My name is Tom. I am one of the founders of CHONKERS and somebody who has lived with social and generalized anxiety for most of my life. Since I was young I have sought tools to help manage my anxieties and continue to do so today. In Kindergarten, I used to cut off a small piece of my favorite blanket to keep in my pocket to help me calm me down but have continued to create for effective options in the years since.
In 2015, I discovered how the effects of deep pressure could help me calm down and began trying weighted blankets which were popular in the ASD community at the time. While I found them helpful, I also found them to be expensive, bulky, hot, and primarily made in child sizes. I worked closely with others using the products and Occupational Therapists to create more affordable and accessible options, eventually founding a company to produce high-quality sensory bedding in 2016.
Weighted blankets grew in popularity and became cheaper and better quality, but the inspiration for CHONKERS came while still looking for ways to improve on some of the challenges customers and I continued to face like overheating, portability, price, and finding/adapting to the perfect weight.
The solution ended up not being bedding at all but a stuffed animal that could utilize more natural occupational therapy techniques and be personalized to the individual. CHONKERS was a product that could be used everyday, traveled with, and was more effective to the point it replaced the use of a blanket completely for me.
We have decided to focus on creating this product and making it available to anybody who could potentially benefit from it.
CHONKERS will be launching on Kickstarter in September of 2020, looking for members of the community that can help us bring this vision into the world by supporting the campaign and being the first people to use and help us improve the product.
We will be offering a limited availability Early Supporter Promotion for backer on the first day of the Kickstarter campaign. You can sign-up to be notified of product updates and launch on our website or on the Kickstarter page or can reserve access to the discount by putting down $1 to hold their spot.