Hello, my name is Natalie, and I’ve got a bad case of Raynaud’s syndrome. It’s why my wife Nico and I started Toasty Touch and created the world’s first-ever Ultra Thin Heated Gloves specifically for people who suffer from this frustrating and poorly understood condition called Raynaud's.
It all started in my backyard garden.
I was standing over my raised beds, showering water onto my tomatoes when I looked down and noticed something odd had happened to my index finger. The tip was white! Not pale. Literally white.
For 10 minutes, cold water had been trickling over that finger, transforming it into a cold, numb, colorless Otter Pop. I'd never seen anything like it.
I shook my hand, did a double take, blinked my eyes in an attempt to compute what I was looking at. I didn't know fingers could do that.
Puzzled but not overly concerned, I dropped the hose and went inside to warm up my zombie finger and bring it back to life.
I'd never even heard the word "Raynaud's." I didn’t have a clue how profoundly the disease, syndrome, phenomenon — whatever you want to call it — would impact my life. I didn’t know that my Raynaud’s would accelerate from zero to 90 in a matter of months.
If the temperature wasn’t at least 68 degrees, my fingers turned white and ulcers began to form on the tips. I tried every medication my doctors could think to throw at me, and nothing helped.
Suddenly, everything in my life was different. Even indoors, my fingers would go numb and lose color. When I was diagnosed, I lived in a drafty, old house from the 1890s. I swear I spent half my life reheating my hands in that antique bathroom sink.
White fingers changed to purplish blue, then to beet red, and finally back to normal. Over and over again. The numbness, the prickliness, the pain. I would have to set the water temperature to the exact heat that wouldn't burn, which added time to the whole procedure ... It felt never-ending. I was always clutching heat packs and wrapping my hands in heating pads. It was no way to live.
On the brink of completely losing hope, I discovered heated gloves. Yes! I finally had an answer. Something that could restore my quality of life.
The only problem? All the heated gloves were made for winter sports, skiing, and, seemingly, shoveling snow. They were just too thick. They didn't let you keep the world at your fingertips, so to speak.
I needed heated gloves I could wear in my everyday life. I needed a thin layer of steady warmth without the padding so I could actually use my fingers as I warmed them. So I could pick things up. Take a credit card out of my wallet. Type on a keyboard.
The gloves I envisioned simply did not exist. I searched everywhere. I plumbed the depths of Google. The ultra thin heated gloves for Raynaud's disease I badly wanted, needed, were not a thing.
It hit me: If I wanted these gloves, surely others did too! Right? I mean, I'd never met anyone else with this problem, but there had to be others out there? Right??
With zero proof of concept, my wife Nico and I jumped head-first into our dream to create gloves that would make people with Raynaud's say: "Ahhh, this is exactly what I've needed."
When we launched Toasty Touch and announced to the world that our Ultra Thin Heated Gloves for Raynaud's were available for purchase, we held our breath.
Toasty Touch gloves were an immediate hit with Raynaud's sufferers all over the world! We were elated. The response has been the most satisfying and beautiful experience of our lives. Our reviews bring tears to our eyes.
People say our thin heated gloves for Raynaud's are "life changing," "game changing," and "amazing." They say Toasty Touch heated gloves have given them "a new lease on life," even crediting the gloves with letting them keep their fingertips as they battled tissue damage from too many Raynaud's attacks.
It is incredibly humbling to be making a product that helps people so much, and we don't take it lightly. We are always working to make the gloves better so that life will be better for people with Raynaud's because I personally know how unpleasant, demoralizing, and even debilitating Raynaud's can be.
Raynaud's forced my family and me to completely upend our lives and relocate to a warmer climate far from our long-time home. I used to love to snorkel, and thought that moving close to the Pacific Ocean meant I'd be snorkeling more. Turns out, I can't last five minutes in the ocean, even on the warmest summer day. My fingers get too stinking cold.
So, yes, Raynaud's is still a part of my daily life, and it's still annoying. Sometimes it's even a real bummer. But thanks to the brave and inspiring Toasty Touch customers who have reached out or shared their stories in our reviews or through social media, at least I know for sure I'm not the only one. And at least I've got my dream heated gloves fully charged and ready to go.