Monday, July 16, 2012

Spotlight on Mommy -- Christina Daves of CastMedic Designs (Giveaway)


My Spotlight on Mom this week is Christina Daves, of CastMedic Designs.  She decided to take on the medical industry and make it more fun and fashionable with her MediFashions. The first product line is fashion accessories for medical boots. Nothing like this exists on the market.  And, with the millions of people placed in boots annually know, there is now a way to look and heal their best! Experience, The Healing Power of Fashion®  I wish this  was around when I was in high school years ago.  I ended up in a medical boot after a sports injury during the summer.  Let's just say the plastic boot was not comfortable, nor did it smell good after a day of walking around on it.  I remember that I would stick out like a sore thumb, when I entered a room or walked down the street, as people's eyes were drawn to this ugly looking medical boot.  How cool would it have been if I was able to add one of Christina's fashion accessories over this plastic boot?  Not only would I feel more self-conscious being around, but I would stand out not because of my injury, but because people would be intrigued by the fashionable style sense that I had.  :-)

These are a just a few examples of the boot covers and accessories that Christina offers through her online store, to help you dress up or down your cast:

Color Me HappyJust Wow!Missoni InspiredBlack Granite

Aren't they cool?  Who knew that showing off an injury could be so fashionable? Know someone who is in a medical boot right now?  Why not make their day by getting them fashion accessories from CastMedic Designs today/

Want to win a CastMedic Designs Sock-It + Strap-It or Click-It?  Christina has kindly offered to give one lucky reader a Sock-It + Strap-It or Click-It of their choice.  To enter, please scroll to the bottom of my interview with Christina, and complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form.  Good luck!

But, in the meantime, please enjoy my Spotlight on Mommy interview with Christina Daves of CastMedic Designs.

Name: Christina Daves

Company Name/Product/Service:  CastMedic Designs, We manufacture MediFashions.

Company Location:  Virginia

Company Website:

Twitter Handle: @castmedicdesign

Age of Company:  20 months

Favorite Inspirational Quotes:  Go Big or Go Home; Fake It Til You Make It

Favorite Book: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I was born and raised in Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!!!)   I am a huge Washington Capitals fan and love going to games.   I have been married for 16 years and have 2 amazing children, a 14 year old son, and a 12 year old daughter.  My son has played hockey for 10 years so I am officially a "Hockey Mom".  My daughter is a volleyball and lacrosse player so I spend the majority of my free time in a rink or on a court or field - all of which I LOVE!  Running a business is pretty much 24-7 so between that and kid's activities, there isn't a ton of time left.   I do try to sneak in a long walk or glass of wine with my amazing, supportive girlfriends all of whom helped me get to where I am today.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?
CastMedic Designs manufacturers MediFashions which provides the injured a way to look and heal their best and experience, The Healing Power of Fashion®.  The first products in the line are fashion accessories for medical boots.   

In the summer of 2010, I broke my foot and was placed in a boot.  I was headed to New York, the fashion capital of the world, the next day and thought to myself, "I can't go to New York looking like this!"  I scoured the Internet for ANYTHING to dress my boot up and found there was nothing.  I did some designs, researched a business plan, and held focus groups and realized I was really onto something and this was a very untapped market much in need of this kind of product.

What is a typical work day like?
I wake up at 6:30, get the kids up, and head to my home office to respond to e-mails and do a quick look at LinkedIn and Facebook.  I make breakfast and lunches and get the kids out the door by 7:30.  I head back to my office and tackle my "To-Do" list.   Right now it's just me so I have to handle sales, marketing, PR, accounting, etc.  I usually work straight through until noon and then get a work-out in (always important to clear my head and get creative).   I'll come back and work for another hour or so and then shower and get ready for the kids to come home and get them off to their activities.  In the evenings, if we're home, I'll usually sneak in another few hours or so of PR/Marketing.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 
The hardest part for me is how long everything takes.   It took 17 months from the time I came up with the idea to having a product on the market.  I am very Type A and wish the world worked at my speed.

What did you do in your past work life?
I have run several businesses but for the past almost 10 years, I opened a ran a fabulous boutique with my best friend.  Neither of us had any retail experience and we just knew in our gut we had something great so we went for it!  The store is in an old historic house (which used to be a Civil War nursing station) with so much character.  Those were the best work years of my life (so far)!  We had so much fun and met so many great people and literally laughed through the years.  It was a very difficult decision to leave but my kids were getting older and traveling for sports and I wasn't doing either parenting or work effectively.  My partner and her husband were divorcing and she needed full-time work/pay so it really all worked out for the best.

What have been some of your major successes?
Seeing the joy I bring to the injured is by far the greatest success!  It makes me feel good to make them feel good.  It's also fun when I hear, "I want to break my foot so I can wear your designs" and I do get that quite often.  

We are also getting very positive feedback from the orthopedic/podiatric communities and are receiving some great PR.  Look for our product on an upcoming Friday on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

What have been some of your major challenges?
Manufacturing without a doubt was the biggest challenge.  I wanted to keep the product made in the USA and I tried for 5 months to find a US manufacturer but no one was interested in taking on the project because it was something new.  I ended up having to go to Asia.  There were a few manufacturing issues - the stretch of the fabric going the wrong way - but the manufacturer replaced those.    My fulfillment center went bankrupt and I had to move my product out, literally within a day.  I would say that so far those have been the biggest... but we survived them.

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
I am SO passionate about these products and I know that making people feel better about themselves while they are recovering is such a great thing!  I try to stay focused on that, even when things are really rough - and some days can be that rough!

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Balance?!?!?   I won't lie.  It's not always easy... especially when working from home and it's so easy to pop back in the office and do "just one more thing".    I try to cook dinner every night and we eat together as a family as much as possible.  I never miss any of the kid's sporting events unless I'm traveling.  It is also helpful that my husband and kids are very supportive of the endeavor so that really helps!

What is next for your business?
We have several additional MediFashions in the design phase and hope to have products to decorate other medical devices on the market soon.

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
If you are passionate about your business, I say 100% - GO FOR IT!!!   It is that passion that will get you through the challenges and the tough times and if you are passionate, that resonates to other people and will only help in your success.  Remember that it is always going to take more money and more time than you think so plan for that.  Lastly, surround yourself with excellence.  Work with people who are smarter than you and listen to their advice.  You can't know everything about every aspect of your business so use people who know what you don't.

---WIN IT----

Enter below for your chance to win a CastMedic Designs Sock-It + Strap-It or Click-It of your choice.  Good luck!

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