Dabs Founder Liz Sacco tells the story of why she founded Dabs (originally Diabetic Dabs) to fill the need for a wipe to clean off the excess blood resulting from diabetes blood-sugar testing, and how dabs are useful for millions of everyday uses.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher, and I’m here today with Liz Sacco, founder of Dabs, better known as Diabetic Dabs, the tiny wipes with a million uses. Welcome, Liz.
Liz Sacco: Thank you, John.
The Diabetic Dabs Story
John: Sure. So Liz, tell me a little bit about why you developed [what was] originally Diabetic Dabs.
Liz: Sure. So I am a mother to four boys. When my oldest son David was 9 years old, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and this was very new to us. I was not familiar with anybody that had diabetes. It wasn’t in my family, it wasn’t in my husband’s family, so it was really a learning curve. Through the process of adjusting to our new lifestyle, what I realized was that there was a missing component in my son’s testing routine. For those that are not familiar with diabetes, you have to test your blood sugars on a very regular basis. My son David was nine at the time, as I mentioned, and he tests anywhere from six to 10 times in a given day.
John: Wow, that’s a lot.
Liz: That is a lot. What I realized was if I wasn’t there handing him either a napkin or a tissue to wipe the excess blood that was left on his finger, it ultimately went either on his testing case or on his clothes. So I looked for a product that acted as a solution. The travel-size Kleenex, for example, was very cumbersome to put into his case, or he would just use one piece of Kleenex and then throw it out, which was not efficient use of the Kleenex. It was very wasteful, because it was only a small drop of blood.
So the long and short of it is, after researching the marketplace, I realized there wasn’t a product that was designed to act as a solution to this need. It was kind of a missing component within his testing routine. That inspired me to go out and develop Diabetic Dabs.
Developing Diabetic Dabs
John: Okay, so tell me a little bit more about that process of how you developed it and about the product itself.
Liz: Sure. So if you see the product now, from a very simple standpoint, it almost looks like a two-by-two Post-It Note. So the way that I developed it is they’re a booklet of absorbent sheets. There are 50 sheets. They’re about a two by two in size, and in the back of the booklet, there’s an adhesive. So it attaches right to the testing kit, and we designed it that way for wherever you might test your blood.
John: What does the testing kit usually look like?
Liz: I think they come in various shapes and sizes. However, the basic testing kit has a black canvas zipper. This is what David’s looks like. Then inside of it, you have your meter, you have your lancet, which is the device that actually pricks the finger to get the blood, and then the testing strips. The Dabs were designed to fit conveniently into the testing kit or on the outside. Again, whatever is most convenient for the individual to add as an overall permanent component of the testing kit.
John: Right, so you don’t have to carry some separate thing or remember to bring your wipes with you, or something like that, because it’s all just part of the kit.
Liz: That’s exactly right, which is why we included or purposely structured it with the adhesive backing. So it attaches, and then when the 50 sheets runs out, you simply remove the booklet and replace it with a new one.
John: So what happened then when you decided to create this product? Obviously, you wanted to do that for your son, but you figured out that a lot of people could benefit from having this. So where did the product go from there?
Liz: Yes. So initially, of course, not only did I want to do it to my son, because I knew it would bring value to my son, but the entire diabetes community.
But in and beyond that, what we have realized over the course…we’ve currently been in the marketplace for about five to five and a half years…what we have realized is that there are so many other applications and uses for the product, because in essence, it’s a wipe. It’s a stackable wipe. So that’s where we’re at as far as kind of transitioning to the Dabs versus Diabetes Dabs, or I should say in and beyond.
We want to always maintain the diabetic community and make sure that we get it in the hands of as many people with diabetes, but also expand to other areas within the healthcare space and beyond. It’s a multipurpose product, and what we’re trying to do is introduce it to the marketplace even beyond the diabetes application.
Other Applications for Dabs
John: So talk about that a little bit and what other applications you see Dabs potentially being used for.
Liz: From my experience, I have realized just in my personal everyday life, I have used it for my sunglasses. I have attached the booklet to my sunglass case, and I utilize it to clean my glasses or my iPhone. I have also seen, for example, when I go to get my nails done, typically what happens is that they cut paper towels into squares, and they use that to add the nail polish remover. This way, it’s a lot more efficient. It’s already cut, it’s stacked, so that it’s saving time and money.
John: Right. You mentioned some other medical applications as well.
Liz: Right. So I know, for example, that some people that are on Coumadin need to draw some blood, so it would be useful for people that are on Coumadin. For blood labs, when you go to get your blood drawn, they typically have a large piece of gauze that they…when you’re finished drawing the blood they use the gauze, and then they tape it to your arm. This way, it’s a lot more efficient. They can just remove the individual sheet. It absorbs the blood. And they can remove it as well.
John: So any kind of medical application where you’re drawing blood or having to prick your fingers for testing, or something like that. In the same way that it would work for a diabetes testing, it would work for any of those applications as well.
Liz: You got it.
John: Yeah, great. So you found yourself just kind of around the house using these Dabs that you had, and that product, for lots of little things.
Liz: That’s exactly right. And that’s when it occurred to us, “Well, wow. There’s so many various applications. Let’s expand beyond the diabetes space.”
The Future of Dabs
John: Right. So tell me a little bit about where you see the company going from here and what your hopes are for the future.
Liz: So we’re very excited. We’re very optimistic about what the future holds, being that there’s so many various applications. We’re transitioning to Dabs versus Diabetic Dabs. Again, as I alluded to earlier, we always want to maintain the diabetic side, but we just want to grow and let the general marketplace realize that there’s so many different applications that this product can be used for, which is why, of course, we use the line, “Tiny wipes, a million uses.”
John: All right, that’s great information, Liz. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Liz: Thank you for having me.
John: And for more information, visit the website at gottagetdabs.com. That’s G-O-T-T-A, gotta get dabs dot com. Or call (855) Get- Dabs (438-3227)