avid Smith recently
launched a website
Supply, from which
he sells a variety of
products related to diabetes care. He
was motivated to do this due to the
unexpected diagnosis of his son Evan
with Type I diabetes in June 2016 when
Evan was nine years old.
"It came out of the blue," says Smith.
"It was a complete shock as no one else
in the family had ever had diabetes. At
the time I was a financial director for a
group of companies, some of which were
involved in internet retail. As parents, we
want to support Evan as best we can,
including finding useful products for him
to use in order make it all a bit easier. We
wanted a carry bag for all his diabetes kit,
stickers for his devices, and yet we didn't
find these things easy to find online. For
example, we wanted to use Diasend to
send his blood test results to the hospital
and found we had to buy the USB cable
from Denmark to make it work. It just
didn't seem a very well-serviced area. and
thought we'd like to do something about
it, so we did."
Smith and his wife Emma started
talking about setting up a website, then
put one together in their free time, working
evenings and weekends while holding
stock in their garage. Smith recalls, "It
started as a bit of a hobby, but I left my job
a year ago in order to run the business. It
was a big deal. Since then we have new
supply chains, new products, and have
rebuilt the website. Our understanding
is growing and we are making more
connections in the community."
In the last six months Smith's focus
has been to make the site a one-stop
shop, so he has been broadening the
range of items available to buy. He says,
"It takes time to find products, make
contacts and start relationships. But
we have moved into new premises and
employed someone, so now we're keen
to tell people we are here!"
Available from the site are items like
kitbags, device stickers, hypo treatments,
diabetes ID jewellery, sharps boxes plus
day-to-day items such as blood meters.
Says Smith, "While it is a business, and
we need to make a profit in order to keep
going, we are also personally invested in
this. We have the choice to offer items that
don't necessarily make much us money if
we wish. Feedback from customers has
been great; we feel like we're making a
difference. Kids, teens, and young adults
really like the device stickers, they help
them to use their kit and stay on track
with their diabetes care."
Smith's son Evan uses an Omnipod
insulin pump and Dexcom's CGM system.
"When he was diagnosed, it was hard to
understand what had hit us as a family,"
says Smith. "We'd gone to the GP with
Evan with what we thought was a urine
infection. By midday he was receiving
an insulin injection in A&E at Ipswich
Hospital. It was an interesting morning."
Evan spent one night in hospital
although his blood glucose was high he
did not have ketoacidosis. The family left
Diabetic Supply's founder David Smith