Dublin-born Nicola Dames' life changed forever in her early 20s when she started to suffer from Ulcerative Colitis.
At the young age of 29, Nicola - a former high-end Fashion Consultant at the famous Brown Thomas, as well as an NHS Intensive Care Nurse - decided to go ahead and have her large colon removed.
The year was 2006. She had tried everything. Married only one year. She wanted to have children with her husband. She wanted to have a future. She wanted life.
From her hospital bed, and after researching all the medicalised underwear available, Nicola decided she would set up her own company. However, the unique selling point of Vanilla Blush would be that it would deal with Stomas and underwear not as a medical issue but as a fashion issue. Both medically sound but also fashion proud...
Merging her two professions, Nicola produced underwear, supportwear and sportwearswear which were top of the range both for their medical needs and their fashion needs.
Launching live on ITV's 'This Morning Show', Valentine's 2008, Vanilla Blush has grown to become an award winning, globally recognised, business success.
Selling female lingerie, male underwear, hernia supportwear, swimwear and sportswear, Vanilla Blush has seen its business grow from great news story to great business story.
With online sales making the brand available across the world, Vanilla Blush's Nicola spends many an hour flight-bound as she crosses the continent and beyond to spread the VB message.
Supplying to the NHS, as well as contracts across Europe, Vanilla Blush was racked up the successes on a yearly basis. From 2014 being named as the Post-Surgery Brand of the Year, to June 2016 winning £50,000 in the Scottish EDGE competition, Nicola Dames found her self named in the Lingerie Insight's Power List 2018.
And with 2018 up and running, it is clear that the 10-year-birthday cake will also be one to celebrate continued growth.