The Women’s Economic Opportunity Center (WEOC) helps those who help others.

By: Sandra R.Wharton, Director, Women's Economic Opportunity Center (WEOC)

CapeAble Sensory Products LLC is among the Center’s success stories. Entrepreneurs and co-owners Marna Pacheco and Susan Hickok have teamed up to bring their bright idea to market. Although different, their professional backgrounds are complementary. Marna has been a professional sales person and an educator. Susan has been a clothing designer, a retail store owner and a manufacturing manager. They have successfully combined their skills and experiences to form what we know as CapeAble today.

So what is CapeAble? The short answer is an innovative line of sensory products that calm, soothe, focus, and delight. Specifically, they manufacture and sell weighted blankets, weighted wearables, and sensory enrichment tools. The dynamic duo has created a new standard in the weighted products industry. Each product is designed to instill hope and provide comfort for children and adults alike.

The specific needs and concerns of the end user may differ, but in essence their unique patent- pending design propels the central nervous system to communicate more effectively with the brain. Benefits include improved focus and ability, relief from stress and anxiety, and a feeling of comfort. Weighted products and garments are beneficial to individuals experiencing ADHD, Autism, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other disorders. The products are used at home, school, church—anywhere really.

CapeAble’s products have garnered both local and national attention in terms of quality and fulfilling a specific need. The co-owners have continued to refine their products, while remaining faithful to their core values. The NIIC, specifically WEOC, has been a trusted source of guidance, resources, and support. With the help of mentoring from WEOC, Marna and Susan revised their business model and wrote a business plan they could present to the bank for an SBA loan.

I am happy to report that CapeAble is just one of several success stories coming out of WEOC.  It’s only the beginning. I challenge you to think big. Together, we can accomplish what you may have never imagined possible. Together, we may create a product/service that’s not in the marketplace or alter the purpose of an existing product/service to create something different. If you or someone you know could benefit from these services, please contact me at (260) 416-3400 or at swharton@niic.net.


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