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Castcovers_FINAL_YSEName: Annette d. Giacomazzi

Business Name: CastCoverz!, a maker of fashionable orthopedic products

Type of Business: Health & Beauty

Business Location: Hollister, California, United States

Twitter @castcoverz

Reason for starting
My then 10 year-old-daughter broke her 6th (yes, her 6th!) bone. She felt so betrayed by her body. My cooking was not a comfort, so I pulled out my 32 year old sewing machine and whipped up a cover for her really ugly arm cast and a sling. Then another set, and another. Family and friends are supposed to ooh and aah. It was when we started receiving compliments from strangers that I realized I was on to something.

How do you define success?
Knowing you did the best you could. If you didn’t, you would always wonder, “what if?” You give it your all in anything you touch. Your family, your marriage, your business, your volunteerism, your faith, your animals, your garden, anything that has meaning for you.

Biggest Success
Acquiring designer-colored LemonAid Crutches and CrutchWear. We were their only distributor. I loved their products and we shared the same customer philosophy, “It’s not about us, it’s about them.” So when the owner said she wanted to start another chapter in her life and shut down LemonAid, I stepped up and bought her out. It’s been a great decision for the business, but especially grand for CastCoverz! customers.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
The first year was full of adversity. First, I had a business partnership that failed, which was sad and costly, but necessary. Secondly, we received our first manufactured case-goods that was unsellable, unreturnable and also costly. Can you say, “Samples?” Thirdly, I was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer. Wrap around that significant people in my life whispering in my ear, “you’ll never make it.” Or, “you don’t know math, the business will never make money.” I addressed this and all adversity by moving through it, not around it. This is best accomplished by defining the vision. I also eliminated all unessential projects (retired from community volunteerism, taught the children how to do their own laundry) and negative Nellies & Ned’s in my life. I intentionally built a mentor group that encouraged my vision and abilities, yet give me the check and balance I need.

Who is your most important role model?
God. Talk about sacrifice, persecution and pushing through adversity! Anything I’ve gone through is nothing compared to what Jesus went through. My faith is my stronghold. No matter what anyone says to me or about me, I am centered in my faith and it gives me strength.

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