SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) — Millions have seen Mike Lindell’s passion for pillows on his No. 1-rated infomercial. But few know the true origins of Lindell’s Minnesota based MyPillow empire.

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“I was laying on department store floors when I was 16 and look around and make sure nobody was looking and try out different pillows,” said Lindell.

Lindell would go on to own bars, carpet cleaning services and even file bankruptcy before coming back to pillows. He said it took years to perfect the product.

“I would get real close and then I’d go you know what I want it to stay cool, I want it to be adjustable I want it to match my neck no matter what position I sleep in,” he said.

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Lindell’s eye for perfection and innovation is all over this 70,000 square foot plant in Shakopee. From palates of foam that air out for days to eliminate smell, to the foam cutter Lindell and his team invented to get chunks for the filling just right.

Mike said he’s basically mass producing a custom made product.  And you might be surprised to know that every pillow is stuffed and sewn by hand.

“A machine isn’t going to tell you if you have too much of this or too much of that, and I create jobs by doing it by hand,” Lindell said.

And that’s not spin. Since 2011, MyPillow’s workforce has gone from 50 to more than 600. Lindell said sales jumped from $1 million to more than $100 million from 2011 to 2012.

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In the coming weeks, MyPillow will release two new infomercials and Lindell is expect to hire around 100 new employees. Lindell anticipates sales climbing some $20 million in the next year.