Former Romford teacher, Glamsticks founder Debbie Deboo, wants to sell business due to worsening of ME
A designer whose glamorous crutches have won awards and become celebrity favourites is putting her business up for sale after her condition deteriorated.
Debbie Deboo, 44, founded Glamsticks in early 2010 after having to retire from her teaching career after she began suffering from the syndrome five years earlier.
Since then, she has sold hundreds of the specially designed and hand-made customised crutches.
Her customers have included Hollyoaks actress Kelly-Marie Stewart, Heather Mills, former Eastenders actor David Proud, and Paralympic archer Leigh Walmsley.
The customised crutches have been shipped around the world as far as Japan and the USA, but Debbie announced this week that she can no longer run the business.
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The former St Edwards School teacher said: “There has been an awful lot of demand. “After I moved early this year, I said I would wait until March to start the business again.
“I had a waiting list of people, and it was absolutely huge. People kept asking me when it was their turn, and everybody had a story about why they needed them quickly, and I just couldn’t say ‘no’ to people.”
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The former Collier Row resident moved to Northern Ireland earlier this year.
She explained what it’s like living with the chronic fatigue condition: “ME just takes over your life.
“If I need to do something I have to think very carefully I can’t cook a meal if I go out for a coffee.
“Some days you can’t even get dressed, and it’s very depressing and distressing and I’m a very positive person, but even I’ve been suicidal three or four times, and even though you’re exhausted you can’t sleep a lot of the time.”
In an attempt to try to improve her quality of life, she said she feels she has no alternative but to sell the business – including the trademarked brand name, website and tips on how to customise the crutches.
“I’ve worked very hard on the business and it’s more than just work.
“I’d like to sell it to someone who shares the ethos of Glamsticks and what it means to people, ideally the next customer.”
Anyone interested in the company should email firstname.lastname@example.org.