Ad man inspires PJ top and fast cash sale

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

MIAMI – John Acosta thinks his timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Just when the payment amounts come out for Round 2, he comes along with what he believes is an innovative cash product: male and female versions of a patent-pending pajama top that allows caregivers to easily dress and undress loved ones with limited or no mobility.

“This industry really needs a revolution—a new injection of innovation and a new delivery method,” said Acosta, the 29-year-old co-founder of Comfort Care Clothing Co. “This provides a very fast cash sale.”

The top, which retails for $35.99, features a mostly open back (allowing caregivers to slide the top easily over the head) and buttons along the sleeves (allowing them to easily slide in the arms).

Acosta developed the top after watching his grandmother struggle to dress his grandfather, who was dying after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

“She cut his PJ top down the back, so she could put it on without sitting him up,” he said. “That way he looked presentable when everyone came over to visit. I thought, ‘There has to be a product like this out there,’ but there wasn’t. My grandfather was an ad man from the ‘60s and an obsessive entrepreneur. The last gift he gave me was the idea for this top.”

Acosta launched Comfort Care Clothing Co. late last year with backing from investors and is now trying to raise awareness at trade shows (he attended the National Association for Home Care & Hospice Expo in October) and through distributors (the top is featured in medical catalogues in Canada). He’s working with Eric Kline, the founder of HME SalesPro, to help him crack the HME market.

“Providers are going to love this because it offers them a very unique and profitable retail product,” Kline said. “The caregivers are going to love it because it makes care for their loved ones easier; and the patients are going to love it because it provides a level of dignity that hasn’t been there before.”

Jan Erickson hasn’t had much luck selling her line of fleece wellness clothing through HME providers, though she says there are some forward-thinkers out there who have done well with it, like Black Bear Medical in Portland, Maine.

“But as the pain (from competitive bidding and other reimbursement cuts) becomes stronger, that may change,” said Erickson, founder, owner and president of Janska in Colorado Springs, Colo.