Ostique was started by our founder Stephanie Monty as a result of both of her brothers being diagnosed with Crohns disease. Since it is National Siblings Day, we thought we would talk to Stephanie about her brothers.
How many siblings do you have?
I have two amazing younger brothers, Adam and James
What inspired you to start Ostique?
I was inspired to start Ostique when Adam had a small bowel resection, and the surgeon first mentioned the possibility of having a stoma. Whilst he didn't have one then, this was the first time I had ever heard of a stoma (the surgeon had probably mentioned it to James during his earlier surgery, but I was too young to really understand what this meant).
It got me thinking about what this would mean for my brothers if they were to have a stoma surgery in the future. I began researching what a stoma was and what ostomy bags were available. I quickly discovered that whilst having stoma surgery can be lifesaving (and in most cases it provides a much better quality of life), there were still functional flaws with existing products. I found out that many ostomates were suffering from skin complications, anxiety and body image issues.
As a product designer, I knew straight away that I wanted to design something better. Something that worked better and looked better. Something that could be empowering. That was when Ostique was born.
Tell us your brother’s Crohn’s stories
James was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2005 after having an ultrasound and colonoscopy. He had an ileocecal resection in 2007 followed by treatment with Pentasa and Azathioprine medications. He started adalimumab (immunosuppressant medication) in 2018, Infliximab in 2019 and had a second bowel resection in 2020.
Adam's story is similar; he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2009, 1 week before his A-level exams. He had an ileocecal resection in 2015 and since then has also worked his way through multiple medications. He is currently taking Adalimumab injections.
What is your favourite memory with your brothers?
Despite their journeys with Crohn's, they don’t allow it to define them. My brothers and I are incredibly close, and I could not be prouder of them. We have so many amazing memories together; skiing, cooking family dinners, play fighting (or rather, them fighting and me mediating), birthdays, celebrating achievements, weddings... and most recently the beautiful addition to our family, Adam's daughter and my wonderful niece!