Lisa Fraser

Lisa Fraser

Founder and CEO

AGE: 26

COMPANY: Squeezease Therapy Inc.

“Derived from a practice called ‘deep pressure therapy,’ Snug Vest has a calming effect on children with autism, ADHD and sensory disorders”

“I never really thought of myself as an entrepreneur when I was going to art school,” Lisa Fraser says. Her business, Squeezease Therapy Inc., began with an insight she had while teaching special needs children to swim: hugs help. For her final project at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, she designed the Snug Vest, a therapeutic garment that inflates to provide pressure, like a hug. Derived from a practice called “deep pressure therapy,” it has a proven calming effect on children with autism, ADHD, and sensory disorders. She had never planned to commercialize the Snug Vest after graduating, but the positive feedback convinced her there was demand. She even got an encouraging email from TED Talk star and autism hero Temple Grandin, who had been an early inspiration. The boosters were right: in her first year of business, 2013, she shipped about 400 units, and she has plans to expand in 2014. –David Godsall

Meet Lisa Fraser at our 30 Under 30 event on April 30, 2014. Get your tickets here.