Love My Libre is a small family business, born from an idea by my 12-year-old son who wanted to make his mum’s sensor look less like a medical device. His concept (see picture above) was to design an armband worn in a similar way to a runner wears a phone on their arm.
The name, Love My Libre, comes from how I feel about the tech which rescued me from my car crash approach to diabetes care.
Love My Libre is owned and run by a type one, Samantha, and was not set up solely to sell products but support Libre sensor users in other ways too – that’s why our home page is styled to include links to our magazine and other items relating to diabetes and Libre sensors. The ambition is that we will become your go-to-resource.
Love My Libre was formally registered at Companies House in the UK in February 2019, and we later registered the designs of Libreband for protection of our unique products. We have since registered for UK VAT, setting out our long-term commitment to supporting those using MedTech to manage their diabetes.
From the original concept, my husband, a product designer by profession, worked on refining the design to cover the sensor and give it protection from everyday doorframes(!) with the overarching aim to transform the look to that of a sports accessory.
We sourced components from local suppliers where possible – and continue to do so – always with an eye on ensuring that the finish is high-end and our products durable. Our production was based on 3D printer technology and initially armbands were prepared individually to each order.
Librebands were first listed on Amazon and Etsy in 2018 and were well received with strong sales, not just in the UK, but across Europe and were particularly strong in France, Spain, The Netherlands and Italy. In fact, we reached over 27 countries within 6 months of launch. We had customers from all backgrounds and work situations including teachers, farmers, rugby players, swimmers and competitive athletes. And we were approached by healthcare professionals and DSNs to use of our armbands with their patients.
But, although being on these platforms made it easy for customers to find us and sales happened without the need to market or otherwise advertise, it also made it difficult to promote our brand name. And crucially, our relationship with customers was indirectly controlled by these platforms who weren’t interested in our ethos and values.
MANUFACTURE OF LIBREBANDS
We are proud to be a UK manufacturer and have put considerable investment into our design process to ensure that Librebands have a high-quality finish and that the armbands are strong and durable with an aesthetic that appeals to many Libre sensor wearers. It’s not founded on making it ‘pretty’ with stickers.
In 2019, we partnered with Warwick Manufacturing Group to further develop the armband in preparation for upgrading our production to use factory-based injection moulding processes. This stage took over 6 months from initial development of designs, to tooling for the moulds and production of the products - with lots of trials and samples in between!
It’s not just the casing either, we have researched trends in colours to ensure that our products reflect popular choices in athleisure and sportswear apparel.
In the summer of 2020 during time in lockdown we developed Libreband+ for customers using MiaoMiao2, Bubble and BluCon NightRider. These are manufactured in Nylon using an advanced laser-sintered process.
This short video shows one of our faceplates in production.
Our injection moulded Librebands have been available since January 2021 along with our latest design style, Pyramids, and we continue to develop our product offering in terms of designs, colours, packaging and support materials. We recognise the importance of being accessible and look to build the ways we can support not just our customers but the growing community of those with diabetes using Libre and other MedTech. We hope you’ll join our community.
As a new Libre Freestyle user, I was concerned at the ease with which the sensor could be dislodged. That has been resolved entirely by the LmL armband. It provides a real sense of security without looking at all “medical”. Perhaps there’s scope to take the aesthetics even further - possibly a leather version with chiselled Viking runes and shield motif over the sensor! The possibilities are endless. Nice also to support a deserving small family business
Whilst my Libre2 sensors are, fortunately, free on the NHS one still feels bereft when you lose one by inadvertently knocking it off! I've lost a few; squeezing into the car and hitting the top of the door, reaching for very hard to reach items in the supermarket and catching it on the shelf. NO MORE! Whilst looking cool (whilst not always visible unless wearing short sleeves) the armband is easy to fit snuggly over the sensor and doesn't move until you want it to. Obviously (and importantly) scanning the sensor with your phone is no different to scanning without the band on. RECOMMENDED!