Of the many different health issues across America, diabetes is one of the most common.
For those who don’t know, diabetes is a disease where a person’s blood glucose levels are too high and need to be kept down using insulin injections. Aside from affecting our health and our diet, it also leads to other inconveniences that not everybody is aware of. For young women, for example, carrying around an insulin pump can be irritating and annoying—especially when it comes to fashion choices.
Fortunately, one woman out of Massachusetts has come up with an elegant solution to that problem.
More specifically, one woman in Hanover is taking pains to create artisanal solutions to this unique issue.
Her name is Julie Christian. Though Christian used to be a police officer, she began a new career as a seamstress with the original dream of making striking tailored suits for women. Though she had some success with that, things really took off one day when she got a request from a 10-year-old girl named Julia Looker, a girl who lived in nearby Cohasset.
As it turned out, Looker wanted a custom dress made that could hold a diabetic pump while still looking cute and being functional.
Needless to say, Christian leapt at the design challenge.
After a little bit of research and sewing work, Christian came up with an innovative design. The dress she designed had a beautiful floral print with a little pocket built into it to hold Looker’s pump (a pocket that was approximately the size of a deck of cards). In addition to the pocket, there’s also a hidden hole along the waist that the device’s wire can feed through. Through that hole, it goes down Looker’s leg into a small port on the surface of her skin so that the insulin can get in.
For her part, Looker couldn’t be happier with her dress!
Although the dress itself is adorable, it’s also makes Looker’s life a lot easier.
“It’s really convenient,” Looker said in an interview with Boston’s WBZ-4. “I like it a lot.” Although the project was initially going to be a one-off, Christian saw the unique opportunity to keep making similar custom dresses for more little girls. Although they wouldn’t be the tailored suits she’d envisioned, she still thought it was a good idea that fulfilled her creative goals. “I felt as though my job was accomplished,” Christian said. “It wasn’t women’s suiting as I anticipated, it was a whole different idea.”
While her work is amazing, Christian has only been sewing for about a year!
Through word of mouth, Christian’s business is growing as other moms look for tailored dresses for their own little girls.
While Christian is 51 years old, she has started apprenticing for a local tailor and plans to make dress-making her life’s work from here on out. So far, her specially-made dresses start at $150, though each one comes with her own personalized touches to make them unique. Obviously, no two dresses are exactly alike and each one lets the girls who buy them run around, play and live their lives like anyone else. So far, she’s made about 13 of these dresses—though there’s still definitely room to grow from there!
Though it goes without saying, these dresses are sure to improve the lives of so many little girls.
While this project is a new one, we’re all expecting great things from Christian in the future!
As this story shows, sometimes the littlest things can make the biggest difference in our lives. While diabetes is obvious a major health concern, it also affects people’s lives in countless other ways. While keeping up with the medical side of it is one thing, another is the need to feel normal and to feel like you can still live your life like you did before. With these dresses, little girls in Massachusetts are able to do just that. If you live in the area and it applies to you, be sure to give Julie Christian’s business a try!
Congratulations to Julia on her new dress and salute to Julie for her business idea!
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