word spread. The premise was simple: “I turn anything into a pillow.”
Oleg Lee would send free pillows to influencers. They didn’t really know his name, but he came to be known as “That Pillow Guy.” He decided to embrace the title, and the branding worked.
Lee now employs nearly 40 people at his Vernon Hills factory and is the CEO and founder of All About Vibe (www.allaboutvibe.com), where his pillows are sold. His father remains involved part time in the business.
That Pillow Guy’s clients have included major brands such as MTV, AT&T, Red Bull, DreamWorks, CNN and Facebook, as well as celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, The Game, Rick Ross, the Kardashians and now Dobrik.
Deciding in 2019 to go for the Guinness World Record, Lee had considered making a pillow of himself or perhaps a giant dog, but he wanted to bring more awareness to the effort. With both he and Dobrik being from Vernon Hills, he decided to reach out to the celebrity.
“I couldn’t really wrap my head around it,” Dobrik said, but he was all for it.
Dobrik had known of That Pillow Guy for years, with many people around him owning Lee’s pillows. More than 80% of the custom pillows are of dogs and other animals, but Lee makes “a little bit of everything,” including faces, babies and bodies.
Along with the record-breaking pillow, Lee has made life-size pillows of Dobrik. They are being sold at www.allaboutvibes.com. Dobrik told his fans to go buy one “to scare your friends.”
“It doesn’t seem like a normal thing to have inside your house because it’s so terrifying,” he said. “It was freaking me out. I’d turn and someone would have it in their hands and it would make me jump.”
It took several years of planning and working with Guinness to make the record happen.
Because the category hadn’t been created, Guinness had to come up with guidelines for “World’s Largest Body Pillow.”
Lee was told the pillow would have to be at least 49 feet tall. He topped that at 60 feet, forging ahead as soon as Guinness gave the go-ahead. He wanted to avoid hosting the reveal event when the weather turned colder.
“It was all done at the last moment, but we didn’t have too many issues,” he said. “It went pretty smoothly.
“Now that I have the experience making the world’s largest pillow, I think we will break the record again,” he said. “I think we’ll make a 100-foot pillow next time.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle