Today’s giveaways in our annual Therapy Tools and Toys Giveaways series (Giveaway is now closed) holds a special place in my heart. Today, I’m featuring occupational therapy entrepreneurs who are creating resources, occupational therapy gifts, and toys that promote the profession of occupational therapy. These are occupational therapists and COTAs who have created a nontraditional therapy business that offer resources, private practice, and out-of-the box entrepreneurship!
Each of the OT businesses featured here promote products and resources for others using their knowledge and experiences as occupational therapy practitioners. With all that this year has brought our way in the need for virtual therapy, and an astonishing impact on small businesses, it is my absolute pleasure to promote and feature these occupational therapy small businesses.
Occupational Therapy Entrepreneurs
There is just something about occupational therapists and the profession of OT that makes it a natural in the business world. Occupational therapists are natural entrepreneurs for so many reasons!
As occupational therapy professionals, we have the unique ability to impact and change lives with a whole-body approach to addressing clinical needs. What if, as professionals, we took that holistic viewpoint and inner drive to see people thrive… and coupled it with the zeal and ambition of an entrepreneur?
Therapists are innovators and motivators. We make evidenced-based decisions and have a compelling public image in facilities, schools, clinics, and the community. We have the ability to influence the marketplace and in collaboration with other professionals.
These elements of business creation are outlined as some of the eight vision components in AOTA’s Centennial Vision and Executive Summary. (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2007). That same creative excitement can be applied to one’s own entrepreneurial goals. In fact, “occupational therapy has great entrepreneurial potential, with relatively low risk for entry” (Anderson & Nelson, 2011).
Connecting the dots from the traits of an OT to the traits of a business owner is pretty easy when you think about it. We have many of the very skills engrained in us.
Therapists, in most cases, excel at these skills:
- Time Management
- Goal Mindedness
- Humbleness to ask for help when needed
- Friendly and honest
- Able to set and maintain schedules
- Open to new ideas
- Skilled in networking
- Calm and level-headed under pressure
- Aware of personal weaknesses and able to ask for help
- Willingness to learn and learn some more!
These are attributes of business owners. These skills are needed to conceptualize, create, and run a business. These are the skills needed for entrepreneurship!
Those are also quite a lot of “OT traits”, right??
These are essential traits of therapeutic use of self. These are the skills that allows us to connect with our clients, pivot on a dime, and reach functional outcomes.
It’s no wonder that occupational therapists are naturals at entrepreneurship.
Occupational Therapy Businesses
So, now that we’ve talked about the attributes that therapists have making them naturals at business, let’s celebrate and support our fellow OTs who have taken steps to start a business.
Below are OT-created/owned businesses that are creating, sharing, and providing resources designed to help others. They are using their OT hats to create a business and make it work!
Check out these OT innovators and occupational therapy businesses! Let’s support your fellow occupational therapy entrepreneurs by following them on social media and browsing their products.
Fine Motor Boot Camp- Developed by a Speech-Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist, Fine Motor Boot Camp was developed to meet cognitive, language and fine motor needs in under 15 minutes a day using simple, inexpensive materials.
Support Fine Motor Boot Camp by following Fine Motor Boot Camp on Instagram.
Play Spark- Play Spark is a new business created by a speech language practitioner and an occupational therapist who offer green screens and materials to foster therapeutic interventions in virtual therapy sessions.
Support Play Spark by following Play Spark on Instagram.
Telehealth OT Services– Created by occupational therapist, Reina Olivera, Telehealth OT Services is a resource providing training and education to OT providers on all things teletherapy.
Support Telehealth OT Services by following Telehealth OT Services on Instagram.
Full Range Therapy Supplies- Full Range Therapy Supplies offers therapeutic materials and supplies such as h as Nosey Cups, Nuk Massage Brushes, Chewy Tubes, Sensory Brushes, and feeding equipment.
Support Full Range Supplies by following Full Range Therapy Supplies on Facebook.
Forward Therapy Solutions- With over 30 years of experience in guiding parents in their child’s development, pediatric occupational therapist Sharon Drewlo brings you “GUIDE & GROW: Baby’s 1st Year“. This book is an easy-to-navigate monthly guide to understanding and supporting your baby’s development throughout the first year with monthly milestones and developmental information to support your little one’s development through their first year. Check out the book Guide & Grow: Baby’s 1st Year: A Monthly Guide to Development, Milestones and Activities to Support Baby’s Development
Support Forward Therapy Solutions by following on Forward Therapy Solutions on Facebook.
OT Holly- OT Holly is an OT small business created by an occupational therapist who provides and shares opportunities for toddler play and child development. These activities and educational resources are specifically designed for parents of 1-4 year old children and includes trainings, printables and a month play digital magazine.
Support OT Holly by following on OT Holly on Instagram.
WooTherapy- WooTherapy is the maker of Woo Tape, a handwriting tool for kids. Created by occupational therapist, Meghan, this handwriting tape allows children tactile feedback and visual cues for handwriting on any type of paper.
Support WooTherapy by following WooTherapy on Instagram.
Purpose Therapeutic Box– Purpose Therapy Box is a subscription box created by two COTAs, Holi and Ali. Together they created Purpose The Therapeutic Subscription Box in order to decrease sadness and loneliness within the older adult population using products and encourage aging in place. The boxes inspire positivity and enhance quality of life through personalized products that encourage independence, well being, and improve overall health.
Support Purpose Therapy Box by following Purpose Therapy Box on Instagram.
Skootle Box– Skootle Box is a subscription box containing toys and materials to help parents help their children succeed. Items are carefully chosen and come with guided therapy inspired instructions on how to use the activities with your child and what skills it is working on.
Support Scootle Box by following Skootle Box on Instagram.
OT Park- OT Park Box is a kids subscription box designed by a pediatric OT. The monthly boxes include age appropriate and developmentally correct activities for kids age groups 0-3 years and boxes have categories: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 months, 2-2.5 years and 2.5-3 years
Support OT Park Box by following OT Park Box on Instagram.
Creative Kits by K&S- Started by occupational therapist and preschool teachers, Kelly & Sara, Creative Kits by K& S offers themed sensory kits for toddlers & preschoolers. These sensory activities are thoughtfully designed sensory play and small world play kits for young children.
Support Creative Kits by following on Creative Kits on Instagram.
Laddalove Creations- Created by a COTA, Laddalove Creations offers custom t-shirts, mugs, masks, and wooden creations, especially for occupational therapy practitioners. These items are designed to spark joy and brighten the day of an occupational therapist!
Support LaddaLove Creations: Follow on Ladda Love Creations on Instagram.
Stepping Stones- Created by an educator, Stepping Stones offers activity cards using everyday materials and centers on fine motor skill development for children aged 3-6 years of age. These activity cards are carefully designed to use things that you ordinarily have at home.
Support Stepping Stones: Follow on Stepping Stones on Instagram.
Support occupational therapy entrepreneurs!
Want to support occupational therapy entrepreneurs AND fill your emotional toolbox with prizes, resources, and therapy materials?
Let’s support occupational therapy small businesses!
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.