For years, Meta Auden struggled to get her daughter ready for school in the mornings. She soon discovered the main barrier wedged between anxiety and ease resided primarily in her daughter’s clothes.
Meta found that having the right clothes for Kirsty, her daughter who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), made all the difference for school mornings and for Kirsty’s confidence, too.
Meta then went on to use this life-changing adjustment to breathe life into her business: Spectra Sensory Clothing.
The journey to Spectra Sensory Clothing
Several years back, Meta was working temporary jobs when she was inspired at a conference for women in business.
Soon after, Meta combined her motivation, confidence and personal experience to begin her business venture.
She said that other families in her local community in Belfast, as well as other places further afield, discussed how they struggled to source clothing solutions for children and young people with special needs.
Meta aspired to fill the gap in the clothing industry for children with sensory issues and special needs. And, in 2016, Spectra Sensory Clothing officially came to life.
Meta had help from her son to set up the social media accounts and business cards, while the local college helped create the prototypes for the first few products.
School Uniforms, Christmas Jumpers, Face Masks & More Making a Difference for Families
From seamless socks and fully elasticated school trousers to ear defenders and resourceful books, Spectra Sensory Clothing has a wide range of items that are making a difference for families with special needs.
Meta reflected on the burst of confidence Kirsty experienced after having the right clothes and how that confidence trickled into other areas of her life.
Meta said that in creating solutions for clothing, it’s important to understand the condition and quoted that “autism is not a disability, it’s a different ability.”
She explained that making these items available to those with sensory issues can positively affect so many different areas in their life – it can decrease anxiety and make a lasting difference on overall confidence.
One of the most rewarding parts of her business is hearing from families about how the various products have impacted their lives, too. Some customers, Meta said, even have repeat orders for certain items because they have become a staple in their home, including families from as far as the United States of America.
In 2019, Meta won an award for innovation and for best start up at the Belfast Enterprise Awards.
Creating Innovative Clothing Solutions and a Community
T-shirts and school shirts are the most popular products with softer fabric and flat seams, but Meta is excited to keep innovating and bring new items to the business!
The business is currently developing joggers as the winter months approach and she has also worked with local charities to create face masks. For the face masks, she is even developing new, festive designs including Halloween-themed masks.
They also have Christmas jumpers that are designed to be festive, but without the irritation from the wrong kind of fabric, like wool, or feeling the design through the sweater.
Meta said that as she expands her business to include more items, she also wants to build a community with other families.
The Spectra Sensory Clothing Facebook page has updates and information on new products and discounts, but she also wants the social media platform to be a place for others to connect.
“This our time for everybody, but for people on the Spectrum it can be particularly bad,” Meta said. “On my Facebook page, we don’t just put things up for sale, we also share resources and articles about different things, about clothing and we share things we think can touch other parents.”
Spectra Sensory Clothing is an East Sussex i-go provider. You can also check out the offers and details about Spectra Sensory Clothing on the i-go page.
See Spectra Sensory Clothing’s website for more information on their products, such as seamless socks, school uniforms, weighted items, Christmas jumpers, tieless shoelaces, face masks and more.
Visit Spectra Sensory Clothing Facebook page for updates, resources and more.
By Danielle Quijada