Tuscola County woman invents clothing for scoliosis patients - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Tuscola County woman invents clothing for scoliosis patients

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TUSCOLA COUNTY (WJRT) -

(06/12/12) - It started as an attempt by a Mid-Michigan woman to comfort her children. It eventually led to a new business that is filling orders from overseas.

Scoliosis is a deformity that causes excess curvature of the spine. Children with the disease often have to wear uncomfortable body braces. After her two children were diagnosed with scoliosis, a Tuscola County woman invented garments to wear under the hard plastic device.

"What they do is allow patients to be comfortable in their brace, prevent chafing, redness of the skin and blisters," said Tina Beauvais, Embraced in Comfort CEO.

"I was her guinea pig!," said her 8-year-old son, Vaughn.

The organic cotton and Spandex undergarments make the kids more likely to keep their braces on.

"My children stay in their braces 22 to 24 hours a day and they're comfortable," Beauvais said.

When word of Tina's invention spread through the medical community, she considered starting her own business. The Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center at Delta College helped her start up EmBraced in Comfort.

That class not only gave me a lot of contacts, people who could help me in the future, but it really put me on the right path," Beauvais said.

"When she got the idea of marketing through the Internet and having a sales website, that's when things started to click and sales took off," added her husband Andy Beauvais, who also serves as chief financial officer.

Tina now has two employees, patented designs and orders from Australia and Europe. Her daughter remembers the excitement as the company started.

"I hoped it would go all over the world one day. That was like a year ago and now, I'm right," Cynthia said.

In addition to the garments for scoliosis patients, Tina has invented an exercise belt for joggers who want to keep their iPod and cell phone nice and secure. There are covers from mesh-top athletic shoes so you can wear them in all kinds of weather.

The business is doing so well, the family is considering moving operations from their home to a larger location nearby.

For more information about EmBraced in Comfort, click here.

To see Tina Beauvais' blog for families affected by scoliosis, click here.

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