Beautiful, Sensory Textiles that Nurture Wellbeing

by Annie Lywood in Bath, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 15th October 2020 we successfully raised £3,827 with 56 supporters in 28 days

Touch is central to our wellbeing. Our textiles are designed to comfort and calm those in need. Help us bring our creations to market.

by Annie Lywood in Bath, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Make more products and put the profits towards our research projects.


Sensory, feel-good textiles designed to help those in need of comfort, calm and hugs.

Hello, my name is Annie. I’ve been lucky enough to continue working during lockdown to finalise our first collection of sensory and decorative feel-good Comforters, specially-designed for peace and calm. 

We now need your support to help continue our mission to manufacture and launch our designs. 

Pre-order your ‘first edition’ comfort cushions for yourself, or a loved one, at an exclusive Crowd Funder price. Bringing the gift of comfort, these sensorial huggables are hand crafted by skilled artisans in Somerset, beautifully packaged, and can be delivered to you by Christmas.


Please pledge on one of our rewards for our beautiful feelgood comforters and fun sewing workshops 


Our Products being tested

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Why our products are needed 

Research shows that touch is central to our wellbeing. Our feel-good cushions are designed to have therapeutic qualities that support the wellbeing of people living with anxiety and stress ­– particularly in these uncertain times. When we are feeling stressed, anxious or even just a little low, hugging or simply holding, someone or something can lift our mood and make us feel better. Touching and hugging sensory cushions and comforters, like ours, can help to alleviate anxiety and nurture wellbeing.

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Why I started my company

After many years as a teacher, I re-trained in interactive/digital textile design with my efforts focused on improving the wellbeing of vulnerable groups in our society.

I set up my company Bonnie Binary to make a positive difference – to create products that bring playful delight and comfort to people’s lives, particularly those with sensory needs. Working with a like-minded team of professional occupational therapists and talented artisans, we are on an exciting journey researching the benefits of texture, colour, shape, pattern, weight and ‘the cuddle factor’ in order to help to soothe the senses.


What’s unique about our products?

Ethos: Our values are rooted in the desire to make a meaningful social impact, whilst minimising our environmental footprint. We are making wellbeing products that work, look good and feel great.

Eco-friendly: We source eco-friendly fabrics/packaging wherever possible, and are building partnerships with like-minded suppliers. Made-to-order to reduce waste.

Quality: Carefully-selected materials, plus exuberant, digitally-embroidered designs, burst with colour and feel good to the touch. 

Research: Created through R&D and tested with focus groups to meet a need.

Shaped for hugs:  visually-attractive to brighten your home as well your mood. 

Designed to be loved, treasured and washed.

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A breakdown of our products

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Our Collection

 Jollie the huggable Hand Warmer with decorative pattern

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Jollie the huggable Hand Warmer with garden pattern

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Lizzie the lap cushion for busy hands

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Purrdy the Cat

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Patch the Dog

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Hop the Frog

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What people say?

“I'm very interested in sensory products and items that will help to meet a person's sensory needs.  I think Annie's products are innovative and fun - I'm looking forward to seeing her range of items, some of which have been trialed with adults from our service.” Occupational therapist Katie 

 “I’m buying one of the beautiful Jollie heart cushions for my mum to keep her hands warm this winter”  Our first customer, Fiona

I've been involved in testing these products and it's great to see them develop. I think they are beautiful and will benefit many people in need of sensory comfort and stimulation" Physiotherapist Kate

How we will spend the money ?

  • Money raised from the rewards and your kind donations will first go towards production costs and marketing. 
  • Matched funding from Nat West ‘Back her Business’ scheme will go towards exploring ways to personalise our products, improve our designs and make our products even more eco-friendly. 
  • Future profits from the sale of the Cosy Cushion collection will fund research into our interactive therapeutic product range to help people living with physical and cognitive challenges.

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The team

There is only one full-time member of my company at the moment but behind the scenes there is a brilliant team of artisans, consultants, advisers and creatives. Every small business represents so many others and I’d like to thank everyone. 

1599324371_add_a_little_bit_of_body_text-3_copy_2.pngPhotos show the core team, from left to right Annie the Founder hugging Purrdy the cat in the garden. Jessica the pattern cutter in her studio, in Bristol, Alison under the Lime tree in her garden advising on production methods. The AllsewnUp team in Somerset assembling the first products and Jacky Puzey in her Embroidery Studios in Bristol. (Photo by Jo Hounsome)

Over 50 hands, hearts and minds have helped us get to this point - ready to launch.  It’s very exciting!

Many thanks go to my friends, family, researchers, focus groups and consultants for their wonderful support and encouragement during the development of our products especially under COVID conditions. 

Our company aims to grow!  Join us on this exciting journey.

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The Backstory

Coming from a large, lively household with a mum who runs a care home, I’ve always been community-minded, with a particular empathy for the vulnerable. After many years teaching in primary schools, running a forest school and after-school craft clubs I decided to re-train in interactive textile design with a view to developing products that would help improve the wellbeing of the many and varied vulnerable groups in our society. 

I subsequently worked on exciting research projects with leading universities, exploring the power of sensory textiles, e-textiles and digital touch to help people in assisted-living environments and those living with physical and cognitive disabilities. These valuable experiences have all helped inform Bonnie Binary’s first collection of sensory cushions and our on-going research.

Photos below showing Dr Laura keeping her hands warm, Artist Belinda getting to know Patch the dog and Jacky hugging our prototype Purrdy.

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The next stage

We love our research as much as we love our customers

Our mission is to provide easy to use multi-sensory solutions to comfort and calm people living with or in anxiety creating conditions. These solutions include e-textiles which Annie discovered whilst doing her MA in design 2016, and which she has been exploring ever since with a view to understanding more deeply their potential to provide solutions for social care. 

Profits from sales of the Cosy Cushion Collection will go towards funding further research into this next stage, focussing on interactive and multi-sensory products.  

Our next collection of therapeutic and interactive cushions will use e-textiles and embedded technology where the user’s movement and touch trigger life-like responses such as warmth, vibration, light patterns and music to calm the senses. We aim to support people living with a variety of physical and cognitive challenges with our next range of therapeutic products. 

Every creation is the result of extensive research into the benefits of sensory textiles and the exciting possibilities that e-textiles can bring to therapeutic products.


Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Donation towards a Jollie Heart Cushion

Your donation will go towards making a Jollie Heart cushion to be donated to a local charity that supports people living with dementia.

£5 or more

Thank you card

A thank you card from Annie and a mention on our website wall of thanks.

£30 or more

5 of 8 claimed

Hug-Me Cushion Sewing Workshop

Sewing Workshop to craft your own hug-me cushion. For children 8yrs+, family groups and adults who can sew. Annie likes to work in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Group sizes 2 to 6max. 1 hr online with a mid-way tea break. Children must be supervised. Annie will lead you through the making process and provide an instruction sheet via email. Clients supply there own (recycled) fabrics and sewing kit.

£50 or more

Invitation to Christmas Party

A big thank you and invitation to our Christmas party to celebrate the launch of our first edition Comfort Collection.

£50 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Sewing Workshop to craft Christmas Decorations

We will make charming Christmas decorations using colourful felts and embroidery threads. A kit of shapes, and threads will be supplied. Online Sewing workshop for 2 - 4 people. For Children aged 8yrs and over, adults and family groups. Everyone needs to have the basics of using scissors and running stitch. Annie will lead you through the 1 hour workshop in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere introducing a variety of decorative stitches.

£86 or more

0 of 6 claimed

Hop the frog

For people in need of hugs and comfort at all ages. Smaller and easy to carry about, Hop likes to go exploring and accompany people on their travels.

£126 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Jollie the huggable with soft pocket hand warmer.

Jollie the hand-warming huggable with pocket of soft touch textiles and vibrant embroidered washable cover. Ideal for people in need of comfort, warmth and hugs.

£126 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Jollie the huggable hand warmer in new design

We are excited to launch this beautiful new embroidered pattern on our cosy hand warming heart cushion. Perfect for keeping hands warm this winter. Makes a great Christmas present. Add a special heart felt note in the pocket on the back to keep you in touch with loved ones.

£146 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Patch the Dog

For Dog lovers and those in need of hugs and comfort. Designed to appeal to adults and young adults alike. Decorative, huggable and friendly. Patch the dog is the best friend to keep you company when you want to relax.

£146 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Purr-dy the Cat

For cat lovers and those in need of hugs and comfort . Designed to appeal to adults and young adults alike. Decorative, huggable and friendly Purrdy the cat is the purr-fect friend to keep you company on the sofa when you want to relax. In fact it’s her favourite place!

£165 or more

0 of 6 claimed

Lizze the Lap cushion

To comfort and distract people living with anxiety or dementia. Brightly coloured and beautifully decorated, our Lizzie lap cushion is perfect for warming the knees, soothing the soul and keeping hands busy. Designed to engage, relax, and distract, its playful surface is fascinating for the fingertips to trace and explore. The added weight keeps the cushion in place, offers an emotional anchor and may help to ground and calm people.

£250 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Donation towards Research Project

Donation towards our research into sensory textiles for people in need. In return you will receive a thank you card, a mention on our website wall of appreciation for our supporters and an invitation to be one of our company ambassadors and product testers.

£500 or more

Donation for research into personalising products

We are keen to explore ways to personalise our products. We would like to offer our customers the option of choosing their colours, adding messages and names to the surface design. Your kind donation will be put towards testing production methods in preparation for launching this unique personal service on our website in 2021.

£750 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Bespoke sensory product to your requirements

Bespoke sensory product designed to your unique requirements in the Bonnie Binary style and in agreement with Annie and the team.

Got an idea like this?

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