Sunday, October 4, 2015

Three years and counting...

It has been almost three years since the first Hickman Hider prototype was developed. Lots of changes have happened around Milligear, but Hickman Hider production continues slowly and steadily. I don't have lots of time to devote to making Hickman Hiders, and I obviously don't have lots of time to devote to web upkeep (over a year since I checked this page - yikes!), but I am not giving up any time soon.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

No mo chemo!

Robin, the inspiration for the Hickman Hider, is done with chemotherapy and cleared her final bone marrow aspirate and lumbar puncture!

In honor of this awesome milestone, the latest donation to Seattle Children's and SCCA had many green (Robin's favorite color) Hickman Hiders.

Robin is done with chemo but the Hickman Hider production is ramping up. After several months of transition, the Milligear studio has landed in its new home/my basement. Everything is humming along nicely thanks to generous support from The Sewing Machine Project and Soulumination

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bard Access Systems

Last Wednesday I was able to devote a little time to making Hickman Hiders, which is a challenge in a small, chaotic apartment. Daphne helped me collate panels and pockets while I ironed. She loved the new penguin fabric, especially the snuggling penguins:

The next morning I packed a bag of 20 hiders for Ben to take to Children's when Robin had her oncologist appointment. On my way out the door for work, Daphne said, "Mommy, the babies are going to be so proud of you every day, because the new fabric is going to be a big hit." 

I was feeling pretty self-righteous about the Hickman Hiders all day until Ben called me at work to tell me that a FedEx from Bard Access Systems was sent to our old address. Our former neighbor Pam intercepted the parcel. Bard Access Systems is the manufacturer of Hickman Catheters, and I feared that the letter would be a "cease and desist" notice from the owners of the Hickman name. The only thing that made me feel a little better was knowing that Pam is an attorney and might be able to guide us in the legal landscape. 

Luckily the letter was simply a rejection of my idea to collaborate with Bard on the Hickman Hider. My idea submission was so many months ago I almost forgot about it. They rejected it on the grounds of money, demand, and the ability to secure intellectual property. While rejection is never fun, it beats the hell out of a lawsuit.

We went to Children's on Saturday for a health fair (e.g. rainy day free activity), and dropped off a few more Hiders at the inpatient unit. We said hi to some of Robin's nurses, who love the Hiders and recommend them to their patients. One nurse mentioned that she saw "Hickman Hider" written on a patient's whiteboard as a request. It might not be a contract with Bard, but it is pretty cool.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Some "down" time

Hickman Hider production will be a wee bit slow as the milligear studio goes through some transition. While the studio waits for a new permanent home/location, I'll be making a limited number of Hiders on the fly. The good news is that I bumped up the inventory on etsy  before the old studio closed.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

International shipping and child labor

Hickman Hiders touched down in Europe earlier this month, thanks to my first international Etsy order. Now that my operation is global I've had to get extra help:

Daphne just loves helping me pack up the Hiders. She likes the idea of doing something nice for sick kids, so she wants to pitch in. She enjoys folding the hiders, putting them in our fancy shipping containers (ziploc bags and padded mailers from the dollar store), and most of all writing sizes on the bags with a sharpie. She couldn't resist some personal flair on this one: "Love Daphne and Mom".


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Hickman is gone, the passion is not

After fourteen very long months, Robin's Hickman made its grand exit. This new development has not affected my dedication to making Hickman Hiders. In fact, the relief I feel from the central line ball and chain is a reminder of how much I want to help other kids and families going through life with special medical tubes. In fact, last week I sent a batch of 32 to Seattle Children's Hospital.

And in other news, Hickman Hiders officially aren't just for central lines. The Oley Foundation has endorsed the Hickman Hider as a "bright idea" for tube feeding!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Thanks to the press that Hickman Hiders got over the past several weeks, my client base has expanded. The expansion has given me some excellent feedback for product improvement. I'm in the middle of making a few alterations to my patterns. And, thanks to an EXTREMELY generous donation from The Sewing Machine Project, I now have a coverstitch machine that will allow me to simplify construction - saving time and fabric. 

In the meantime, I'm clearing out some of the older Hiders. I've donated about 50 to Seattle Children's this month and have sent a few out to kids in other places around the country.