A mother of two from Lincolnshire who designs and manufactures children’s disability clothing has begun a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a Braille embroidery machine to expand her range.
Michelle Best was inspired to create her business, Blossom & Best, by her daughter who is under ongoing diagnosis for high-functioning autism. Yasmin was unhappy about wearing bulky incontinence underwear when she started school, so Michelle designed her first pair of
“magic pants” for her.
The pants are pretty, streamlined and absorbent. Word spread, and she was soon asked to make them for other children. She also makes clothes which fasten and unfasten more easily than standard garments, seamless items, catheter bag holders, and peg tube covers.
Her priority for 2021 is to begin producing braille name tags, and braille embroidered items of clothing, such as tabards, for the parents and carers of young people with vision impairments.
In January 2021, Michelle was delighted to receive a Young Innovators Award by Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust. Michelle has worked hard to secure funding to enable her business to grow. However, some of the specialist machinery she requires is almost prohibitively expensive. She needs a Braille embroidery machine to reach the level of production required to make her business
Michelle, who is also a Generation Next member, said: “The most rewarding part of my work is when I make a parent’s life less stressful, and give comfort and confidence to a child. I hope this is the year, with the help of some new equipment, that I can reach more people than ever before”.
She has over half the money required for the purchase of the machine, and has set up a crowdfunding page to try and raise the remainder.