Hello everyone my name is Rachael Holland and I am the very proud new owner of Chic Aid. I wanted to introduce myself to you all and tell my story, in the hope that people will get to know me and understand how I came to be involved in this amazing business.
Quite a few years ago, my mum was diagnosed with a condition called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) or as it is now called CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). Although it started in her left elbow, it quickly spread to her left foot. It is a horrid condition that is extremely painful! My mum says “if a feather fell on to a normal person’s foot they probably wouldn’t feel it, but if it fell on my mum’s foot it would feel like a kitchen knife was stabbing through her foot!”.
I always thought the worst sound to hear was my children screaming in pain, but I can honestly say that for me hearing my mum screaming in pain was a million times worse. All I could do was stand there and watch my amazing Pa try his best (as always) to help… but as anyone who suffers from or watches a loved one suffering from CRPS will tell you, there isn’t a lot anyone can do when an attack comes on! If anyone would like any further information about CRPS or would like to talk to someone, please visit the ‘Charity Page ‘and see Burning Nights or get in touch on our ‘Contact Page’.
I remember going to visit my mum and she was using a GREY NHS crutch to help her walk. My mum is such an amazing person with a fabulous personality to match and has continued to be very glamourous (even with her condition), lighting up every room that she is in. However, all that the NHS crutch did was dampen her style!
Shortly after this my husband and I announced our engagement. Usually mum’s think about wedding dress shopping with their daughters, but not mine… All my mum could think about was how horrible the GREY crutch would look in the photographs against her beautiful outfit and often got upset.
I wanted to find something colourful for her to use on my big day, but after lots of searching there just wasn’t anything special enough. I have always had a creative flair, so decided I would make something fit for the ‘Mother of the Bride’ and give it to her on the morning of my wedding.
The time came to go outfit shopping for my mum and after trying on a few different dresses, she stepped out of the changing room one last time… My sister and I burst in to tears, she looked just, wow and we knew that was the right one.
I decided to make her a crutch that co-
One of my best friend’s mums suggested I made them for others, which is when Crystals & Crutches was born. However, I needed to find a supplier of good quality crutches to add my beautiful designs to. After searching I stumbled across Chic Aid and my Fairy God Sister (not Mother, she isn’t old enough!) Kate McGarvey. Over the next couple of years Kate and I became good friends and I visited her often to collect my crutches and eat CAKE! For those that have had the pleasure of meeting Kate either in person or over the phone then you will know what an amazing lady she is with a wicked sense of humour… she also suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.
Unfortunately, over the period of our friendship I saw Kate’s health deteriorate and one day whilst looking on Facebook I came across a post on Chic Aid from Kate to say that the business was for sale due to ill health. I was mortified not only for Kate but where would I buy my crutches now? I rang my husband in tears and explained what had happened, his reply was simple “why don’t you buy Chic Aid?”, what an amazing idea!
Chic Aid officially became mine on the 3rd of December 2016 and since then have had a new website developed and added a couple of new products to the amazing range already put in place by Kate. In the future I am hoping to merge Crystals & Crutches with Chic Aid to make a one-
Although I have taken over from Kate, the values of Chic Aid will continue forever… We want to change the way the world sees mobility aids from boring, GREY, old fashioned necessities to fashionable accessories.
I am so lucky to have such inspirational people in my life that help me to stay focused on the things that really matter…
I’ll do you proud Kate, just you wait and see!
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