Mom Turned Entrepreneur After Medical Tragedy

I’m Tamra Johnson, and I created a product to help make my daughters life a little easier after she had a kidney transplant. 

In February 2013, we went on a family vacation only to return home with E-coli bacteria. We were all fine except for my 9-year-old daughter who spent six weeks in the hospital. Most of her major organs were affected however they all recovered except for her kidneys, which had completely shut down. She came home on daily dialysis and 11 months later, on Jan. 20, 2014, her father donated one of his kidneys to her.  

To keep her kidney healthy, she has to drink 100 oz or 3 liters of fluid daily. To help her with this arduous task, I created a drink bottle holder. Little did I know that this would turn into a patented product, and I would find myself the owner of a small business called HOLSTRit!

This drink bottle holder, which we now call the HOLSTR, will adjust to different size bottles.  It can be worn as a cross-body bag or you can convert the strap to be worn around your waist depending on what activity you’re doing.  They all come with a carabiner which can hold your keys, sanitizer or anything else that you want to hang on there. The larger pocket in the back will hold most cellphones and is headphone accessible, the smaller pocket will fit cash, cards and ID. 

The bottle sleeve can also hold other things such as camera lenses, walkie talkies, scanners, small medical devices that have to be with the person at all times, or just throw your wallet in there, with your phone in the back pocket and keys on the carabiner, you have a simplified purse option. Epi pens and some diabetes monitors fit as well. HOLSTRit…whatever your “it” is, we want to make life a little easier by helping you be hands-free. 

We have partnered with Charlie Hustle for the use of the Heart KC logo, and we have KU licensing for the use of their logos. We also partnered with the National Kidney Foundation so that for each HOLSTR sold, we donate back to them.  To be able to take our tragedy and turn it into something positive is such a blessing!  

My daughter needed the convenience of being hands-free with her water bottle that she has with her all day long.  The rest of us get to enjoy the convenience of being hands-free when we’re out and about with the things we never leave the house without because of our HOLSTRs. 

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