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A Child’s Discomfort Turns a Mid-Michigan Mother Into an Inventor and Business Owner
Mothers play a vital role in the life of their children, but what is a mother to do when she can’t take away her own child’s pain and discomfort caused by wearing a back brace? For one Mid-Michigan mother, nothing short than developing an undergarment bodysuit for her child who was born with scoliosis!
In early 2008, Tina Beauvais’ then six-year old daughter was diagnosed with a 25 degree curvature of her spine from the effects of scoliosis and in just a few short months her daughter’s curve increased to 45 degrees and required the full-time use of a Spinecor brace. The brace was bulky, uncomfortable, and chaffed her daughter’s delicate skin. It also made it impossible for the young girl to go the restroom without assistance.
“I knew with my engineering/manufacturing background there must be something I can do for her and others who have to wear similar braces,” said Beauvais. Shortly after, she developed her first undergarment bodysuit for protect girls. When her son was diagnosed in 2009 with the same disease, she developed a male version of the bodysuit.
Beauvais began promoting her undergarment bodysuit online via her family blog – Scoliosis Family Adventures, while securing a provisional patent on the undergarment. Embraced in Comfort, LLC was born!
One of her first calls was to the SBA funded Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center where she began working one-on-one with their business consultants and attending training workshops. She also participated in their 9-week long business planning program – FastTrac® NewVenture™. “Working with the MI-SBTDC gave me the extra confidence I needed to overcome the hurdles of business planning and launching a business,” said Beauvais.
Beauvais has come a long way since she began making her undergarment bodysuits in the corner of a spare room in her family’s home. She now has an official home office with production space, hired employees, expanded her product line, served as a guest speaker at the Great Lakes Bay Region SBA Small Business Outreach Tour and, most recently, received notice that her patent on the structure of the bodysuits has been approved and published.
“It has been such an amazing journey working with Tina and watching a concept grow into a business that can serve others as well,” said Kris McArdle, MI-SBTDC Certified Business Consultant. “She is a great example of an entrepreneurial mother as she continues to find the best practices for improving her product line, educating others about scoliosis treatments, and managing her business.”