It’s Easy to Do Good

More than two years ago, Irisada’s founder, Tara was thrown into a state of confusion and anxiety when her daughter, Hedi was diagnosed with profound hearing loss. What did that mean? She was not sure. Her first thoughts were if Heidi would be able to communicate with her family, who did not know sign or if Heidi would have a future.

A few months later, Heidi went through a 6 hour surgery to receive her bilateral cochlear implants. This is Heidi after the surgery.

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A month later, Heidi was ’switched on’. This was Heidi on her first day of ’cochlear implanted hearing’ (if we do not consider the period she was fitted with hearing aids). Just a side note, she has a birth age and a ’hearing age’. Heidi is three now so her hearing age is about two years old. Look at the video and you can see that she was a little disturbed by the sound stimulation. She probably is not used to that amount of stimulation. However, every kid is different and might or might not respond similarly.

Fast forward two years later, she is now able to speak three languages. She is also able to articulate fairly complex english sentences. It has been a challenging but amazing journey. With alot of support from therapists and kindergarten teachers, family and friends, Heidi has progressed leaps and bounds. Therefore, during her third birthday, mom and dad decided to do three things, for each year of blessing,  to give back to the society.

Heidi donated a part of her birthday money to Children’s Cancer Foundation of Singapore (https://www.ccf.org.sg/donate.htm) . Mom set up a Give.asia campaign (https://give.asia/movement/heidi_raising_funds_for_other_kids) on her behalf and collected some funds from friends and family. Both the donating and campaign set up process was very straight forward and quick.

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Mommy donated her hair to a Florida organisation called ’Locks of Love’ (http://www.locksoflove.org) that makes wigs for children with any medical condition who need hair pieces. The Singapore version of such an organisation no longer accepts hair so her hair travelled across the globe and thankfully will benefit another kid in need. This process was easy too, except having to sit through 2 hours in a salon with a not so skilled stylist, her usual guy was not available that day. She did not waste her time though, she picked out all her grey hairs from the ponytail, which was alot from caring for such a strong-willed little imp. Here is the certificate of appreciation. Mom was overjoyed when she received it in her email.

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Daddy donated blood at the bloodbank in Westgate. It was a fairly quick and convenient process. It was a quick registration and a simple checkup to make sure he was well. The environment was really nice and clean with panoramic view of the Jurong area. This was his #needleface. He refused to show how much it hurt, male ego at stake, need we say more.

And that was what Heidi and her folks did for her third birthday, and of course there was a big party since we should celebrate every happy thing in life! Time to brainstorm what fun stuff for Heidi’s next birthday. This time its 4 and it gets more challenging each year! 🙂

Note: To those who would like to donate their hair, do take note that there are certain criteria to fulfil. To those who would like to donate blood, there also are some criteria to fulfil, therefore do check them out before you make a trip down to the blood bank.

 

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Singtel Future Makers 2016

We are excited to share that we have been awarded by Singtel to be part of their Future Makers program. This is an incubation programme targeting social startups. It lasts for 6 months and aims to help businesses achieve robust business models by the end of the period.

Here is us with the giant cheque! We are looking forward to this journey ahead. Stay tuned as we share more of our journey throughout the incubation. Also, look out for our line-up of interesting stories ahead.

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A big hello!

Hello and Welcome to our blog! Here we will keep you updated on everything Irisada. Like the products we find exciting, stories we find interesting and the trials and tribulations of our journey from an idea, to a global marketplace connecting thousands of people and sellers.

So…. Who and what is Irisada?

Tara first came up with the idea after the birth of her daughter Heidi, who was born with hearing problems. In her own words:

The first diagnosis brought a lot of anxiety and confusion. I thought life would never be the same again.

That was true but not necessarily in a bad way. We were lucky in many ways and mostly because we live in this decade. There are many solutions and smart ideas except they are not always easily accessible. But they are out there. I found many different ideas and products to help in managing my child’s condition to meet the demands of our day-to-day activities. The search was not always easy, and I felt this had to be a problem for all parents and care-givers of people with special needs. Which is why I decided to create Irisada.”

Our vision is to create a place where worries are replaced with solutions from around the world. Life dealing with Special Needs is a somewhat different journey. Irisada means ‘iridescent’ which means luminous colours that change, depending on which angle you look. That is how we view the challenging but meaningful journey people dealing with disabilities face.

Irisada is a marketplace selling specialised products as well as a community of people sharing their stories and advice. There are a lot of unique solutions to daily living problems which are hard to find, and we hope to make it much simpler for you to be fully informed of your options. Through merging the global market into one place we also hope to improve the quality of the products via promotion of innovation through showing manufacturers not just the size of the market out there, but also the needs and opinions of the market.

Smaller businesses and sole traders are also important to us. We know how difficult it is to sell through general online marketplaces, which can be confusing and overcrowded. As a small seller, you can try your hardest and still only make it to page 10 on the mainstream marketplaces. One of our first initiatives is called “made by mums”, a special label dedicated to supporting mothers and their creations.

People’s experiences and stories of their life with disabilities are incredibly important. The scariest thing can be what you don’t know, like how your life will be affected in the future. The experiences of others give us information on how to deal with situations, comfort us when we are scared and show us how other people don’t just keep going but really live. Irisada has a space for everyone to share their stories and share in the lives of other people, which we hope you (whoever you are) will contribute to!

So there it is. Irisada. We hope this site helps you!

If you’d like to help us improve Irisada we really want to hear from you! Use the link below to fill in our survey and suggest ideas you’d like to see happen.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1aVLrkhF4ziHAOqYjiXFBwZexxA51KRO0bOGJZXtgh7A/viewform?usp=send_form