- Tell us something about yourself, your background
I am Registered Nurse for over 25 years; I currently work as a Psychiatric Nurse in Ft Lauderdale Florida. Over my nursing career I have worked in various nursing specialities including trauma, liver transplant, orthopedics and medical surgical. I am board certified and I currently work in mental health.
- Tell us about the product you invented with a brief explanation:
I created Mijamaz Adaptive Pajama as an alternative to traditional hospital gowns. I designed it to look like a regular pyjama, but with access points along the sleeves, and the inner seams of the pants, to accommodate the medical lines/appliances often worn by individuals in care settings. It was also designed to make it much easier for caregivers to dress loved ones with a physical disability.
- How/Why did you start inventing. What set you off?
Mijamaz was born out of a personal crisis, along with experiences of my patients. In 1993 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, which led to her being hospitalized frequently.
As a nurse, I saw first-hand how hospital gowns compromised patients’ body privacy and how it affected their dignity. I saw how it affected their motivation to get well, and how it affected their desire to participate in their care.
It was one disconcerting to see patients’ bodies exposed while wearing hospital gowns, but it was heart breaking when that patient was my mother. It grieved me immensely when I saw my mom’s frail body lying cold, and exposed in bed – even the most private parts of her body.
One day while I was walking to one of my patient’s room the bright idea came to me to create a hospital robe that could accommodate medical lines and appliances for my mom. The confirmation came when the following week I walked in a patient’s room, probably looking overwhelmed. The patient looked at me and asked, “nurse have you ever thought of making a robe for patients?” I smiled. In my mind I said to myself, “this is your confirmation!”
While I was waiting to accrue the capital to fund the project, the idea of the robe evolved into an adaptive pyjama. I realized that to fully protect mom’s body privacy, I needed to design a garment like a pyjama that fits close to the body and was also able to accommodate her invasive medical lines.
Unfortunately, my mom passed away before I came up with the funds to start Mijamaz. I was disappointed and heartbroken but I did not abandon the idea. Instead, I shifted my focus to patients, who like my mom, are in care settings lying in bed cold, and exposed for one reason or another.
- How did you get from idea to finished product?
As soon as I acquired the funds to start the process of manufacturing the pyjamas, I sought out seamstresses/pattern makers on Google. I selected one out of the three persons I reached out to and I sent her my Non-Disclosure agreement for her to sign after I told her what my expectations are. In no time she sent me a contract and we started working together on the Mijamaz. She was very responsive and easy to work with.
Half way through the project the pattern maker introduced me to a “sewn work consultant” who coached me through working with the manufacturer, and guided me through the shipping and unloading process. She was the liaison acting as a liaison between myself and the manufacturer whom she recommended.
It was amazing to see that once I took that giant step towards finding a pattern maker, everything else seemed to fall into place. That tells me that one doesn’t need to wait for all lights to be green to move forward; neither does one have to physically see their destination to start their journey.
- Let us know of useful resources that helped you i.e. Books, websites, software etc
I found that Google was a very useful in doing my research. At the conception of the idea, Google was my personal coach and consultant for a while. The great thing is that Google is free! I spent countless hours on Google searching for seamstresses, pattern makers and factories.
I used freelancers from Fiverr to design the clothing labels for Mijamaz and to create the cover photo for the packaging. I don’t recall using any other resources. The manufacturer packaged so I didn’t have to seek out anyone for that service.
- Where are you with your product?
The production of Mijamaz was completed at the end of 2018, and I did a soft launch in 2019. It is currently being sold from my website.
- Website: Click HERE
–End of Interview–
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