Meet Ostomy Underwear Designer Jasmine Stacey
At Bladder & Bowel we love to talk to the amazing people in our community who in their work life, or their free time, are doing something to help others. We recently caught up with Bournemouth based fashion designer, Jasmine Stacey, who creates luxury underwear designed with ostomies in mind. We spoke to her about how she got involved in the industry and her plans for the future.
Q: You suffer from Crohn’s disease and wear an ileostomy bag. How did this experience influence your lingerie designs and understanding of issues?
Jasmine Stacey: I am like any girl who goes through the surgery. I was scared, felt alone in the situation and thought no-one could possibly ever love me. The surgery left not only physical scars but also emotional scars, greatly affecting my body confidence. As I have experienced first hand the problems faced with regaining confidence, I was able to use this to fuel energy into creating innovative designs to help empower women to be who they want to be. My core motive is to create feminine garments with powerful imagery encapsulating women unchanged, everlastingly beautiful and unchanged.
Q: Do you have anyone who inspires you?
JS: All the women that I talk to who I’ve met through my work and charity are the inspiration to me more than anything. Each individual story is amazing and unique, each have come to terms with their situation and some are still battling problems every day.
Q: We all have wish list of projects we just can’t seem to find the time for, are there any concepts or ideas you have yet to explore with the line that you would like to in the future?
JS: I would love to see my designs in big retail stores accessible by all women. To do a range for M&S would be incredible! The ability to bring my designs to everybody. I’d also love to be able to branch into swimwear and male products.
Q: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of the design process?
JS: The biggest reward is when you get the amazing feedback from customers! It is so amazing hearing that I have helped someone’s confidence.
Q: And what about frustrations during the process?
JS: I am a frantic designer and find that it is all a little messy but when the product comes together with fabrics it is amazing. Sometimes though the fabrics, or the laws of physics, won’t allow you to do some of your designs!
Q: What is your favourite piece you’ve designed so far?
JS: For me, it is the black widow. That has to be my favourite – it’s so sexy and daring!
Q: What’s the most popular item in your collection?
JS: The most popular have been the Ravine Body Suit and the Ivory Classic Brief – I think this is due to the versatility of both of the products.
Q: Is it just women with ostomies who buy your underwear?
JS: Primarily we cater for the needs of the ostomy community but we’ve also had women who have pregnancy stretch marks or scars find that our underwear suits their needs. It really is something that can be worn by anyone though.
Q: If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?
JS: Well, I still have my day job as a nurse. So I guess I’d be doing that full time & dreaming of lingerie I could be designing.
When is your next collection due out?
JS: We’re getting geared up for the Autumn Winter 2017 collection at the moment although the exact dates are yet to be confirmed.
Q: And finally…what’s the best advice you can give to women, young or old, who have recently undergone surgery?
JS: My best advice is to remember that surgery does not change you as a person. You are still who you were before. Whatever you had done, you had done for a reason. You are a strong, powerful and beautiful woman no matter what, it does not define you. It merely shows how strong you have been to overcome what you have gone through. Your scars tell the story but you MAKE the story.
You can find out more about Jasmine Stacey and her work at www.jasminestaceycollection.co or watch her story as featured on BBC Three here.
All images used are courtesy of Jasmine Stacey and Dan K Photography