Abram’s Bed LLC, doing business as The Safety Sleeper™, has been named Small Business Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Pittsburgh-based company will be officially recognized during National Small Business Week, an annual event honoring the accomplishments and contributions of the best small businesses in the nation.
The award will be presented by SBA Administrator Linda McMahon on May 1, during a luncheon held at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C. Rose Morris, Abram’s Bed LLC’s president and inventor of The Safety Sleeper™, will receive the award on behalf of her company.
A mother of three, Morris struggled with finding solutions to protect her middle son Abram, who is on the autism spectrum, as he faced nights of fitful and erratic sleep. Her determination to help her then toddler-aged son lead a healthy life was the inspiration to invent The Safety Sleeper™, a lightweight tent-like structure that is placed on top of the bed, and includes padding and an air mattress.
“It’s overwhelming to learn you just won the whole enchilada for the entire country. I thought it was a mistake and kept wondering how I could have won,” said Morris.
Morris established Abram’s Bed LLC in 2009. The business grew, thanks to counseling from the local SCORE and the Small Business Development Center at Duquesne University. The Safety Sleeper™ underwent design modifications by engineering students at the University of Pittsburgh, and now offers additional features such as an extra safety zipper system, an enclosed mattress to protect against entrapment, fire retardant material, stabilizing straps to prevent tipping, and frame pads.
Morris started taking classes at Duquesne University’s SBDC, SCORE and Chatham University, learning about accounting programs and exporting. She secured money from the accelerator Innovation Works, and end users of The Safety Sleeper™ benefited from two semesters of engineering and design modifications from students at the University of Pittsburgh’s prestigious Swanson School of Engineering.
By 2016, the company had reached the $1 million sales mark. The Safety Sleeper™ is now exported to 12 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. U.S. exports are important to the nation’s economy, and 98 percent of all exporters are small businesses.
For Morris, her concerns still center on the families she serves. “They mean everything to me,” she adds. “They first call me with tears of frustration and those soon turn into tears of relief.”
Congratulations Abram’s Bed LLC on your win!
To learn more about Abram’s Bed LLC, doing business as The Safety Sleeper™, click here.
To learn more about the Pennsylvania SBDC, click here.
To find your local SBDC, click here.