Working together: Poppy Medical ID founder Sarah Harmon shares her story

Whether it’s type 1 diabetes or a new business, getting through a challenge is easier when you have a support system. That’s what today’s guest blogger, Sarah Harmon, discovered as she took her company, Poppy Medical ID, from a dream to a thriving enterprise. Carb DM is proud and grateful to be partnering with Sarah and Poppy this September: receive 15% off your purchase of a Poppy Medical ID with code carbDM. In addition, Poppy Medical will donate 10% of the purchase price to Carb DM!

Poppy Medical ID braceletEver since my diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in 1998, medical IDs available were neither versatile, nor blended seamlessly into my life. I hated them. Much to the chagrin of my family and medical providers, I, and many of my friends, simply refused to wear one.

Between 1998-2013 I transitioned from a child to a young woman. Yet, medical IDs hadn’t changed at all. They still looked like maybe whoever created them thought I was already dead?

In 2013 I realized: if my friend’s lives were at stake as well as my own– but I didn’t care enough to solve the problem…who would? I decided maybe I was that person.

I quit my job and enrolled in a design course for jewelry (specifically, design for mass-manufacturing), and an unfolding of passion began. It took 2 ½ years of learning jewelry design, business and website skills, and prototyping before the business could open. Once it did, I was ecstatic — over the moon — I thought it was finally ‘real.’ However, within 3 months of opening, my entire manufacturing chain shut down. Orders weren’t shipping out on time. I had to close the business down for many months, and after all of the effort I’d put in, it was crushing. I wasn’t sure Poppy would be able to re-open, and it felt terrible. It felt like maybe the past three years were wasted; maybe I’d let down the entire T1D community; maybe I– maybe Poppy– couldn’t do it.

The truth is, nobody can do anything alone. We all have supporters, warriors, and friends around us. If I was going to tackle this, I needed a team. My brother– possibly the most capable, fun-loving, and hard-working person I know, saw that this deep need was at risk of being neglected, and stepped up to the plate. Together, we confirmed that if the burden of T1 (at its darkest) wouldn’t stop, maybe we shouldn’t either. We figured out how to come back from the total shut-down, and are more driven than ever to serve this community.

We continue to figure out how to grow and how to best serve the community. We have dreams of expanding, adding more product lines, and figuring out how to partner with organizations large and small. One thing is for sure: nobody’s sleeping around here. The T1D community, and this effort, is thriving — and we’re proud to be a part of it. We recognize that none of us — neither Poppy nor T1D organizations — will ultimately be our strongest unless we work together.

Poppy won’t ask you to settle, sacrifice, or bear another small indignity of your medical condition. We won’t leave you hoping for something better “tomorrow”– searching frantically online, year after year. We’ll make things just a little bit brighter and a little more poppin, today — because if you aren’t stopping, neither are we.

Use code ‘carbDM’ to snag your Poppy ID at 15% off. An additional 10% will be donated directly to Carb DM. Offer valid until September 30th.

Poppy Medical ID bracelet


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