Does it ever feel good to be back with some of these! As we all know, COVID really put a kink in some of our plans, including cutting short and postponing much of our list and plans for photographing some of our REfashiond Icons.
But we are back! And I am THRILLED to be kicking this off again with Mica!
If you don't know Mica, let me just tell you something about her. She is possibly the kindest soul I have ever met. She has fought some hard battles, and not only has she continued to come out on top, but she does so with a constant giving heart.
Between her newest venture that brings insulin to those who need it at a fraction of the cost, volunteering to be THE person there for people on some of the hardest scariest days they may have ever had, and always lending an ear and heart to friends in need... she is truly one of the most incredible women I know.
And she is literally making history by changing the face of how we do insulin.
[special thanks to our favorite makeup artist: Renee Rodriguez with Radiate with Renee J!]
Allow me to introduce to you, Mica Kinder
Mica Kinder is the owner and brilliant mind behind Insulin Now
If you look on their website, under their mission, you will find this:
"Insulin Now was created to help people like my dear friend Lisa who struggles to afford insulin for themselves or their child. According to Lisa, "These tiny little bottles are the reason I work three jobs. Time away from my children is the price I pay to keep one of them alive".
We focus on patients, not profits, and give you the insulin you need at a price you can afford so that you can get back to the things that really matter.
Your Life. Your Way".
Because Mica became painfully aware of an unfair and unbelievable situation, she committed herself to finding a better way.
Read on to find out more:
Jessica: Ok, first question! What does RED symbolize for you?
Mica: Actually, it's interesting, because when you told me that I had to wear something red. I was like, I don't own much red. It's too bold. It's pretty bold.
So yeah, I'd have to say. Definitely bold. But today, I really found it empowering.
Jessica: What does Success REfashiond mean to you?
Mica: I think it means giving yourself the space to fail and to learn from it and come back stronger.
Jessica: Tell me more about you, your business and what you're doing?
Mica: Well, both my kids are grown and moved out. And so, I kind of always thought that, like up until that time, everything I did was for them. And I really just wanted to devote as much time as I could to them, because I knew I wouldn't get it back. And so once they were independent and living on their own, I really decided that it was my time. And I always knew that I wanted to do something that helped people, and was really meaningful. And so I had looked for that. There's a couple of businesses that I did try. I don't think I really put the time into them that I really should have, just because I wanted to be with my kids. So I failed a lot, learned a lot and came back to do this.
"And when I found out that a friend was having such a huge problem,
I couldn't ignore it."
I have a very good friend and she was just exhausted, and she had to work three jobs to pay for her son's insulin. And she said that time away from her kids, because she barely ever saw them was, was the price she had to pay to keep one of them alive.
A couple of weeks later, I took a trip down to Mexico, and they have the same insulin, but much, much, much cheaper. And it made me angry, it pissed me off. And I decided that I would find a way to, to get it in the country, which I actually wasn't able to do, I got approved by the FDA to import but the Arizona Board of Pharmacy wouldn't let me do it.
So I started looking at other ways that I could sell it for a less expensive then retail. So played around with a few things, and there's things that I'm still working on, you know, I still think that there's ways to get it lower. But for right now, I just don't have to sell it for retail.
So we hit upon this business mode that's like Costco, you have an annual membership. It's $65 a year, but in return for that, you're going to save on average, $200 to $300 a month on your insulin. And we will also be carrying meds like heart meds and other cardiovascular meds. So we'll be doing that as well.
But what I really wanted to do was build a community for people that were having issues like this. And so I made sure that we have a diabetic educator that's available for questions, that we have pharmacists that are certified in medication therapy management, so they can go through everything that you're on and make sure that you're on the correct medications, the correct dosages. And then we've actually just signed a licensing deal with Harvard, for our educational content, to make sure that it's really top notch.
Jessica: What do you wish you had known when you started out?
Mica: I've gotten a lot of great advice. But I've also gotten some advice that I didn't need to take so hard, that hurt, but I assume that everybody had more experience than me. And so their advice was better. It was a better way to do things.
And it's not always the case, so you really have to pick and choose which advice you take. Some of that advice, you know, were from people that had been in this industry much longer than I had been and just told me it would never work and you know, it was it was disheartening and I got depressed, and it wouldn't have taken me nearly as long as if I had just continued.
"So I really wish that I had trusted myself more"
Jessica : What are the important resources that have really helped you on your overall journey with this?
Mica: Startup Tucson has been amazing. The University of Arizona Center for Innovation, it has just been phenomenal. They they have this incredible staff that has helped launch so many startups and and they do mainly specialize in in tech. I was grateful that they considered me tech because it's an online pharmacy that they were willing to take us in, but just every step of the way, they brought in experts on finance and business law and just really helped us become qualified.
The whole startup community here in Tucson, I think is something that a lot of people are not aware of, and how supportive it is. And startup Tucson has so many resources, it's not even funny.
And then you add in all of the business groups and and all of the support that you get there and some of the incredible people that I've met, that have have turned out to be just amazing people. And I used to be around people that told me that, you know, I would I would never get anywhere.
"But to sit down with someone and you both wants to see each other succeed, and you see those qualities in each other.
And it's just so empowering."
And then I'm like, well, if Jessica thinks I can do it, then maybe I can. So yeah, just to be able to have those conversations with people. And I think the biggest piece of advice that I can give is to use those resources, and find those people that are going to support you business groups, startup groups, every resource you possibly can.
Jessica: It's clear that helping others is important to you, I know that you also volunteer on the side as well, I would love for you to touch on a little bit if you can.
Mica: So I volunteer for the Pima County Attorney's Office in their victim services division. And I'm with the crisis unit. And we go out when we are called by the one of the law enforcement agencies or the fire department when something traumatic has happened. So homicide, suicide, unexpected death, sexual assaults, a lot of domestic violence. And really just any, any situation where someone has been traumatized. At the discretion of law enforcement, we go out, and we provide emotional support, we let them know what resources are available to them in the community. And we help them the best way that we can.
And it's all about the victim. It's not about us, it's not about how we feel about anything. It's not about it's not about how we would handle something, it's all about them and being there for them in the manner in which they need us. So there is no judgment for you know, anything that's gone on, there's no judgment for domestic violence, or sexual assault, or whatever it is there, there's just no judgement.
And actually, that’s what they tell us when we are introducing ourselves to our victims that we're working with, is my name is Mica, I'm with the county attorney's office victim services, and I'm here to be helpful to you.
"It's not about how we feel or how we would handle something. It's all about being there for them in the manner they need us"
Jessica: What profession would you want to try, other than your own? Would you like to attempt?
Mica: uum, Doctor? I'm considering going back to medical school. It's something that would be amazing.
Jessica: That would be amazing! Maybe this is your kickoff for that!
Jessica: Tell me, what's your hype song. What would you walk out on stage to?
Mica: Oh! I'm a bad mamma jamma I love it. But just that part!
Jessica: What else should people know?
Mica: We're also introducing our gift card program!
So if there's anyone that wants to gift a membership to someone for the holidays, we have ways of doing that. And also if they have any sort of flexible spending account, FSA, that they have funds that they need to spend before the
end of the year, we have gift cards available so that they can actually put the funds on those cards and then utilize them in your membership.
Contact Mica at: firstname.lastname@example.org If this something that is something that interests you!
And follow them at: https://www.facebook.com/insulinnow
Want to be kept up to date on when this physical publication is released? Email me at Jessica@fdlphoto.com and let me know to add you to our email list!