Tender Care Products manufactures comfort, security

Oct. 13, 2013 @ 05:37 AM

Tender Care Products was founded in the early 1980s, when a local nursing home asked a businessman in the furniture industry to design a lap pillow for wheelchairs, and the first wheelchair-specific lap pillow was born, as was Tender Care Products.

More than 30 years later, TCP is still making those lap pillows, though now there are quite a few designs, as well as an entire line of products including mattresses, wheelchair armrests, bedrail pads and more.

Current owner Jan McNeal bought the business in 1996, and it since has grown, moving to a new location and then expanding, now employing seven people on-site and a handful of people who do sewing at home, plus seven sales representatives.

McNeal said the company is always looking to expand and do more.

“We’re always looking to create new ideas to make someone’s final time in living a little more comfortable,” McNeal said.

From its facility on Baton School Road, TCP ships to all over North America and to Puerto Rico.

In the past few years, Tender Care has struggled, along with the national economy, but McNeal said the company is working to grow out of it, diversifying into a new market by bidding for state and federal government contracts.

Tender Care’s motto is “If you can conceive it, we can create it,” fitting into the company’s founding with a custom piece, and today TCP boasts that it can create any cushion a customer could have a need for. Cushions for bedrails, pressure reduction mattresses, mattresses for prisons, fall-prevention pads, and wheelchair seats and arm cushions just scratch the surface.

“We pride ourselves on quick delivery,” McNeal said, adding that the company keeps popular items in stock, and if they don’t have it in stock, they’ll turn it out as quickly as possible.

With custom products, McNeal said, Tender Care will work with the customer to design a specific item.

“This is a business where you’re helping people,” McNeal said. “We’re providing dignity and comfort for folks in difficult environments, trying to make their conditions a little more livable.”