I’ve decided it best that I break the project down and log different parts / my progress in separate posts. So, in this section, I aim to concentrate on logging the development of ideas in terms of physical products that I might provide as part of the business / brand. These, of course, are all concepts and each require their own separate research etc as if they’re their own mini projects. Some of these will of be different scales to others and require different levels of skill, research, funding etc etc. However, for now I will track and log all of my ideas and add to them as they develop.
- ‘Merchandise’ – T-shirts / Hoodies – I would like to create basic tees and hoodies with small logos, sayings or inspirational quotes all relating back to Chronic Illness / IBD / Stomas in some form. The aim of these is to inspire and empower members of the community or people who wish to support. It doesn’t necessarily have to be obvious but, just something small that they feel connected to / personal to them.
- My stoma bag ‘on the go’ changing device – This is one of my more specific products that I’ve been developing in the back of my mind for a little while. This is one of the ones that will take much more research and development but has potentially to be my ‘biggest break through’. the concept is inspired by a builders tool belt or festival style bum bag but, with a twist. Being an ostomate (person with a stoma) myself, I’ve noticed and found that changing my bag in public places can be very difficult due to organisation and hygiene issues. In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to change your bag in these situations however, this is not the case and often you don’t have a choice or much time to find somewhere to ‘do the deed’ of changing in public. This device will be a device that aid those ostomates in these situations and would provide a belt like product that provides different compartments for the changing process so that everything is sanitary and clean, accessible and stress free. Ideally the device would be foldable and waterproof but again, reaching this finish in quality and performance will take lots of testing and research as well as other elements for example numbers, sizes and shapes of compartments, size of product etc. These are all things for the future and potential near future projects for when I’m back in my practice, Product Design.
- The next idea is something that’s very recently come to the light for me – personalisation is a huge market at the moment and I was wondering why stoma bags and similar products couldn’t be easier personalised by the patients themselves? One of my ideas is to create designs that could be made as stickers / prints / pressed prints that you distributed on their own with instructions for use then the customer could put them wherever they please whether it be on a bag, on an item of clothing or, anywhere they please. Or, alternatively, people could send you their products / items with a specified design / location and I’d do it for them for a small extra charge. Another idea could be to send he designs out with a selected plain item of clothing e.g. a plain white t-shirt provided for extra charge and then they place the print onto it themselves wherever they please.
I will discuss through my ideas with my tutors and continue developing them over the course of this project and beyond.
Although I’m not a fashion student, and by no means have an idea of how the fashion department go about designing their garments, being on a fashion orientated module, in the fashion studio has made me extremely intrigued and in fact, interested in what they do. Before this module, I didn’t realise quite how much the fashion students did but its really inspired me and made me want to develop more skills in the field (hence booking workshops as mentioned in another post). Although I do not have any of these skills yet, as my product range(s) could include clothing or ‘merch’ of some sort, I thought it’d be nice to play around with some software and designs to see how these products may look if I were to bring them to life at some point in the future. Again, these are very basic but I’m pleased with myself for trying and aim to keep developing these skills over time so that hopefully if my business does become a reality one day, then I can get involved with the fashion design side of things. My merchandise / clothing range would be less medical and more of an accessory of the business. They’d be comfy items of clothing that have a message or symbol that relate to the brand subtly printed or embroiled onto them such as the strapline (as demonstrated) or other symbols/inspirational quotes. I’d like this range to be affordable if possible with items ranging between £8 – £35. I’m hoping that after attending some of the workshops I’ve booked during March, that I’ll actually be able to play around with some of these ideas whether it be printing or stitching. I could just buy lots of cheap plain high street garments initially to test my ideas on and if successful, I could look into ordering in better quality items so that I can create my ideas on for real and actually begin selling them – this could be a possible idea to get my product ranges started when I’m still at UNI!
Some more refined ideas and demonstration of my skills slowly improving;
I’ve been thinking of ways that the stoma bag itself can be made more personal / personalisable which doesn’t affect its function or safety/standards as a medical product / device as medical devices take years to pass standards and regulations I thought I’d think outside the box and try not to redesign the product itself. Stoma bag covers exist on the current market already however I thought it’d be really cool to design something that could be transferred directly onto ones stoma bag to add a personal touch and transform the bags aesthetic. This idea was inspired by some of the arts and crafts kits I used to use as a child which you could iron an image/pattern/graphic onto fabric using a transfer paper. I could provide multiple designs to choose from in ranges of colours, sizes etc – the customer would select which they wanted, I would create the transfer and then post it out to the customer and they’d iron the transfer on themselves at home – this is an incredibly affordable, quick, and easy way to personalise your stoma bag from your home. It could make people feel much more comfortable and confident wearing and even proudly showing their designed bag. Another option could be for people to request a certain design and for a small additional charge, I will make it for them. Alternatively, customers could specify which design(s) they’d like and then send me their bags and again, for a small additional charge, I would print onto their bags for them and then post them back.