StickStays owner, Caroline Brown, wasn’t disheartened following an appearance on BBC show, Dragons’ Den. Although the product didn’t receive investment from the dragons, there were positive signs following praise from the investors. Debra Meaden told Caroline to try and get the product into care homes and hospitals across the country. Caroline always knew the walking stick holder was needed across these facilities but, for a number of reasons, the StickStay didn’t fully launch until 2015.
The StickStay was carefully designed and developed with the assistance of HDTI (Health Design and Technology Institute) at Coventry University. It has the flexibility to adjust to most walking stick types and styles. One of the reasons the StickStay didn’t immediately launch a few years ago was the poor quality product made in China. With the help of the Business Growth Service, the newest incarnation of the StickStay was produced in Newton Abbot, Devon. Caroline was able to monitor production closely and maintain the necessary quality.
The product was initially conceived when Caroline, working as a community nurse in Dorset, noticed the constant threat of tripping over fallen walking sticks. This problem was also experienced by a number of Caroline’s colleagues and their patients. There were three major issues with the fallen over walking stick.
The first problem was that the stick was no longer within reach of the user. This created a big challenge as people using walking sticks would obviously struggle to retrieve an object so low to the ground. Bending down to pick up the walking stick created another problem as the elderly could fall over and suffer further life changing injuries. Last but not least, the fallen stick created a tripping hazard for people of all ages who walked across it.
With the help of Business West, Caroline secured a start-up loan from Virgin of £7,500 and the business has continued to grow and improve ever since. The StickStay is now available to buy in our online store in a pack of two or four. The aim going forward will be to push the walking stick holder into public places and care homes helping as many people as possible.