On Good Friday 1999, Sharon Farley-Mason went out for a ride on her horse and encountered a nasty accident. After an initial short stay in hospital it came to light that there was ligament damage to her right knee. Use of crutches and a leg splint followed for almost a year. The hospital advised no surgery was needed and to leave it to heal.
Sharon began to fall over which progressively worsened. In 2008 the hospital changed their advice and an operation to repair her post lacruciate ligament was undertaken in 2009. She had hoped this would give her a new zest for life and her condition would improve, but sadly this was not the case. She left hospital again with her leg strapped up, in a splint and needing crutches. Mobility deteriorated rapidly.
This situation impacted having a young family to care for as well as a full time job. As her condition worsened her employers thought it best to medically retire Sharon. Naturally not news at a young age one wants to hear. Feeling mentally fit the thought of being ‘disabled’ added strain to the whole family.
Decreasing mobility and several other health issues as a result of the accident followed. However, having her world turned upside down did not dampen Sharon’s tenacious spirit. She embarked on studying holistic therapies, gained a wide range of treatment certificates and kept herself busy making cards as a therapeutic hobby. Unable to pursue a career in therapies as she was unable stand for long periods of time, she became bored and felt she had so much more to give. A ‘eureka’ moment occurred when she obtained a cover for her mobile phone. Her creative flair took over and she customised the cover with gems and jewels. The finished product was posted on Facebook and she was inundated with requests to make similar ones for family and friends.
The idea progressed to a pair of shoes and a T-shirt. Then fate stepped in. Sharon heard about a lady selling her business due to health reasons. She didn’t hesitate in grasping this opportunity – Glamsticks™ traded hands and became her passion. The business grew in a short space of time and gained great accolades from customers.
Whilst building the business Sharon has sponsored many people – two models, Gemma Flannagan who has had Glamsticks™ crutches and wheelchair covers which have been used in photo shoots; and Katie Knowles for sponsorship of a north-east beauty pageant and for her modelling career. Michelle Dobson received two pairs of crutches in lieu of promotion work carried out and Mari Ackhurst received two walking sticks as part of a sponsorship package as she is on the Paralympian Dressage team. A bespoke running blade was commissioned by Dorset Orthopaedics for Belinda Gatland and this is now on display at Dorset Orthopaedic’s reception. Belinda lost her leg in a horse riding accident.
Sharon is proud to have won many awards, including Winner of Mobility Product of the Year 2011 and voted top ten best mobility product 2011; Winner of BrightPigSEO Business of the week award May 2016; Winner of the @Jacqueline_Gold#WOW award 2016. She now has celebrity clients and the business has many exciting projects in the pipeline, which will be announced on the website very soon.
Sharon wishes to personally thank Debbie, the previous owner, for her hard work in building the business to such a platform to where she took over, and wishes her well and every success in the future. To Sharon, Glamsticks™ is not just a job or a hobby, it has been her savour. It is her inspiration to fight each day, even on the days when she is unable to get out of bed; to live life to the full and be truly grateful.
Written, in association with Sharon Farley-Mason, by Sue Flint