Blisslets’ owners invited us to visit their booth at the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market trade show at Market Center recently. As first-time gift show attendees, my friend Paulette and I were shocked to find thousands of buyers and vendors from across the country, all congregating at Market Center. Parking was non-existent, but we finally found a space a block away.
Entering Market Center was like entering the Land of Oz—we weren’t in Kansas, or back in the suburbs–anymore. The gift market is almost overwhelming, with so many interesting displays it was hard not to linger at all of them. We especially loved the food vendors who were handing out chocolate and other samples.
Visiting the Blisslets booth was the highlight of our day, though. Blisslets is a family-owned business operated by an Arlington couple, Katherine (Katie) Arpacio and her husband, Bernardo Arpacio. The Blisslets brand is known for its bracelets, designed for natural relief to address nausea distress. Whether due to motion sickness, pregnancy, digestive health, or other related issues, these artfully designed bracelets are crafted around an acupressure band. They alleviate nausea while allowing the wearer to do so discreetly and stylishly.
Katie said, “While I was struggling with morning sickness during my first pregnancy, I discovered that acupressure wrist bands were a huge help to ward off queasiness, but I hated wearing them to the office because of how conspicuous they looked. I tried to keep them hidden, but one day, before I was ready to share my big news, a male colleague recognized the bands and immediately called out for everyone to hear: ‘Hey, I didn’t know you were pregnant!’ That’s when I began to think that there had to be a better way. I wanted something that didn’t just help the physical symptoms, but that you could actually feel good about wearing. I looked around, but there was nothing to meet my needs, so I decided to do it myself.”
Moving to Arlington
The couple moved to Arlington in 2011, when Katie was starting a graduate program at the University of Dallas. They also wanted to be close to family after the birth of their first child, Sofia. Bernardo’s parents had moved to Texas from Florida just a few years before (and some years before that, from Cali, Colombia) to open a primary care clinic in Oak Cliff.
It was around that time that the idea for Blisslets first came to Katie, but it would be several years until the young couple decided to take the plunge. During that time, Katie was working remotely (before it was common) for the Department of Justice, while Bernardo started teaching economics at Ursuline Academy of Dallas.
Blisslets Research and Development
“Bernardo and I teamed up with an industrial designer, consulted medical professionals, reviewed the scientific literature that supports the use of acupressure for nausea relief, and gathered focus groups to give feedback on the products currently available for nausea on the market,” Katie said. “Our study participants reported significant improvements in their nausea with the use of acupressure, but told us they would like to see a product that was not only effective, but also stylish and comfortable.”
Taking input from all these sources, they designed Blisslets as a product people would want to wear. One that worked, felt good, and looked good. The Blisslets bracelets come in pairs, and are designed to be worn on both wrists.
The entrepreneurs have created a successful company with a product that provides relief to those suffering from nausea or anxiety. Blisslets is based in Arlington but serves a global market. Their family is also thriving, and the couple now have five children: Sofia (12), Rafael (9), Tomas (7), Cecilia (4), and baby Mara, two months old.
For more information about Blisslets, or to order some of their beautifully crafted bracelets, visit Blisslets.com.