Sarah Ivermee: Why I started Lugs – so that deaf children can decorate their hearing aids and cochlear implants

Posted on June 11, 2015

At 3 months old our first child Freddie, was diagnosed as profoundly deaf in his right ear and moderately to severely deaf in his left ear caused by CMV (cytomegalovirus) during my pregnancy.

Soon after diagnosis he was given his first hearing aid, a small beige coloured device with a clear mould.  Not the best looking but it did the job! Then last year, at 3 years old he had a cochlear implant fitted and the device choices were mildly better, but still just simple colours.

We have always been so lucky with Freddie when it comes to wearing his hearing aid and cochlear implant, they are rarely off.

But as we met other families with children who had hearing aids and implants we discovered that not all children were as happy to wear their devices.

Most didn’t like the way they looked boring and plain, and unfortunately a lot were embarrassed about wearing them because it made them look different.

A friend of ours has a 9yr old daughter who hates being different and having to have hearing aids.  I happened to have some flowery nail stickers lying around at home and gave them to her to decorate her aids and she loved them!

I thought to myself that it seemed such a simple solution there must be some kind of product on the market that did the same.  It was a real shame to find there was hardly anything out there that was simple to use and readily available, and this got me thinking!

So my research began! Many stickers, vinyls, gems, charms, packages in the post and a whole lot of trial and error later, Lugs was born!

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I wanted to keep costs low to ensure Lugs were available to everyone so I began the 6 month long process of building my own website, sourcing the best quality priced materials and equipment I needed to make my vision reality.

I would like to say I am quite computer literate but I was definitely out of my depth when it came to the website and  graphic design programmes.

Luckily I had the right friends to help with the website and my usually technophobe husband who was, to my surprise, excellent at using a complex design programme we needed to cut vinyl stickers to fit the specific devices.

On November 1st we launched the website, posted thousands of leaflets and waited! It only took a week and we had our first order, all the way from Australia!

Since then the word has began to spread and the orders and enquiries have been coming in.  I am so pleased every time my inbox pings and I receive a thank you email accompanied with pictures of children wearing Lugs on their hearing devices and loving them.

Needless to say our son Freddie reaps the most benefit from the business as he gets to choose new designs every month, making all his hearing friends at school very jealous!

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Posted in: sarah invermee