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Creative mom turns children’s hearing aids into superheroes so they feel cool wearing them

Sarah Ivermee started out by customizing a hearing aid of a friend's daughter and the 9-year-old loved it

Creative mom turns children’s hearing aids into superheroes so they feel cool wearing them
Image source: Instagram/myluggs

Sarah Ivermee, a mother to a 4-year-old son with profound deafness, is making custom-made hearing aids and the kids are loving them. It all started after her son was diagnosed with hearing loss within months of his birth. He was fitted with hearing aids and Sarah Ivermee knew her son didn't really like it. She knew kids hated it because they are often picked on, especially when they are only one with a hearing device in their peer group. Her son Freddie initially got one in beige color but even otherwise the options were limited to a few simple colors. As she interacted with families of children with kids who have hearing issues, she realized that many of them didn't like wearing them, according to My Modern Met


"As we met other families with children who had hearing aids and implants we discovered that not all children were as happy to wear their devices. Most didn’t like the way they looked boring and plain, and unfortunately, a lot was embarrassed about wearing them because it made them look different," she wrote in a blog post on Limping Chicken.


She had heard that a 9-year-old daughter of a friend didn't like wearing her hearing aid because she felt different from her friends. Ivermee decided to try something different and decorated her device with nail stickers, hoping it would make it more acceptable to the girl. The 9-year-old absolutely loved it and that's when she started thinking about making a simple product that could be used to decorate hearing aids and turn them into almost an accessory. "I thought to myself that it seemed such a simple solution there must be some kind of product on the market that did the same.  It was a real shame to find there was hardly anything out there," wrote Ivermee, and that's when she started brainstorming. 


She knew it would help encourage kids to wear hearing implants with confidence. She started her own company, Lugs, in 2014, to make custom-made kits that can be used to decorate hearing aids and cochlear implants. The designs varied, ranging from superheroes to floral designs. The idea was to incorporate designs that would make them excited to wear and show them off.  “I am so pleased every time my inbox pings and I receive a thank you email accompanied with pictures of children wearing Lugs on their hearing devices and loving them,” wrote Ivermee. “Needless to say, our son Freddie reaps the most benefit from the business, as he gets to choose new designs every month, making all his hearing friends at school very jealous!”


For Ivermee, the main goal was to make the product keep the price low and thus accessible to those who needed it. "I began the 6-month long process of building my own website, sourcing the best quality priced materials and equipment I needed to make my vision reality," said Ivermee. She sought help from her friend to create the website and her husband helped design a rather complex design program that helps cut vinyl stickers to fit the specific devices. Once the website was up, she was surprised to see they had gotten orders all the way from Australia! After nearly six years, Ivermee has announced that she's shutting down the website, so if you're in need of one, don't wait.





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