Kamloops inventor's friction-reducing sheets heading to Japan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops inventor's friction-reducing sheets heading to Japan

A Kamloops-based company has just signed a deal with a major Japanese healthcare company to sell locally invented friction-reducing sheets. The sheet set has been patented in four countries and has primarily been sold in the United States so far.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Nancy Ellen Comfort Linen
November 05, 2019 - 2:00 PM

A Kamloops-based company has just signed a deal with a major Japanese healthcare company to sell locally invented friction-reducing sheets.

Nancy Ellen Comfort Linen was created to address the issues and injuries caregivers endured while moving patients in bed. The patented sheet set reduces friction, so the patient can easily move in bed with ease, and is now sold to individuals as well as hospitals and health care institutions.

Now, Japanese company Homecare Watanabe Ltd. has agreed to sell the products as part of a three-year deal.

Inventor Nancy McGovern was working for Interior Health and came up with the idea specifically for health care professionals, but the idea caught on to improve sleep for people with mobility issues, injuries or just those looking for a night of easier sleep

“These are sheets that were designed for caregivers safety,” McGovern says. “It was the patients who would say, ‘When I’m on these sheets... I can move and I’d really like to be able to get a set that I can use at home,’ and that always stayed with me... I felt it was important to listen to what patients were saying.”

A Kamloops-based company just signed a deal with a major Japanese health care company and it seems that easy sleep is going to spread around the world. From left to right: Corey Sigvaldason, Marshall Krueger, Nancy McGovern, Kazuhiko Watanabe, Miyako Watanabe and interpreter Michiko Sundin.
A Kamloops-based company just signed a deal with a major Japanese health care company and it seems that easy sleep is going to spread around the world. From left to right: Corey Sigvaldason, Marshall Krueger, Nancy McGovern, Kazuhiko Watanabe, Miyako Watanabe and interpreter Michiko Sundin.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Nancy Ellen Comfort Linen

Now, the sheet business expanded to add a sleepwear line, which amplifies the friction-free qualities of the sheets. McGovern signed with local company Stemel Supply Inc. earlier this year, and with that partnership, she now has the opportunity to expand into the Japanese market.

“My intention was always to develop it, prove it, and then find someone bigger and more capable than myself to take it around the world,” McGovern says.

McGovern says she tried to retire ten years ago, but Nancy Ellen Comfort Linen has kept her quite busy. She looks forward to stepping back a bit from the business side and focusing on herself again.

“I have felt a little bit overwhelmed with how big this could be, because of the scope of the problem around the world and I have felt quite inadequate on my own and so to have a partner like Kruger and Stemel Supply Inc. who shares the same vision,” McGovern says. “Life for me has changed in that I’ve been relieved of considerable stress and I feel well supported.”

Stemel Supply Inc. owner Micheal Kruger says this development is a welcome endeavour.

“Like the Japanese, Americans tend to recognize a revolutionary high-quality product when they see it and are quite willing to invest in,” Krueger says in a media release. “While we’ve found it harder to gain traction in our domestic market, our American customers have been happy to take advantage of the better sleep and commensurate recuperative opportunities offered by the sheets and pyjamas Comfort Linen brings to the market.”

Corey Sigvaldason and Kirk Baethke of the local CAP Leadership Solutions were key players in helping bring Nancy Ellen Comfort Linen to the Japanese market.

Homecare Watanabe Ltd. of Japan has agreed to sell the Canadian-made line throughout the country of 127 million people for three years. McGovern expects sales to go well in Japan. She says they will aim to get the product there as soon as possible.

For more information on Nancy Ellen Comfort Linens check out its Facebook page here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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