Liz Taylor-Barry, Designer & Manufacturer of BarryBasics™
The light side of the BarryBasics’ story is simple. BarryBasics™ is another all-American entrepreneurial story that was created at the kitchen table and in a home sewing room.
Entrepreneurship 101 is when you take an idea and run around in circles until you get someone to listen. In the start-up months, you bore your friends for hours on end while chasing manufacturers until they finally agree to do business with you. And, of course, you turn your home upside down, your garage into a mini-warehouse, and your car into a travel office on wheels. And as you empty your bank account, you pray and do the dance of “let me be lucky.”
Then, you travel the back roads of the Carolinas and find empty buildings where textile and apparel manufacturers once thrived – look inside and see that machinery and workers are gone. But you stay determined and find the people who will take you seriously and will do business with you in small volumes because you have no space for inventory and because you have no idea what you are doing. Somehow you attempt to take everything you have ever learned and focus!
Finally you just throw all your balls in the air and again – pray! The “let me be lucky” dance no longer works at this point. And, that… is the light side of the BarryBasics story. For a personal side of the story, please visit the Al Barry Foundation web site at www.albarryfoundation.org.
But, what is BarryBasics™? How do you use shirts and pants with snap fasteners? What medical condition and recovery could be made easier with BarryBasics™?
As BarryBasics™ begins this retail adventure, the product line, designs, fabrics and color selections will be limited. The focus will be on apparel that may be comfortable, functional clothing made in the USA -- that offers alternatives for patients and a bit of relief for caregivers during times of health care challenges. Regardless of the illness, recovery, or physical challenge, the goal will be that your loved ones will be comfortable without worrying about their appearance.
BarryBasics™ is modular apparel (Patent Pending) which means that modular pieces of the clothing join at snap fasteners seam lines. The snap fastener seam lines are on one side of the garment and secured by one stationary seam without snap fasteners. The stationary seam line was designed for the purpose of keeping the shirt or shorts together during the wash and dry cycles so you do not lose pieces in the laundry.
The construction of the garments permits slipping the garments (tops and bottoms) across the body rather than pulling overhead of up the body. The snap fasteners un-snap (comes apart) easily to permit access to the body for examination or treatment purposes. in order to place it (a shirt or pants) on a patient. Think of break-away pants that you may have seen athletes wear.
We have included a Quick Reference Chart, When to Wear, How to Wear, and How to Use the no-snap coordinating apparel based on certain medical conditions, surgeries and treatments. Go to www.barrybasics.com/index.php/site/how_to_use/ for this easy reference chart.
Example: If a patient has had shoulder, arm/hand, or breast surgery, the shirts and tops can be slipped across the body with limited motion and movement by the patient. The shirts and tops slip around IVs and other tubing and medical devices. There is no need to remove IV bags or tubing in order to dress a patient. Nor does it require pulling shirts and tops over the head of a patient. The caregiver simply slips the shirt or top across the body and snaps. Apparel may be removed quickly with an easy tug on the snap fasteners. The added benefit for caregivers is that most patients do not have to be lifted to change clothing. Assistance may be required for some patients.
Example: Patients with lower body temporary or permanent mobility issues, the boxers, shorts and pants, with plastic snap fasteners, slip across the body rather than being pulled up the body. Boxers, shorts and pants accommodate medical devices and access to the body for care and treatment. The caregiver simply slips the pants across the body and snaps the side and inseam fasteners.
Serving Wounded Warriors and Veterans.
If you have visited the Al Barry Foundation website at www.albarryfoundation.org, you know that the apparel and the foundation were created to honor my husband, Al Barry, and one of his last wishes -- that I find a way to help others because so many helped us during our year-long battle. The Foundation serves Wounded Warriors and Veterans by gifting apparel that may be worn during their recovery from injuries and during rehab therapy. Since December of 2008, the Foundation has gifted more than 2,000 pieces of apparel to Wounded Warriors and Veterans receiving treatment at Walter Reed, Bethesda National Hospital, Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany, and across the Country. As of January of 2012, the Foundation was expanded to include Cancer Patients and Patients with mobility challenges.
We have found that our young troops recovering from injuries will gladly trade a hospital gown for modular apparel. Encouragement always comes from the smiles on the faces of young men and women recovering from horrific injuries and from the determination they have to recover or prepare for a new way to live each day. Instead of going to Washington, D. C. just to see the monuments, you may consider visiting a Wounded Warrior at Walter Reed or Bethesda Hospitals – there you will experience a lasting impression of the value of the freedoms we enjoy -- and perhaps realize the price that they have paid for our daily normal life in America.
The real story.
Life changes as quickly as a flash of light…
My husband, Al Barry, and I were just getting settled into full retirement and suddenly, we were being told we had four to nine months to enjoy the rest of our lives together. We actually had twelve months to try and beat inoperable Gliobastoma, Stage 4 brain cancer. We lost the battle on December 2, 2007, but God gave us the gift of a year to laugh, pray and cry together with family and friends.
Five years ago, I could not have written this story with a positive ending. For three years, I was going through the motions of life with grief hanging over me every waking hour. There were actually some days that I hated the fact that the apparel was filling the hours I once spent with my husband. And now, I look back and wonder through what miracle have I reached this point. I know that there have been many miracles for me and many doors opened along the way and it all involves… my faith in God… my husband’s lingering spirit... and family and friends, new and old, who have had more patience with me than I deserved.
The story will continue as we move forward. Al Barry would say he is proud. His spirit definitely lives on…
Thank you for visiting our site and taking time to read our story. We welcome your comments and look forward to providing our apparel to you – or someone you care about.