We had the good fortune of connecting with Rose Morris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rose, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I didn’t start out thinking I’d like to be a business owner in a traditional way, if there is such a thing.
I didn’t take any business classes in college.
I didn’t form an idea and then do research.
I didn’t have a business plan and investors.
I didn’t network and find a business to buy.
What I had was a strong spiritual moment where I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I had this amazing product, called The Safety Sleeper, that was literally helping me keep my child alive, my family functioning, and my sanity intact.
After realizing how fortunate I was that my husband, a friend, and myself came up with this idea, I thought about the other families that don’t have the ability to find a solution but have the same needs as us, or worse, have more needs than we do. Are there people who are living with more difficult circumstances? I’ve since learned that the answer is YES!
So I started asking questions of neighbors and friends who owned their own businesses. From this, I gathered that I needed a website, some way of marketing, and a lawyer to help with all the formation details. I am now the founder of Abram’s Nation and our signature product, The Safety Sleeper, is in over 200 households helping families with special needs all over the world.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business started because of a little guy on the autism spectrum and an amazing product created during sleep-deprived moments of desperation. Now over a decade later, we help families that are in the same situation (or worse).
Starting, growing, and running a business are three very different aspects and none are easy, none are handed to you on a silver platter, and all take loads of sweat, tears, determination, and money.
I have learned hands-on, baptism by fire, so to speak. I’ve learned to trust my gut, but balance that with experienced input from those you trust. I’ve also seen firsthand what a physical, spiritual, and mental positive effect my product and my company have had on families. We truly live by our mission statement here at Abram’s Nation which is, “We are a team of innovative thinkers, creators, and problem solvers on a mission to improve the lives of special needs families around the world.” I’m most proud of the spontaneous hugs or tears of joy and relief from families when we do our jobs just right.
A mom shared her story with me that she was fostering two siblings, both with special needs but who were not diagnosed. The two hadn’t slept more than 3-5 hours in several days and she was physically ragged and at the end of her rope. I gave her The Safety Sleeper to use while she was trying to fight with the insurance company. She was beside herself with gratitude! Imagine if we all walked around with gratitude because we could get sleep. Imagine what else we could exude gratitude for and how that could positively affect others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Pittsburgh is my adopted home, but I still feel like a tourist at times. I would love to go take a trip on the incline, go for a nice dinner at Monterey Bay on Mt. Washington, go for a bike ride along the river. On a sunny day I would rent a kayak or go paddle boarding on the lake at North Park, followed by a trip to Abram’s Nation to see where we make our products and show off the photos of some of the sweet children we have adopted in the Abram’s Nation family.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, I love this! WE all have bigs and littles that deserve shoutouts. I would say there are many who helped guide and nurture me along the way like a river rolling over a sharp rock along its way to becoming smooth.
Deanna Swartout for sleep, and autism conversations. Multiple friends and neighbors with business experience gave me their perspectives, advice, and contacts (MJ Boufford, the Brauers, Alice Nadin). The Small Business Administration and SCORE. Kendall and Celesta Simmons, Wendy Mascio, Beth Machine, Kylee Gutmann and all of my staff over the years. I literally could not do this without them. But the biggest shoutout has got to go to my amazing husband Jeff who made this possible.
Facebook: abrams nation