Happy Face Apparel believes working with children and families that have special needs can be very personal. The Happy Face Apparel Staff and I believe it is that personal communication with our clients, hearing and understanding their needs and frustrations that sets us apart from other companies in the special needs industry.
I am a mom, a nurse and have a child with special needs. Anyone who has had an opportunity to be a part of these children’s lives knows that challenges are a part of everyday life.
One daily challenge was my son’s ability to take off his clothes in the most inappropriate places, and be completely naked in less than 3 seconds! Even worse, Gavin also had a feeding tube that he pulled out several times a day, one time even flushing it down the toilet. I tried everything to keep him from pulling at the tube but nothing worked… until I finally settled on a puffy Spiderman Halloween costume that provided some distance between the feeding tube and his little hand. I thought this is absurd, there had to be a better way.
My constant anxiety about my son being inappropriately undressed and concern for the medical ramifications of being without a feeding tube for too long – or if I would even be able to find it once he pulled it out, prompted me to create clothing just for him. I started by using a variety of seamstresses to sew up some items I had in mind. After many, less than successful attempts at creating garments for special needs children, I was quite discouraged. The process of developing product for special needs children was more difficult than I originally thought. October 2010 I met Vicki Vogel, who was teaching sewing classes at Fox Valley Technical College and had over 30 years in the garment industry. Vicki had a background in all aspects of the garment industry including design, fabric sourcing, industrial design, manufacturing, sales and previously owned her own corporate apparel & computerized embroidery company. In addition, Vicki had a daughter, now an adult, who’d had a feeding tube due to a deformed kidney and she was currently raising a grandson with issues in the ADD spectrum. Vicki understood what I was trying to accomplish and she produced the designs I had in my mind. A successful partnership (and close friendship) was formed.
My first designs, a Snap Suit with a Feeding Tube Access Window and a Drainage Circle (feeding tube cover) were the inspiration to create a full line of original adaptive clothing & accessories. At any given time, we have numerous products in a variety of stages of Research & Development. We will continue to expand our line. Our Happy Face Apparel Clothing and Accessories are well-constructed, with sensory issues in mind, made in America, function as they should, and look fashionable. All pieces are tested on children with special needs before we roll out our product to customers. After that our wonderful customer feedback has helped us to further evolve our products and provide us with a list of needs and ideas that are forwarded to our Research & Development department.
Happy Face Apparel is as unique as the children we provide products and services. We offer our customers product customization, called “Add-on” features. The sewing of our product customization and Add-on features are done in our own sewing room. I understand what you and your special needs child is going through. No other company in the Special Needs Industry offers customization service. Truly, what it all comes down to is for my son to know how much I love him and for him just to be happy. I want the same for all special needs children and their families!
My entire staff and I are ready to help you! Feel free to call, email or message us! Contact info below.
Celeste Brennan, RN, BSN
CEO & Founder of Happy Face Apparel and Mother of a special needs child