Marna Pachecho

Fortitude Founder

Allen County
Founder Profile




CapeAble Sensory Products



Grant Date

July 2018


A selection of weighted blankets, weighted wearables, and sensory enrichment tools to provide a sense of peace and security.

CapeAble Sensory Products began with love and a cape.

Marna Pacheco’s daughter, Millie, suffers from early childhood trauma caused by her time in orphanages and the foster care system. Marna’s love for her daughter led her down a path to give Millie the sense of security and comfort she deserves.

Susan Hicock, Marna’s business partner, has also been motivated by love for her own children who have experienced childhood trauma in the foster care system.

CapeAble Logo

Together, Marna and Susan have built a line of products that help their own children and other community members living with autism, anxiety, trauma, and other sensory processing issues find comfort and peace. It is important to both women that their own experiences are able to touch the lives of others and that their love for their children is passed on exponentially.

The effectiveness of their products is incredibly important to Marna and Susan because they have seen how successful their blankets and wearables have been in their own lives. The women have taken special care to ensure their SmartWeightTM technology offers optimal comfort, peace, and relaxation for their own children and others.

Marna and Susan look forward to touching more lives in this community through CapeAble.

Connect with CapeAble Sensory Products on social media

Business Updates

CapeAble Sensory Products owners nominated for 2017 S.B.A. Person(s) of the Year award

The owners of CapeAble Sensory Products, a northeast Indiana-based women-owned business, has been nominated for the 2017 Small Business Association Person(s) of the Year Award by the Women’s Economic Opportunity Center (WEOC) at the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center. Marna Pacheco and Susan Hickock founded the company in 2013, inspired by their own experiences with weighted products for their children.

CapeAble Sensory Products names as national finalist for InnovateHER Business Challenge

Northeast Indiana entrepreneurs Marna Pacheco of Winona Lake and Susan Hickok of Fort Wayne have been selected to compete as one of 10 finalists in the national Small Business Administration (SBA) InnovateHER Business Challenge for Innovations That Empower Women’s Lives on October 27 in Washington, D.C. Pacheco and Hickok co-founded CapeAble Sensory Products, LLC, located in Fort Wayne, and will compete alongside nine other innovative companies for a total of $70,000 funding.

Mom-Built Business Booms to Aid Special ‘Physical’ Needs

Necessity is the mother of invention, so when it comes to kids’ needs, perhaps moms are the best inventors. Fort Wayne mother Marna Pacheco never imagined herself running a company, but when she creatively solved a problem for her daughter Millie, who has special needs, she realized many more kids could benefit. Her daughter’s occupational therapist suggested weighted garments to help regulate Millie’s behavior, but Pacheco was less than satisfied with what was already on the market—so the mother became an inventor and business owner.

Business Notes – CapeAble Sensory Products Advances in Business Challenge

Two Northeast Indiana entrepreneurs have been selected to compete as finalists in the national InnovateHER Business Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Marna Pacheco of Winona Lake and Susan Hickok of Fort Wayne and their company CapeAble Sensory Products, LLC will compete for $70,000 in prize money at the National Pitch Competition on October 26 in Washington, D.C.  The announcement of the 10 finalists was made last week on October 5.

Clothing maker to add 415 jobs

A local manufacturer whose products give customers the equivalent of a long, steady hug expects to create 415 jobs in the next 3 1/2 years. The company’s explosive growth is also giving Vera Bradley’s former sewing staff an opportunity to rejoin the local workforce.

Excellon Technologies Inc. is investing $2.1 million in equipment and building upgrades at 1105 Sherman Blvd. as it expands production of CapeAble Sensory Products, one of its divisions. Excellon primarily supplies the defense and aerospace industries.

Company announces plans to create 400+ jobs

A Fort Wayne manufacturer Tuesday afternoon announced plans to invest and expand its facility on Sherman Boulevard in a move that’s expected to create as many as 415 jobs by 2019.

Excellon Technologies Inc., primarily serves the aerospace and defense industries. It will launch a new line of therapeutic products designed to ease stress, anxiety, learning challenges, sleep issues and related health concerns according to a news release issued by Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Contact Marna Pacheco