About Loving our Parents & How Tonomy Shop Began


Hello everyone, welcome to the story of how Tonomy Shop came to be, and how I decided to take the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship.

It wasn’t so long ago that I was sitting in my cubicle at a very creative company. I was struggling. The organisation was undergoing some serious changes, and it’s vision no longer spoke to me. I was missing my son, still a tiny mite, who was in childcare all day, as well as my aging parents who live over 4000 kilometres away from me.

Caring for our Parents:

I have the utmost respect for my parents, for their journey in life, for the sacrifices they have made over the years and for the courage they have shown during difficult times. Now in their 80s, my parents are divorced and living on their own. They have kept their health and independence until now, but things are changing as they inevitably will, and cancer and distance caregiving are now part of our family’s daily concerns. To start a company which honours my parents as they age, and elderly people at large, was exactly what I wanted to do.

The Inspiration:

A dear colleague who was watching me start my little transformation, passed along the June 2015 issue of Creative Review, The Age Issue, and in it was a fabulous interview by Rachel Stevens with Anna James, founder of the online store Spring Chicken in the UK. In the article, Anna James spoke passionately about finding designerly products for seniors that make life “easier and brighter”. She also spoke of the need to continue to innovate, and as a trained industrial designer myself, that’s when I started to connect the dots.

Designing for the Elderly:

There are many standard and rather bland aids for daily living which help people with disabilities to keep their independence, but I really believe we can do better. Growing old is hard stuff, and making products that bring a little enjoyment and pride to daily rituals is a way to honour the dignity of older people and those with special needs.

So how did I start? Small. Tonomy Shop’s first product is a stylish bib. Designed for people with illnesses such as dementia, for stroke sufferers, convalescing patients, people with special needs or simply messy eaters who want to look nice for a special night out at a restaurant, these bibs has been created with much thought and care.

To all of those who have to struggle a little harder than the rest of us, we’ve got your back.


Zahra from Tonomy Shop

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