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Local Clothing Designer Battles Rheumatoid Arthritis


Andrea Collins is the founder of Saturday Clothing, a fashion design studio and boutique atelier in the heart of downtown Calgary. She’s also utterly down-to-earth; when she’s not designing clothes you can find her in fly-fishing, working outdoors and spending time with her daughter.

Andrea has also suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis since she was just shy of 27, an illness that altered the course of her career. When she was diagnosed, she was working full time outdoors for Air Canada at a job that she loved. Her pain was incapacitating to the point where she felt completely limited. “I loved making clothes for my daughter, but I didn’t consider becoming my own boss until I was faced with the prospect of working outside in the winter.” Andrea suffers from Raynaud’s Syndrome in combination with her arthritis, a narrowing of the small arteries, which causes her hands to feel almost constantly cold and to go numb in response to cooler temperatures.

Initially, she had a hard time adapting to the changes in her mobility and her health. It wasn’t until she was prescribed a Nitro-glycerine paste for her pain, a treatment with serious side effects and potentially lethal interactions with her other medication that she decided to take action. “I never went back. I realized I had to take control of myself, to do my own research and create my own treatment regime.” She also became her own boss, starting Saturday Clothing with the aim of accentuating women’s curves making women look and feel stunning and comfortable. “I wanted to know my limitations, to be my own boss and to keep working outside.” You can find out more about Saturday Clothing on her website or follow her on Instagram


She began looking for natural, safe remedies to her pain “I did it all. I tried acupuncture, vitamins, supplements…you name it.” When a co-worker brought in a Thermotex Platinum Pad for her to try, she didn’t know much about it. But the heating pad surprised her. “After 45 minutes of using Thermotex, my pain began to go away. I was hooked.” Thermotex allowed Andrea to continue to work using her hands without relying on steroid injections or painkillers. “I keep using Thermotex because it works.” The gentle heat is also helpful for soothing cold hands in the winter.


Andrea describes herself as dependant on Thermotex to allow her to maintain the day-to-day activities she loves. “I love that I can use it anywhere, I plug it into my car and take it with me when I work outside. The straps allow me to wear it around the house for the arthritis in my hips.” Andrea uses Thermotex for 45 minutes or more each day to manage her pain. “Because of Thermotex, I was able to keep my job outside which I love, it allows me to have everything that I have today.” With a natural pain management regime, Andrea is able to give fishing, design and parenting everything she’s got.

You can also watch Andrea’s interview with CTV about how sewing soothes her arthritis here!

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Thermotex Platinum Far Infrared Heating Pad – All Purpose

Thermotex Platinum Far Infrared Heating Pad – All Purpose

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