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Nicola launched Vanilla Blush in 2008 after having a stoma formed in 2006 due to her ulcerative colitis. Vanilla Blush makes underwear inclusive of ostomies.
In this interview she tells us more about being a business owner with IBD.
Ulcerative colitis, diagnosed in early 20s.
In essence we do not produce ostomy underwear, we produce underwear which is inclusive of ostomies. We also produce cutting-edge hernia supportwear, fashion and sportswear, and now we sell top range leisurewear from the “housesnuggle” range, including loungewear and “outhousecosy” rainproof sports jackets.
In 2006, after one year of marriage, I had stoma surgery. All the underwear then available was medicalised. With my fashion and nursing background, I merged both areas of professional expertise and produced Vanilla Blush.
On a personal note, my experience of ulcerative colitis and living with a stoma gives me an comparable insight into the lives, worries and want of any person coming through the Vanilla Blush front door ‐ be it literal or metaphorical.
Yes, it is a stamp of authenticity and trust.
On the latter part of the question, no. The former, it is like anyone else, keep in mind a successful business is a marathon run, not a sprint. Pace your energy.
For Vanilla Blush to be shorthand for medical and mainstream expertise.
It’s not about the IBD, it’s about the business. Focus on the latter and accommodate the former.
In business, as in life, purpose trumps pleasure.
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