DC grad launches inclusive bandage brand Heal in Colour

For Tianna McFarlane, a Durham College (DC) Supply Chain and Operations – Business (formerly Business Operations) alumna, starting her own company had always been a lifelong dream – but the opportunity to create something significant didn’t present itself until 2019, when she was inspired during a simple trip to the drugstore to buy bandages.

As she searched for one that could cover a cut on her own leg, the lack of products for people of colour was striking. While there were plenty of nude, pink and even purple colours, there was nothing that she felt would blend in with her skin tone.

“In that moment I knew I had an opportunity to bridge the gap and create my own brand of adhesive bandages for Black and brown skin,” recalls Tianna, who spent the next two years laying the groundwork for her company Heal in Colour.

Finding a trustworthy and reputable manufacturer was her first test as an entrepreneur. Creating bandages in these shades has rarely been done, and never in Canada – because of that, finding a manufacturer who could create the product was challenging. She also faced additional barriers in the shipping industry, which was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Tianna worked to get her product to market, she leaned into grit and perseverance, as well as the knowledge gained during her time at DC, to make her dream a reality. Her project management training aided in the creation of timelines and action plans to keep the project on track, and she analyzed the seven Ps (product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning and people) to determine a strategic launch and marketing plan to reach her target audience.

The hard work paid off quickly, with Tianna receiving impressive news coverage soon after the product launch in April, and already more than $3,500 in sales. With Heal in Colour now available in the Canadian and U.S markets, consumers across the continent are already rallying around this innovative new product.

“We’re revolutionizing the way people shop for bandages, and it’s already had such a powerful impact,” explains Tianna. “I’ve had teachers reach out to express how happy they are to be able to give their students bandages that match their skin tone. It’s something so small, but will hopefully lead to something much larger.”

Tianna is continuing to dedicate herself to making Heal in Colour a household name – with a strong growth and expansion plan already in place to offer new products in the near future, such as athletic wraps and waterproof bandages. She also hopes to provide bandages to hospitals, long-term care facilities, universities and colleges, elementary schools, daycares and more.

“At the end of the day, I hope Heal in Colour will inspire others to be innovative and create products that promote inclusion,” says Tianna. “It’s our goal to encourage young Black women by showing them that they too can bring their own ideas to life through hard work and determination.”

Heal in Colour’s bandages are currently available for purchase at www.healincolour.ca.