How did you find out about metal sensitivities?
Many years ago, in my teens I found that I could not wear costume jewelry, especially earrings. I later found out that I had an allergy to the nickel.
It didn’t matter what hypoallergenic earrings I bought, whether it was stainless steel or surgical steel, nothing worked. Without fail, 20 minutes of wearing the earrings, they would start to itch. In an hour, I could feel a small bump by the piercing which would start bleeding if I didn't look after it right away. So I just gave up.
A while later, wearing stainless steel was recommended to me. I was very exciting and sought out earring with this metal. Many places were saying that stainless was hypoallergenic and I really wanted to wear earrings again. Unfortunately, I still have trouble. The itching would start after a couple of hours and by the end of the day I had very unhappy ears.
What other metals did you try?
I tried silver, but had the same issue. I learned that, like stainless steel, it was alloyed with other metals like nickel and cobalt; the silver earrings irritated my ears the same as other metals.
Then I tried gold. It worked, but high karat gold is expensive and I had a hard time finding jewelry in the styles I liked. So I started making my own.
I would order gold post or hooks and attach my own earring designs to them, I thought at the time that it would be nice to keep a gold post in my earlobe without talking them out at night and just attach different styles to the gold post in the morning. I could change styles easily, as much as I wanted.
I sat with this idea for years as I worked as a hairdresser, surely someone would eventually make this type of earring and make it hypoallergenic too.
What happened next?
After waiting 30 years, my dream earrings were still nowhere to be found. I decided to start my jewellery hobby again and started prototyping different ways of making my idea come to life.
When my husband saw that I meant business, he offered to help. He told me about titanium and we started to research this metal. We discovered how bio compatible it is and it how titanium is used in the surgical and dental implants. I also discovered that most body jewellery is made of titanium because of the length of time piercings are left in the skin. Titanium was already well-known as a safe hypoallergenic metal for jewelry.
How else did your husband help?
My husband is a Quality Manager with over 30 years in the manufacturing sector. Primarily his responsibility is to ensure parts are properly measured and inspected as part of the manufacturing process. Thus, he also has a deep understanding of the composition of different alloys.
What is TI-GO?
TI- GO is our line of interchangeable earrings. We use a pure titanium post, backing and stud as the base. Added to the stud is a super strong neodymium magnet that will hold the different styles of earrings. The post can be worn in the ear for up to a month at a time and only requires the minimum of care. This took us a while to perfect, early iterations would fall off if pulled too strongly by a scarf. After a couple tries, we arrived at the current design which is patent-pending.
Our Vision for This Company
Our goal is to offer a real solution for sensitive ears and offer wide selection of trendy earrings that are truly hypoallergenic with our new TI-GO interchangeable system and in the traditional post and hook style earrings.
For now we will concentrate on earrings because piercings are the most susceptible to metal allergies and there is not much selection in titanium earrings. We want everyone to have happy ears!