I, Sarah Harmon, am the Founder of Poppy Medical. There are 30m+ women living in the USA with life-threatening, chronic conditions, and there’s no reason that medical ID’s (which we should wear 24/7, and which can save our lives) should be utilitarian pieces of metal that make us feel like...nothing. We shouldn’t have to grasp at straws when it comes to life-saving products.
Ever since my diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in 1998, medical IDs available were neither versatile, nor blended seamlessly into my life. They were not chic. They were not 'cool' or tasteful. And they were certainly not discreet. During my young, highly impressionable, and highly sensitive pre-teen years, I couldn’t find the words to explain to family, friends, and doctors alike that wearing such an obvious marker of my disability (perceived or otherwise) would kill me inside far more than it would help me to thrive. Medical ID’s came with a side of dissatisfaction and (bonus!) gut-wrenching embarrassment due to the way they looked. All I knew was, I wasn’t going to wear one.
THE MOMENT OF REALIZATION
Fast forward 15 years from my diagnosis, to 2013, and it was even more shocking to see the complete lack of progress on the medical ID marketplace front. I had transitioned from a frizzy-haired teenager to a well-groomed young woman working in business development in downtown Seattle. Phones had gone from corded landlines to tiny handheld supercomputers. I could 3D print a figurine of Justin Bieber if I wanted to. Yet, medical IDs hadn't progressed or transformed into the pretty and elegant pieces of jewelry envisioned in my dreams. A thought turned on in my head that I couldn’t turn off: people's lives were at stake, yet, as a person living with a life threatening condition, if I didn’t care enough to solve the problem, who would?
THE LEAP OF FAITH
I hungered to create a functional, effective, beautiful product that would bring peace of mind not only to myself and to my family, but also to friends, and friends' families (who would no longer need to worry whether our lives were at risk for refusing to wear a medical ID). So, in 2014, I quit my job and enrolled in the Gemological Institute of America (the top school in the country for fine jewelry arts) to learn CAD/CAM for jewelry design. I had a simple goal: create a medical ID that I, and the millions of other women like me, would actually want to wear.
MY WISH FOR YOU
You are precious, and worth protecting, and deserve more than a hunk of metal. I hope your Poppy Medical ID delivers beauty, and hope, and inspiration, and helps fuel you as you light a fire in this world. I hope your needs are met as whole person, rather than solely the needs of your medical condition. Lastly, I hope you view your Poppy ID as a true gem that not only satisfies your need for external safety precautions, but makes you feel protected and beautiful (what a concept, huh?).