Hello. My name is Katie Isherwood and at 22 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. At the time I was about to start the final year of a fashion degree in London, so I had to quickly learn to manage a variety of new challenges.
14 years later I am an underwear designer for a large Far East lingerie manufacturer. With the help of my insulin pump my career has taken me around the world, combining diabetes management with an active work and social life. It can be tricky, but I've learned to fit diabetes around the life I choose.
Over the years my pump has accompanied me to interviews, presentations, company dinners, yoga classes, first dates, canoeing trips, desert islands, wedding banquets and dance classes. It has been crammed into tight dresses, down sarongs and into leg-warmers.
When I couldn't find accessories to fit the outfit or occasion, which was often the case, I crafted and customised pieces to help me, from garter belts and socks to Multiway Body Bands and Pocket Panties.
It became clear that better options to conceal, carry and access the pump on a daily basis were needed for all, and I initially focused on women before turning my attention to mens and children's wear. Pump therapy is a brilliant and effective way to manage diabetes. The idea that some dismiss it because they don’t want to advertise their condition or simply ‘don’t know where to put it’ is a real problem, and something that needs to be addressed...
I've never been embarrassed about my diabetes, or shy about discussing it, but I want to choose who I tell and when rather than it just being on show. Like underwear, an insulin pump is constantly worn close to the body, and I feel the way it looks, feels and is carried should reflect its intimate nature. It's my belief that pump accessories should be more at home in an underwear drawer than a medicine cabinet.
With this in mind I set out to combine my experience as an underwear designer and diabetic to create accessories to address this need. Hid-In (accessories to discreetly HIDe your INsulin kit) offers ways to better fit diabetes into your life, so you don’t have to fit your life around diabetes.