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?