I have a business idea

Though honestly, I do not believe I will ever actually do it. I like to believe I could do it if I had help, but I do not see myself as capable of doing the whole thing on my own.

That said, I am excited about my idea so at the very least, I want to share it to see if other people think that it is nifty too.

It all started a little while ago when I was trying to shop for a keyboard. I wanted to try them in person because the amount of noise the keyboard I use makes is a huge issue for me. The entire experience was overwhelming. Loud music, confusing store layouts, echoey sounds, visual confusion, and I realized that shopping is always like this. It seems that sensory friendly stores just do not exist.

Which became my idea. A sensory friendly store! I want to be able to offer people a sensory-friendly shopping experience so that shopping can be as low stress as possible. I have a number of things I would want to make sure are included:

  • no background music
  • carpet and sound dampening tiles around to reduce noise and echoes
  • a simple layout to make navigating easy
  • a smooth ceiling with recessed lights so that it is visually easy to distinguish overhead signs from background
  • no fluorescents! This store would have lights that do not flicker.
  • Small time-out rooms with sensory friendly furniture and lights that can be turned off, in case people need a break.

I don’t think I would want it to be specifically for selling sensory-friendly items – it would be a more general store than that. However, I do think I would want to make a point to sell sensory-friendly items. Things like sensory furniture, weighted vests, compression clothing, etc. If I sold clothing, I have split ideas for how to organize it. I think that I would not want to organize the “normal” way, with juniors, misses, women’s, etc. I think I would like to organize either by fabric type or by color. Fabric type because many people have specific needs for what they can deal with wearing. For instance, I almost exclusively wear soft knits. If a store had a “soft knit” section where I could find shirts, pants, capris, skirts, dresses, etc, I would spend lots of time there! The color idea was more to emulate some thrift stores that organize their clothes by color first and size second. Want a black shirt? Just go to the black shirt section! This is good for people who wear very limited color choices – which happens to also be a group I fall into.

So in a nutshell, that is the idea. To bring people a shopping experience that they do not get elsewhere. An experience that will hopefully never leave anyone dropping everything they have and running out of the store because they just cannot handle being in there anymore.

So what do you think? If a store like that existed, would you shop there?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “I have a business idea

  1. Possum

    I think this a great idea! So many people, not just people on the spectrum, would appreciate this. Would I shop there? Well, I go to thrift stores for most of my purchases but for stuff I would buy new, most definitely yes.

    Given who you are I’m sure you already thought about it, but I know someone who’s partner uses a wheelchair and has difficulty in stores so I’d love to see that in your business plan, too. (I hope you don’t see this as interfering. I’m just excited and building on your idea.)

    Yay for stores for real people!

    • Oh, definitely! Accessibility is for EVERYONE, not just able-bodied neurotypicals. Nice, wide aisles and making sure there is space between the racks is also an important point.

  2. I love this idea. I think you could also – perhaps more easily, ultimately – do it not as a general store but a specialty service: so when someone needs to buy jeans, they contact you and explain their priorities, and then you gather an assortment of jeans that seem to meet their needs, and y’all meet in a quiet space reserved for this service and they shop the jeans you’ve gathered. Anyway I think there’s a lot of promise in the idea itself, whether or not you actively try to make it happen.

  3. Yes! but I don’t live in your country. I buy a lot of things online and never go in shopping malls or departent stores because they are too overwhelming. But some things are best purchased in a shop, and then a sensory friendly environment would certainly help. I would love sensory friendly crafts (materials) stores, because these (except really high end) tend to large, extremely uncomfortable, noisy, visually overwhelming, crowded warehouse-like outlets.

  4. Trudy

    I don’t know… I just hate shopping full stop, so I pretty much do it all online anyway. About the only thing I can’t buy online is perfume, because obviously you can’t smell it online! And there are some smells I can’t stand. I haven’t been actual clothes shopping for years – people ask me how I do it, but you get used to knowing what styles and colours suit. Fortunately I don’t have sensory issues around fabrics. And most places let you return i it doesn’t fit. If it’s from overseas and it’s too expensive to return, then I sell it on Ebay.

  5. Yes! This sounds so awesome! I’m not on the Autism Spectrum, but I do have some sensory issues, and I hate shopping for that reason. I also think it would be cool if there was a “fidget toy” section of the store. 🙂