A disabled woman who was told she would never work again has defied the odds by investing in a business to “take the dull out of disability”.
Sharon Farley-Mason, 48, from Adlington, near Chorley, is the owner of Glamsticks - an award-winning company which makes “glamorous” bespoke crutches and walking sticks.
Sharon said the “designer” walking aids can help people to feel “glitz and glam”.
She said: “Regular crutches made me feel like my disability stood out and I lost self confidence.
“They are just cheap and nasty and that’s how they made me feel.
“But Glamsticks take the dull out of disability.
“It gives people a sense of being human again.
“They make me feel totally different and that’s the feedback I get from my customers.”
Thousands of the sticks are bought each year, according to Sharon, who uses them herself.
Sharon was forced to medically retire from her office job in 2010, when a number of disabilities took over her after a horse-riding accident in 1999.
She was her unable to walk anywhere outside the home without her crutches and specialists told her she would never be able to work again.
“It was horrendous,” Sharon said. “I couldn’t drive, it was a struggle to go to the toilet and I couldn’t stand up properly without my crutches because of the excruciating pain from the nerves in my feet.
“It made me feel useless.”
Sharon spent time making greetings cards at home to stay occupied in the house.
But in 2012, she bought Glamsticks, when the former owner became too ill.
“And it has really grown from there,” she added.
The company ships around the world, with orders reaching as far as China, America and Canada, as well as across Europe.
Glamsticks has won several awards, such as Mobility Product of the Year, Business of the Week, a Jacqueline Gold award for Women in Business and Queen of Mobility Aid.
Sharon also sponsors a number of disabled models and more recently, an up-and-coming paralympian, who require the “glam” walking aids.
For more information, visit www.glamsticks.co.uk.