Shelley Thomas - Founder and Director
With a 20-year career in sales and training this venture is certainly a break from the norm for its founder Shelley Thomas.
Shelley’s early career saw her move from being a direct employee at British Telecom to a partnership with David Pryke. Together they set up Oxford Voice and Data in 2003 servicing BTs middle market with around 20 employees. Shelley later moved into a training role in partnership with Crestcom International delivering their world renowned Bulletproof Manager Programme - her primary role and one she adores.
Diagnosed with the rare condition of narcolepsy in 2004 shortly after setting up her company, Shelley has held a 15-year long ambition to shake up the world of medical alert jewellery.
Now widely considered to be autoimmune, narcolepsy is most often thought of as a sleep disorder. However, 75% of sufferers also develop cataplexy, muscle weakness that can cause complete collapse without warning, loss of all reflexes and the inability to communicate for brief periods or longer. Terrifying for those with the condition who can find themselves at the mercy of helpful bystanders and paramedics who may decide to initiate CPR or worse still think they are intoxicated with drugs or alcohol. You can read more about Shelley’s journey here (including the occasion she found herself inches away from arrest in the back of a police-car)
Shelley says: 'This venture has been a long time in the making. Only after spinal surgery in July of 2017 have I finally had the time to sit down and make it happen alongside my day time passion of leadership training. I am delighted to have finally had the time to put together a modern range of products that you will really want to wear rather than feel compelled to.
She continues: ‘Medic alert identification is vital for so many conditions, but the choices were expensive and outdated. If you have a chronic condition, allergy or serious illness it’s imperative that we alert not only paramedics but our places of work, schools, friends, family and care-givers. This critical piece of information could be life-saving. I hope the fresh and modern feel of our range will change the way people feel about medical jewellery and give them affordable, interchangeable options they will love wearing'.
David Pryke - Co Director
David and Shelley first paired up way back in 1999 when he made the fatal mistake of employing her at British Telecom. In 2003 they left the company as direct employees and set up one of the very first BT Local Businesses in Oxford, an outsourced network of sales teams servicing the SME base.
This original company survives today with a rare partnership and friendship that that has seen the pair through the ups and downs of life and business over almost 20 years.
David is currently enjoying developing three well established online businesses that he and Shelley relocated from Edinburgh to Milton Keynes in January of 2017:
www.buyatankard.com, www.buyahipflask.com and www.buyaquaich.com
These UK handmade Pewter products, sent all over the world are beautifully engraved by a small team in Milton Keynes headed by David (and occasionally Shelley when he wants a holiday)
David is looking forward to the launch of www.buyamedicalalert.com and is particularly thrilled at the prospect of engraving hundreds of tiny tags for medical alert bracelets!