A large percentage of individuals with autism, specifically young adults, often find themselves underemployed or unemployed. As mothers to John and Justin, both of whom have autism, Pat Miller and Pam Kattouf wanted to be certain their sons both found meaningful work and a job they can be proud of. With this in mind, the two women founded Beloved Bath, a company that offers scented soaps, candles and other bath products, after discovering the positive effects lavender and other scents had on their sons.
With the help of Chicago-based Northwestern Mutual wealth management advisor Tom Canale, who works with families that have loved ones with special needs, Pat and Pam began developing a business plan for the company to ensure a positive future for Beloved Bath and instill a sense of pride within company employees.
Their vision, which has become a successful and impactful company, has been built on support from both Tom and their community. A local printer provided free design advice and discounted labels, and Pat and Pam’s families contributed by creating their website and donating equipment. Starting in a kitchen-like studio, Beloved Bath products were originally created for babies and bridal showers, but given the pandemic’s impact, the women have since shifted their focus to at-home products, providing and delivering more than 600 bars of soaps to nursing home workers.
As the business grew, Pat and Pam realized they needed to expand into a new space. Tom helped them plan for expansion, think through opportunities like succession planning and figure out how to compensate employees in ways that do not jeopardize their government benefits. With Tom’s support, Beloved Bath recently signed a lease for a 1,500 square foot manufacturing facility in Maplewood, New Jersey, allowing Pat and Pam to further grow their business and employ more young adults with autism.
For those interested in supporting Beloved Bath during April (Autism Awareness Month) and beyond, check out the organization’s website: https://belovedbath.com.