Christina Dave_TSEYour Name: Christina Daves

Business Name: CastMedic Designs, LLC, a maker of fashionable accessories for medical boots

Type of Business: Health & Beauty

Business Location: Gainesville, Virginia, United States

Twitter   @MediFashions

Reason for starting
It was the summer of 2010 and I broke my foot. I went to the doctor and he came in with the big, ugly, black medical walking boot. I was going to New York City, Fashion Capital of the World, the very next day and thought, “I can’t go to New York looking like this!” I searched the Internet the entire way to New York and found there was nothing on the market to make the boot look fashionable and in turn, make me feel better about wearing it. I started researching, designing products and held focus groups. I found a huge market of close to 4 million people annually in the U.S. are put in medical boots and the focus groups showed there was a demand to be fashionable while wearing them. With that, CastMedic Designs was born. I wanted to find a way to help the injured feel better about themselves while recovering and to be able to Heal in Style!

How do you define success?
Success is realizing that I am making a difference in people’s lives. When I get e-mails from people thanking me for making them feel better about themselves while they are recovering… that makes me feel successful.

Biggest Success
My biggest success was being invited to participate in an Inventor’s Competition on the Steve Harvey Show and winning the competition and the $20,000 prize to further the business.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My biggest challenge has been manufacturing. It took almost a year to get the product manufactured. No factory in the U.S. was interested in the project and I spent five months trying to keep the product made in the USA. Eventually I found a manufacturer’s rep in the US who handled manufacturing off-shore.

Who is your most important role model?
Steve Jobs! He took a “boring” computer and made it fun. I feel that this is a similar concept. We are taking function-only, unattractive medical devices, and are turning them into something fun and fashionable so people will enjoy wearing them and have a more positive recovery.