Who is Lauren?
Here at Lauren’s Hope, we’re often asked who Lauren is, where we got our name, and how the company started. Lucky for us, all three questions have the same answer!
In 2001, 13-year-old Lauren Philips was new to the Kansas City area. Lauren was a bit shy and uncomfortable telling her friends she had Diabetes. She also absolutely hated wearing her Type 1 Diabetes medical ID bracelets. She would “lose” them, break them, or just plain refuse to wear them, as she felt her unattractive, plain, metal medical IDs drew unwanted attention to her diagnosis. As Lauren became increasingly independent and was more often out with friends away from her parents, her mom was concerned that Lauren would find herself in a diabetic emergency with no one around to advocate for or assist her.
Now a busy cosmetologist in Dallas, Texas, Lauren recalls the situation well. “I was 13 at the time and had just moved to Kansas City. Being new to town and self-conscious, I never wanted to wear anything that was going to draw a lot of attention. At the time, the medical ID bracelets were big very big and gaudy. As a kid in 6th grade, moving to a new town, I definitely didn’t want to wear one because no one knew I had diabetes.”
Fortunately, Lauren’s mom was making new friends of her own, one of whom was LeAnn Carlson, a neighborhood mom with a craft business making beaded “Mothers’ Bracelets” that were quite popular at the time. Faced with the challenge of making a medical ID bracelet cool enough for a fashion-conscious teen, LeAnn decided to do more than make one medical ID. She made a medical ID jewelry wardrobe.
The concept was simple: make the bracelets pretty and interchangeable. With a lobster clasp at either end of each bracelet strand, Lauren could quickly affix her medical ID tag onto whichever bracelet strand she wanted to wear for the day and stay safe in style. Recalls Philips, “The first one was silver, and it had a green star, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever, and I loved it! I actually still have it.”
Soon after receiving her interchangeable medical ID bracelets, which LeAnn had created as simply an act of kindness for a friend, Lauren wore one to a Diabetes Education Meeting. There were eight attendees, and every single one asked where to get a fashionable medical ID like Lauren’s. A little research showed that what started as a favor was actually the creation of an entirely new market segment: fashionable, interchangeable medical ID jewelry.
A company is born
Named after its inspiration, Lauren’s Hope quickly became a bustling kitchen-table business. In its first year, the company saw phenomenal success, particularly after the infinitely talented Halle Berry wore her Lauren’s Hope medical ID bracelet on the Rosie O’Donnell show when discussing her own Diabetes diagnosis. Practically overnight, people who had grudgingly worn, or even refused to wear, the standard, plain metal medical ID bracelets of the past suddenly had attractive, durable, stylish options they could enjoy wearing and change to suit their mood, outfit, or activity.
Today, more than 500,000 people wear Lauren’s Hope medical IDs every day, and we’re proud to say that number just keeps growing.
Made for men, women, and kids with any and every manner of medical condition, our ever-expanding line of medical ID bracelets, necklaces, and more is always on-trend, made to the highest quality, and covered by the industry’s absolute best warranty.
Beauty with Purpose. Safety with Style.