Rose Morris’ son Abram learned to climb out of his crib far earlier than his parents were prepared for. His autism made him smarter than most toddlers, but also contributed to the sleeping issues, night wanderings and temper meltdowns that made his parents frightened for his safety. When none of the typical behavior modification plans worked, Morris created The Safety Sleeper – a transparent tent-like structure that fits over a bed, securing special-needs children with sleep issues at nighttime.
By using The Safety Sleeper, Abram learned to calm himself enough at night to sleep on his own. Once he turned 7, he was able to choose to sleep with it open or closed.
Once she’d designed The Safety Sleeper, Morris discovered that the product was portable, durable and fun for kids. She further developed the design to include extra safety zippers, fire-retardant material, stabilizing straps to prevent tipping, and frame pads. Now her goal is to give all caregivers the same peace of mind that The Safety Sleeper has given her family. Morris works with parents and caregivers on customizing the product to meet the needs of specific children and families.
In 2017, Morris was named the National Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Her product was also featured in Pittsburgh Magazine in 2015 in an article about creating a safe home environment for a child with special needs. That year she also got the product registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), expanding insurance-coverage options for her customers.
She has also developed two additional products, including a set of portable folders full of objects that give sensory feedback and help develop motor skills, transfer slides for patients with mobility issues, and an all-weather cloak for wheelchair users.
Morris worked with mentors Alice Nadin, Bob Grant and Peter Hart to learn foundational business processes and procedures. She says, “They gave me confidence to make necessary calculated decisions for increased revenue and growth. Their expert advice challenged my thinking and helped me understand the nuances of manufacturing and how to be profitable.”
Morris credits much of her success to SCORE. “The education I received from my SCORE mentor was invaluable in growing Abram’s Nation, to become a million-dollar company,” she says.