The greatest strength of Glaze Prosthetics is an innovative product, as well as a unique approach to the customer. Founded by Piotr Sajdak, the start-up meets the needs of amputees, while designer prosthesis break the taboo of disability.
Piotr Sajdak is an exceptional person, a fact that can be seen at a glance. As he says, he likes to match the colour of his prosthesis to the shoes he wears. He turned an unfortunate event in his life into success. If it were not for a tragic accident that resulted in the loss of his hand, Glaze Prosthetics – a company that changes the lives of people with amputated limbs for the better, would have never been created.
In order for your company to be established, you had to not only experience a tragic combination of events, but also meet good people.
It all began after a meeting with Grzegorz Kosch. I worked at the Jasiek Mela’s Foundation, which helped people after amputations. So I knew well what prosthetics could offer me – and it totally missed my expectations. This is what I told Grzesiek during our meeting. I remember saying that if I had a prosthesis, it would be more designer than functional. I even wanted it to be made of wood and concrete, because I liked that style at the time. Ordinary prostheses are made of silicone and metal elements.
After the accident, I did not want to have something like that, because firstly, I was not ashamed of the lack of a hand, and secondly, I thought such prostheses were unattractive, unlike a real limb. Now I know that 99.9% of people in the industry who heard about a prosthesis made of wood and concrete would call me crazy. Grzegorz and his brother Franek, after a few weeks, presented me with a dream prosthesis that changed my life. Thanks to that, we could start thinking about creating a start-up that would allow similar experience to others.
The prostheses you produce are amazing, some look like from Sci-Fi movies. What was the initial reception?
Initially, we thought that it would be a product addressed to a small group of recipients, that are young and, a bit like me, crazy. The company was officially opened on October 31, 2017. Now, less than two years since opening, we already know that there are definitely more people interested in our prostheses than we thought.
As it turned out, age does not play a role here – among our clients we had, for example, a 12-year-old, while more recently, our prosthesis was picked up by a 65-year-old. The customers saw our products and liked them so much that he came into our office straight from the street, even though he had worn a simple silicone prosthesis for almost his entire life.
Glaze Prosthetics has been awarded the international TCT Awards for design prostheses that honours creative 3D designs and pioneering technologies in the world. What is their innovation based upon?
TCT Awards honours new applications in 3D printing, and we have been distinguished as a start-up operating in the med-tech industry, i.e. medical technology. The innovation of our products comes down to their extremely low weight – 400-500 g, while standard prostheses weigh about 2.5-3 kg.
Every product is prepared for an individual order and personalized, while ordinary prostheses have standardized components with, for example, the hand being offered only in S or M size. Using the advantages of 3D printing, we can prepare a mirror image of the customer’s healthy hand. We use technology that is used in the army and aviation, thanks to which the product is extremely durable.
To whom are your prostheses addressed – prosthetist or amputees?
We cooperate with prosthetists around the world – not only in Europe, but also in Australia, the United States and Canada. With their help we distribute the goods – their help is necessary to adjust the so-called prosthesis funnels to which the prosthesis is attached.
However, our marketing is tailored to the final customer, which is also an uncommon practice in the industry. We show that life after amputation can be beautiful and full, and that the prosthesis can help express your own personality. We have many customers from Poland – here we operate and are recognized.
What are you further development plans?
During our conversation, I mainly talked about Glaze Wear, i.e. the first prosthesis created for me, which then found a large audience. We also manufacture myoelectric prostheses, thanks to which you can move your fingers. Moreover, we have recently started cooperation with a British company. We met Ben whose son lost his hand as a result of complications during childbirth. Ben developed a project for him, and now he joined our team, thanks to which we have introduced prostheses for the youngest children who are 5 to 50 weeks old. We will also have our own foot design, which will make it possible for people after amputation of the lower limb to use our prostheses.
We are developing dynamically and we know that the secret behind our success is the fact that as the first company in the world, we have listened to patients. Prostheses have so far been created from the point of view of a person with all limbs. “What will I need if I do not have a hand? Either something to hide it, or to restore my grip”. However, the truth is different. People after amputation get used to the new situation very quickly, but believe me, it cost us a lot to be who we are now. Therefore, none of us wants to hide the lack of a limb, because we do not have anything to be ashamed of – on the contrary, we want to fully show who we are.