Business grows from small idea

Dominique Ribeiro Da Silva and Helene Hill. (Supplied)

Tara Murray

A small idea to create functional and stylish products for those with chronic illnesses has won an Australian Achiever Award.

The Spoonie Society was formed in November last year by Dominique Ribeiro Da Silva and Helene Hill and has quickly expanded, with 10 people now working for them.

The Keilor East company creates diaries to help people track their symptoms, while they have also designed a heat pack that can be worn while going about your daily activities.

A dollar from each sale is donated to charity, with a different charity selected each month.

Ms Ribeiro Da Silva who is an endometriosis, PCOS and infertility awareness advocate said it has been a wild ride since they started the business.

The pair received the Australian Achiever Award for Victoria for the specialised supplies eCommerce wholesale sub category, based on reviewers from their customers.

“Helene and I only met in March last year,” she said.

“We shared our stories over social media and we decided to go for a walk when we were allowed.

“We talked about how there was nothing for us to track our symptoms. You could track your periods and menstrual cycle, but nothing that pulls it all together.

“You can start to recognise trends and take it to doctors and health professionals.

“Helene has a background in fashion, so we thought what if we make heat packs that are wearable.

The pair has also set up an online community for “Spoonies”. Spoonies, including both women, are people who suffer from chronic illness or disability.

Each week community members share their stories with other members.