Karen is a stay-at-home mom of nine children. She created her business, Spencer’s Sensory Shop, through her personal experience as three of her children have faced challenges with their disabilities. One of her sons was diagnosed with Autism at the age of three, he was non-verbal and experiencing excessive meltdowns. An occupational therapist suggested the use of a weighted blanket to help her son, but Karen was shocked at the prices she found through online research. She decided to make one herself and experienced brilliant results. The blanket helped calm and secure her son and even helped his older brother, who has ADHD/Impulsive Disorder. After experiencing first-hand how helpful this product can be, Karen began crafting the blankets full-time.
What is your business? I create weighted blankets and lap pads to increase the well-being of children and adults with disabilities such as Autism.
Who are your clients? I work with parents of children with disabilities, occupational therapists, speech therapists, behavior therapists, physicians, and education professionals.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? I was inspired to become an entrepreneur by the desire to fill the needs of my children. I am an Autism mom and being able to help my kids with their therapies several days a week on my own is very empowering.
What are some business wins? The testimonies I receive from families I work with are the biggest wins. Hearing that a child was able to sit still through an entire class for the first time or that they slept through the whole night successfully for the first time is amazing.
What are some business goals? I would love to be the primary referral of physicians and therapists for weighted blankets in Lakeland. I would also like to find a retail outlet for my product so customers can simply walk in and buy my blankets.
How has Catapult helped you? Catapult has given me an opportunity for a workplace outside of my garage. The community is incredibly encouraging and has provided a space for me to meet customers in a professional setting.
Secret Sauce? My secret sauce is that I am a small town Autism mom and I’ve walked a mile in my clients’ shoes. I understand my customers needs because I share the same ones.
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