Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cast Cover Z!

As I mentioned in my "About Me" page, I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta, so every once in a while, I will post articles about the disease. Some may be encouraging, some inspirational, and some educational. Thank You!
Here's the link to see the full story and video of this article:
"Aha!" momentscan sometimes come as a flash. Mine, came more as a 'snap.'
In the fall of
2008, my then 10-year old daughter broke her humerus, the large bone in the
upper arm (and no, it was NOT humer-ous at all!). Believe it or not, this was my
daughter's SIXTH broken bone, and my heart just went out to her. Tests confirmed
she did not have Brittle Bone disease -- she was just one of those kids (we all
knew one growing up… Now I was raising one!). Elli, meanwhile, was miserable.
Once again, her body had betrayed her and as a Mom, I wanted nothing more than
to help her feel better.
My daughter had
been complaining about her cast scratching her and snagging on things so I took
out my 30-year old sewing machine and whipped up a simple cover for it, and a
matching sling. It worked so well, I made a more colorful version. And, inspired
by Halloween coming up, I then made another set. Elli was starting to get quite
a few compliments at school and suddenly it hit me - this was a business!
With my
background in sales and marketing, I immediately researched it and found nothing
similar in the market. Our accidental creation, CastCoverZ!, was born. Our
mission was simple: to provide fun and functional
that comfort orthopedic patients.

At first, our
business was fraught with challenges. My original business partner and I split
shortly after launching; our first large manufacturing order (nearly 1,000
units) was assembled with the wrong elastic and had to be re-done; and, most
devastatingly, just nine months into our business, I was diagnosed with a rare
form of breast cancer - less than one half of one percent of cancers are this
one. So much, lost, all at once.
Cancer forced
me to put on the brakes. I wanted to spend what little energy I had with my
family, and that meant putting
CastCoverZ! on the back burner while I focused
after a year and a half, I came through my illness cancer-free. My family calls
it strength, but I believe it was a stubbornness not to let my business fail,
and a desire to be with my kids that got me through. When I was feeling better,
I sat my family down and said, "Okay guys, I'm ready to kick this thing into
overdrive." And I did. In three short years, our business has grown
exponentially. I now have a team of four people, and our headquarters has
spilled into a converted garage on our property.
CastCoverZ! truly is a family business. My daughter inspired it,
my son named it, my husband financed it, and I work it! And even though Rick
still maintains his career in commercial real estate, he's picked up the slack
in more ways than one: he drives the kids to and from school and helps around
the house -- AND, since the morning I ran into his office overwhelmed and
begging for help, he now spends a couple of hours a day fulfilling orders and
making runs to the post office for me. Soon, my 16-year old son will take over
Rick's duties as part of his summer job. In our marriage, sharing
responsibilities like this allows us to play to our strengths; Rick knows my
time is better spent growing the business -- and I know he definitely makes
better fish tacos!
Whether casted,
booted, splinted, braced or bandaged, I ensure CastCoverZ! always strives to
help our customers solve their biggest orthopedic challenges. And my clients
trust that I know what those are, being a mom of one of the most accident-prone
kids on the planet!
Elli, bless her
heart, is now 14, and since getting the idea for the business, has suffered two
additional fractures. I've told her I'm grateful for the inspiration, but I've
gotten all the ideas I need- she can stop breaking her bones now!

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