Making a fashion statement about diabetes – by Kyrra Richards
Our online shop is selling a range of diabetes kit bags and other accessories designed by Kyrra who has Type 1. She tells us how and why she started Myabetic.
Creating a diabetes fashion brand was not part of my life plan. But neither was being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
As a 24 year-old professional dancer and model pursuing a career in Hollywood, I was devastated by my doctor’s news. My days were packed with auditions as I entered countless casting offices to perform in front of cameras and directors, hoping to score roles in commercials, music videos, award shows, and stage productions. Image was everything. How would this ugly disease affect people’s perceptions of me?
For the next year, I struggled to maintain my blood sugar and confidence. I was frustrated with the endless finger pricks, carb counting confusion, insulin injections, expensive pharmacy trips, and weight gain – but the emotional struggle was even more heartbreaking.
I felt alone. I didn’t know anyone else with diabetes and feared I was the only one overwhelmed by daily diabetes tasks and responsibilities. Before my diagnosis, I thought of myself as a strong young woman. So why was I having so much trouble accepting this new lifestyle?
Scared that “diabetes” would become my new identity, I was careful not to expose my medical supplies in public. I would hide my black standard-issue case that held my glucose meter and testing supplies. Its sterile medical appearance epitomized the life of a sick patient. It reflected my insecurity, and I desperately wanted to feel normal.
I knew I needed a change. My attitude was becoming dangerous to my health. I needed a way to mange my diabetes but maintain a sense of myself. I needed to infuse my routine with my personal style. I decided I would give diabetes a makeover to create an image I could be proud of. And I’d start with that pesky little meter case…
I began to sketch fashionable diabetes accessories I’d be motivated to carry – classic silhouettes, bright colors, and premium details that would refresh and lift my spirits. My excitement for these designs soon led to the beginning of my company, Myabetic.
Today, Myabetic continues to design products that represent the true strength and beauty of people living with diabetes. Our wallets, bags, and cases are created to make diabetes management easier with features like signature waste pouches to collect used test strips, insulated sections for cooling pouches, and areas to combine lifestyle and diabetes elements for organized simplicity.
Creating Myabetic helped establish my confidence. Not only did this bold new image improve my self-perception, but the company allowed me to connect with people living with diabetes across the world. Hearing others share their pain and triumphs made me realize I’m not alone. I’m grateful to meet individuals who inspire me to live with style, not shame.
Myabetic has become a community close to my heart. For everyone who lives with diabetes (or loves someone with diabetes), we are here for you. Through highs and lows we are in your corner. Together, we will set beautiful new stereotypes and pursue our dreams.