NDSP Plan Managers chats with Julie O’Donovan, founder and designer of Wonsie, to learn more about her onesie bodysuits and how these products help both children and adults with special needs.
What’s the story behind Wonsie?
My background is in fashion design and I have worked in the industry all my life. I love sewing and I also have a particular passion for good product design.
About 11 years ago, a friend reached out to me and asked if I can make bodysuits for her five-year-old son, Zac, who has autism. Zac outgrew the toddler bodysuits they bought from stores and he needed larger ones in order to stop him from fecal smearing and digging his hands into his own nappy.
I designed his first bodysuit (sleeveless basic) while incorporating extra features, such as openings that he found difficult to escape from and a lower leg which fully covers his nappy. They worked really well and these stopped Zac from smearing.
About six months later, I started manufacturing the first style of Wonsie: the sleeveless basic bodysuit. Back then, it only came in children’s sizes. Wonsie now has three full product ranges, which include Back Zips (for the escape artist) and Tummy Access (for tube feeding). Just recently, we introduced size 20/XL adult sizes. We now cover kids and adults of all sizes and these are popular with the disability and aged care sectors.
Who can benefit from wearing Wonsies?
Anyone can wear our bodysuits, but Wonsies are particularly helpful to people with special needs. Here are a few reasons why our suits are beneficial to people:
- to help protect the modesty and dignity of people who tend to disrobe in public
- to help wearers keep wandering hands out of their nappies and pants (stop smearing)
- to benefit people in wheelchairs as clothes won’t “ride up”
- great for people who are tube-fed as it provides an opening to the abdominal area but also keeps unclean fingers out of the stomach area
As our wide range is available for a size 4 toddler to an XL adult, Wonsie generally covers kids and adults of all sizes and ages. They are designed to be worn under clothing or even as outerwear (paired with skirts or pants). They look just like regular clothes and no one can really tell that the person in Wonsie is wearing a specialty garment.
What’s unique about your products and how do these help people in general?
They are unique as we specialise in bodysuits offered in sizes that are typically hard to find in regular stores. Most stores stop at a size 2. We start from sizes 2 and 4.
The unisex bodysuits in our range are made from soft but strong cotton which are also very hardwearing. The styles are designed to make it hard to escape from, but the fabric is also soft to help minimise irritations especially for people with heightened sensory issues. They are tag-free and have no harsh elastics.
Wonsie is a registered NDIS provider and our customers can purchase them through their funding.
What’s the greatest feedback that you’ve received so far from any of your customers?
We love receiving feedback from our customers. Here are a few of our recent verified reviews which you can also find on our website:
“Wonsie jumpsuits are the only clothing my son can’t remove during the night. Believe me I have tried everything up until this! Wonsies solve the problem of him getting cold, removing his nappy (and all the issues that come with this). They are totally comfortable and he has no hesitation putting them on, which has been a problem in the past.”
“I cannot tell you the level of sanity these onesies have given me. My son is no longer pulling poo out of his nappy as a direct result of wearing his onesie. The material is so soft next to his skin. They have been godsend. The material is really soft on his skin, and just tonight, I realised I didn’t have a dry one so 10 minutes in the dryer and ready to wear with no shrinking. I give these onesies 10/10. They are fabulous!”
“My wife has Alzheimer’s and is in high level care. She had a problem where she’d scratch under her nappy at night and dirty her hands and fingernails. Someone suggested a onesie might help (think rabbits ears!) and after a fairly extensive search online, my daughter found Julie’s Wonsies, which looked very promising. I bought three pairs, which have surpassed our expectations. My wife now wears the garment at night under her nightie, and the problem has been completely solved. Her nails are now perfectly clean and healthy. The sales service was great and this product has been great for my wife’s health, the convenience of her carers, and my own peace of mind.”
What are your future plans for Wonsie?
Wonsie will soon introduce seasonal colours to brighten up our customer’s wardrobes and to complement our basic range of colours at present. We also plan to introduce fun stripes next year.
Where can people shop for your products?
You can purchase our products on wonsie.com.au and we offer worldwide shipping.
NDSP Plan Managers is a NDIS-registered provider specialising in NDIS plan management. If you are a NDIS participant looking for the right plan manager, CLICK HERE to get in touch with our friendly team today.