SIOUX CITY – It's hard being a fashionista when your arm's stuck in a sling.

That's what Elli Giacomazzi thought after breaking her seventh bone in less than 13 years of life.

“Over the years, Elli has broken both of her wrists, one metatarsal, a tibia, her nose, a humerus and a finger,” her mom Annette Giacomazzi explained with a sigh. “Elli knows all about wearing a cast.”

Luckily, Elli's mom knows a thing or two about cast covers.

In fact, Annette Giacomazzi started manufacturing “CastCoverz!” – fabric covers that goes over one's cast – nearly two years ago with her daughter serving as both an inspiration and a test subject.

“Elli was the first to wear 'Armz!' 'Slingz!' 'Sleeperz!' (a soft microfiber cover used at nighttime) and 'Splintz!' (for broken fingers),” Annette said. “I worked out the kinks on her.”

Annette soon added “Legs!” “Bootz!” and “Gutterz!” (a glove covering a broken hand) to complete her “CastCoverz” collection.

According to Annette, her cast coverings are latex-free and medical-grade quality; washable and removable so friends can still sign your cast.

They also prevent snagging and scratching while keeping your cast clean.

This is very important to Prairie Pediatrics' Dr. Patrick Beck, who recommends “weatherproofing” a cast for healing bones.

“Especially in snowy weather, water should never find its way into a cast,” the Sioux City pediatrician explained. “This is because it could create a skin irritation and cause the skin to break.”

That's something that the Minnesota-born but now California-based Annette Giacomazzi can appreciate.

“Not only will 'CastCoverz' keep snow away from casts,” she said, “it will offer warmth when the weather turns frigid.”

Which is important when making a fashion statement since “CastCoverz!” can be either discreet (with neutral colors) or decidedly wild (with designs that have colorful names such as “Aloha,” “Cheetah Girl,” “Cupcake Cuties,” “Scratch & Sniff Grape” and “Rebel,” complete with skulls and crossbows, among others).

“Breaking a bone is never fun,” Annette said. “Having a colorful cast cover makes it less traumatic.”

Even though she centers her marketing towards kids, Annette said “CastCoverz!” are increasingly popular with adults.

“You'd be surprised at the number of mothers of brides who sustain breaks before a wedding,” she said. “My 'CastCoverz!' allow them to enjoy their special occasion in comfort and in style.”

This is a notion that young Elli Giacomazzi can appreciate.

“It's been a while since Elli has broken anything,” her mom said. “I'm sure she's disappointed I didn't come up with the 'CastCoverz' earlier than I did.”


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