July 25, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Michelle Ebbin, Jettproof sensory clothing

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I created JettProof as a caring and concerned mother, with the help of specialists, for my adorable child, Jett.
Jett was diagnosed with severe autism, global development delay, and sensory processing disorder at three years of age. He was having up to 12 meltdowns before midday most days, and I was desperate to find a product to help Jett stay calm, focused and responsive to language and instructions. I searched as far as I could think to search and could not locate a suitable sensory based garment for special needs children that would gently self-regulate a child and could be worn under regular clothing throughout the day, every day, and during all seasons.

With a background in business and fabric manufacturing, I decided to provide a solution myself to help Jett, based on the studies into sensory compression by the renowned Dr Temple Grandin. And just like that, JettProof was born!

Describe the process of launching the business.

The first step was to create the product Jett and my family needed. My background in fabric manufacturing and having worked with specialists over many years with Jett, I was able to produce sensory clothing that changed Jett’s life and the live of my family. The second step was to take the leap into selling this to other families in need. I set up an online store and connected with the specialists I’d worked with over the years to start getting the product out to other families and people in need. From there it has been growth and expansion, with a warehouse in my hometown, more than 20 staff members on the JettProof team and an international eCommerce store that now sells JettProof sensory clothing in Australia, the US and the UK.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

When it comes to sensory processing disorder, there aren’t many long-lasting, wearable solutions. We’re able to attract and retain customers because the JettProof product is unique in that it can be worn all day long and under regular clothes. Many families and individuals who have purchased JettProof products have found they made a real difference in their daily lives. When you can genuinely help your customer, they reward you with loyalty.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Where JettProof is at today is a position of stability after a long period of growth with an ever-growing market. We’ve grown to sell internationally through our eCommerce store, my TEDxtalk in 2019 was a personal highlight and achievement for me, and as of 2020, I am a multi-award winning entrepreneur. As for the future, there is a lot to be excited about. People are becoming more aware of ASD, ADHD, sensory processing disorder and, more broadly, their own unique needs, which means the market of people we can potentially help is always growing. Reaching a point of stability and secure business growth, puts us in the unique position of being able to focus on making improvements to our business processes, to our website, and to our work culture. It’s just as important to take time to focus inwards on your business, as it is to focus your attention outward.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I’ve learned the importance of believing in what you have to offer to the world. Ultimately, no one is going to do the work for you, feel as deeply about your ideas as you do, or be as driven by your purpose as you are. This means you have to be the one to believe in your abilities, in your ideas, and in the value of what you offer to others.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We use a variety of tools for business solutions, administration and marketing, but the primary tool we use for our business is Shopify, which is the platform we used to set up our eCommerce store. This has been an excellent solution for us as the business has grown, as it’s been able to scale with us.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

One of the most influential books I’ve read, that has really helped me along my business journey is The E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber. My take away was you should always expect the unexpected, the ride won’t always be smooth or easy in business, but you can minimise the impact of the unexpected or the rough times by implementing repeatable and replicable processes throughout your business. This includes every department, from admin, to logistics, to marketing. ‘Consistency’ is key. Create processes and systems that you use consistently and you will get consistent, predictable results that you can bet on, even when things are going wrong. Not only that, but when you act consistently, your market learns that you are dependable, building value and trust in a way gimmicks and tactics just don’t.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Live your purpose. What I mean by that is find what drives you and act on it. Plenty of people have great ideas and know what their purpose is, but very few actually take action towards living it. So believe in yourself, make that leap and take action today.

Where can we go to learn more?