In 2008, Annette Giacomazzi’s then 10-year-old daughter, Elli, broke her arm. Elli’s cast kept scratching her and catching on things, so Giacomazzi created a coordinating cast cover and sling. She later made a more colorful version, and another one for Halloween. When Elli’s unique cast covers and slings started to become popular at school, Giacomazzi realized she had a business opportunity in front of her. Hence, she launched CastCoverZ! in 2009.
Giacomazzi’s first year as an entrepreneur proved to be extremely challenging, however. She and her business partner went their separate ways due to clashing work styles, and the company’s first bulk order was made with the wrong elastic and had to be redone. To top it all off, Giacomazzi was diagnosed with a rare type of breast cancer.
“I’m a very positive person, but it was quite exhausting,” she says. “Every level of your being is affected.”
Wanting to spend the little energy she had left with her family, Giacomazzi put her business on the back burner. She delegated her responsibilities to her four employees, letting them correct orders and authorize returns, among other things. She also hired a seamstress to fill orders as they came in and only accepted domestic orders to reduce costs.
After a year and a half of taking care of herself, Giacomazzi was cancer-free. “My family calls it strength, but I believe it was a stubbornness not to let my business fail,” she says. She also believes it’s perfectly fine for entrepreneurs to take a break when they need to.
Today, CastCoverZ! has 10 branded products, including the DryPro, a waterproof protector that keeps casts and bandages dry, and the CastCooler, which reduces odor and itch by removing moisture under cast linings. And following the acquisition of its crutch supplier recently, CastCoverZ! now offers crutches in bold colors as well.