YellowCross is a real example of a home grown company created by two frustrated mothers looking for practical solutions. Since 1999 YellowCross have been creating innovative ways to carry and protect important daily medicines making the lives of thousands of people with allergies, diabetes and epilepsy easier.
The idea for this business came when Jane Harrison, a qualified nurse whose son Giles has a growth problem and at the time was having daily Growth Hormone injections, and friend Kay Byrne, whose son Jo has a peanut allergy, spent the afternoon together.
As Jane says
‘One day Jo came to our house for tea and brought an old ice cream tub containing his EpiPens, inhaler, antihistamine and emergency contact numbers. Later on Kay and I got chatting about the problems of storing medicines, particularly EpiPens, safely at school and when out so that everyone knew where they were should an emergency arise. Having worked in a busy Accident and Emergency department, I knew the importance of the quick identification of a patient’s medication.
After a lot of research, we found that there was nothing on the market suitable for carrying vital medicines and nothing had the facility to record personal ID, specific medical information or instructions for those dreaded emergency situations. Empty ice cream tubs, pencil tins or make up bags with sticky labels can not emphasise the importance of the contents inside, and in an emergency how do you know you have picked up the right box for the right child? So really the company was created out of necessity!’
The business has been taken forward by Jane and what started at a kitchen table has now grown into an established business and now has a range of fifteen products
‘Originally the range was designed for school but now we are introducing lines for teenagers and adults, all of which we hope will make life easier for those who have to carry medicines at all times. We also have bags suitable for carrying other essential medicines for asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and pituitary problems. Most of our bags have a thermal lining to keep the medicines at a more constant temperature when on holiday abroad and all have an ID card.’
YellowCross have a loyal and growing customer base from all over the world, regularly receiving feedback from their customers telling them how much the products have helped them.
‘We had one customer who said the ThermoBag had allowed her to fly to Australia with her EpiPens without the worry of them getting above 20 degrees’
The company continue to develop products that make carrying medicines everyday more straightforward and regularly work with nurses to develop safe systems to store and give out medicines in schools.
Jane sums up her experience
‘Running a business can be really demanding! I’ve had to learn business and marketing skills, find a factory to make our new leather bags and even turn my hand to web design! But knowing that what I am doing is helping people in a small way makes this a really rewarding job.’
YellowCross is a corporate member of the Anaphylaxis Campaign.
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