Before Victorialand Beauty founder Victoria Watts’ son Cyrus was born partially blind as a result of the hereditary condition familial exudative vitreoretinopathy that affects retinal blood vessels, visual impairment didn’t enter her frame of reference. She admits, “I would never would have given it any thought, to be quite honest.”
Having a child without full eyesight changes things quickly. Watts spent hours upon hours shuttling Cyrus to doctors in the ophthalmology department at Boston Children’s Hospital who deduced he has some peripheral vision and detects light, and worried endlessly about him adapting to his surroundings. Turns out Cyrus is managing well. Now an active three-year-old, he gets around mostly with touch and sound, and swims and rides horses like many boys his age.
“He is the happiest kid,” reports Watts. Of course, her worries haven’t completely subsided. She asks, “How is Cyrus going to navigate the world when he is older? How is he going to shower by himself without assistance? That’s where the inspiration came from to develop packaging with raised symbols to provide the visually-impaired and blind community with packaging that would give them a sense of independence when they’re using it in their homes and are trying to distinguish between a face cream and a night cream.”