No one in our diabetes community has to be told that we have a lot of issues with schlepping supplies around. And it's always nice to have ways to personalize our carry options and make them "ours," right?
Well, that was notion that hit a fellow type 1 in France hard in several years ago, when he desperately wanted some personalized carrying case options that just didn't exist at the time. So, this French gentleman, Michael Mina, decided to do something about it. He left a career in the auto industry to pursue his own small business that would sell diabetes cases you could personalize on both sides with a design of your choice -- or even your own photo -- and by swapping out the inside portion to best fit the meter and supplies you use.
His little home-grown boutique biz based in FlÃ©ville Devant Nancy in northeastern France is called SEVEN, in honor of a special A1C goal that he set out to achieve many years ago. It's a perfect fit for our Small But Mighty series, highlighting small businesses launched by and for passionate PWDs (people with diabetes).
Here's a little intro to SEVEN:
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We were happy to connect with Michael recently, to chat more about his new enterprise offering these cases worldwide, and to hear the backstory about what led to his idea and where the future may take him.
DM) Michael, can you start by sharing your diabetes diagnosis story?
MM) I was diagnosed in May 2007 when I was 32. Like most diabetics, I was very tired and I drank a lot. My doctor prescribed me a blood test and called me at my office to announce the result: HbA1c 11%.
Thus, SEVEN was born -- let's bring more color into our daily lives.
What did you do professionally at that time, and leading up to this new diabetes business venture?
I worked in the car industry in the logistics department for Renault. But I always wanted to create something by myself. I decided to leave that company to create cases for medical equipment. Lots of people said to me, "You are crazy! You had a good job!!" My feeling on that was, OK... but it's more gratifying to think that my case brings, maybe, just a little happiness.
So the cases are meant to be cheerful?
When did you actually start selling your cases?
What are they made of, and how many styles and sticker choices do you offer?
They are made from thermoformed foam. You can choose a case with any model of stickers. There are 14 different models, 7 especially for children. Or you can choose to print your own picture on the sticker. There's just a single limit: your imagination!
What do they cost, and are you offering any holiday deals?