Fashion passion makes a medical difference
Three members of DM Orthotics team have used their fashion design expertise to forge a rewarding career making bespoke orthotics.
Charlotte Jowlett, Ella Tresidder, and Holly Vinter, from Hayle work as pattern cutters at our head office in Redruth, Cornwall. All have degrees in fashion and all are delighted to be part of a worldwide business that improves life for children and adults with neuro-muscular conditions.
Charlotte, 39, studied at the University of Salford and has worked with the company for the last 10 years.
“Our custom range is made-to-measure,” she explained. “A clinician takes exact measurements from the patient and a pattern is generated. As a pattern cutter, I cut the pattern by hand, after which it’s passed to the machinists who make it up. It’s a highly specialised, bespoke process that goes through regular checks to ensure quality and precision.
“I know how to cut more than 10 different products, each of which is specifically tailored to suit an individual’s exact requirements. It’s a fascinating job that makes the most of my skills and gives me the satisfaction of knowing I’m helping change people’s lives for the better.”
Ella Tresidder has been with DM Orthotics for 8 years and did her degree in fashion and textile design at the University of the West of England.
“I was searching for a full-time job after graduating and saw pattern cutter advertised, something quite rare in Cornwall. I had a look at the website and thought that’s different. I love being able to work independently on such a variety of different products and it’s really rewarding to make something that can improve a child or adult’s life. Now I’m a mum, I have also been able to flex my hours around parenting which really helps the work life balance.”
Holly Vinter graduated from Plymouth College of Arts.
“After university I wondered what I was going to do as there aren’t a lot of fashion opportunities in Cornwall,” she said. “An advert for pattern cutting immediately appealed and I’ll have been with the company 5 years in October.
“Unlike a fashion garment, the products we work on are medical devices and each piece of material has its own function. Before Covid, we used to see some of the patients when they visited the factory and it was lovely to see the difference one of our suits made to them – especially the children.”
With a network of national and international clinical specialists, the DM Orthotics team designs and manufactures products which manage the physical effects of conditions like Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, Scoliosis, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke and Multiple Sclerosis.