Sunday evening – June 7, 2015 – Dignity by Design (my company) was notified that it had become a semi-finalist in the Minnesota Cup Competition!!
This may not mean so very much to those out of state or globally, but to Minnesota it means a great deal. And to a company that has dedicated its entirety to disabilities and the independence of the disabled, veteran and elderly…..well, it is unprecedented!!
For years, decades and historically – Disabilities have eluded investors as a non-glamorous, non-high-tech, non-money-making market. However, with the onset of disabilities hitting the runway in fashion, new technological advances in disease, war aftermath, community inclusion and software (including apps) rising to meet the needs of disabilities – it has become a viable “Social Impact” venture to investors and media worldwide.
It’s about time!
“When we’ve risen to meet the needs of our fellow man/woman – to create an environment that allows for independence, recognition of abilities and respect of worth – as a whole – regardless of ability or disAbility – then, we have truly evolved.” Donna Freeberg
Thank you MNCup for your recognition. It is amazing!
There is much on the global runway today that is addressing disabilities and fashion. Models are entering the runways in designs from the best houses of fashion. My colleagues, with disabilities, are finally being focused on – for the first time – for the beautiful people that they are – disability or no.
But is this just a showing for the designers, spotlighting their “compassionate” nature, and garnering headlines? The clothing is not made exclusively for the disabled – and although it’s very lovely – it does not address the issue of fashion for disabilities.
I believe that it’s opportunistic. My clothing line “Dignity by Design” is made specifically for disabled, Veterans and the elderly. (www.dignitybydesign.com)
We have struggled for years to get recognition by investors and angels, Why?:
Not enough of a market (5 million Americans and returning Veterans….not enough?)
“We don’t understand the disabled community”. (How about getting to know them?)
“We don’t understand the manufacturing/clothing market…too unstable”. (Does “Fubu” ring familiar?)
“It’s not technology…. and the return in the technology industry is more guaranteed.” (Although, with an 80% failure rate – the ROI is far from guaranteed.)
…The need IS real for the 5 million Americans alone, struggling with clothing issues, not having adequate resources and unable to afford designer prices – even if the clothing was made for their needs?
Please post your concerns or interest – because I am mystified at the apathy and lack of concrete solutions provided, thus far, for the daily needs of professional and social disabled citizens. We have always had the answer!
Minnesota’s Angel Tax Credit provides a 25-percent credit to investors or investment funds that put money into startup companies focused on high technology, new proprietary technology, or a new proprietary product, process or service in specified fields. The maximum credit is $125,000 per person, per year ($250,000 if filing jointly). The credit is refundable. Residents of other states and foreign countries are eligible.
A total of $16 million in tax credits is available, divided into two parts:
$7.5 million is reserved until Sept. 30 for investments in businesses owned by women or minorities or in businesses located in Greater Minnesota. As of 1/26/2015, $6.0 million remains. After Oct. 1, any remaining tax credits not allocated to these targeted businesses will be made available to others.
Another $8.5 million in credits (including unused credits from 2014) is available for investments in other businesses. As of 1/26/2015, $5.5 million remains.
We’re leary as business owners, right? Will the Entrepreneur overshadow me, my current employees OR most importantly: Bring value and skills to my business, without being a gazelle, or a King/Queen? Insight 101: In this economy – with an 80% failure rate in start up businesses – the current entrepreneur has learned humility along with a solid business education – if they have been wise enough to take it in and stand tall.
Here is my answer to my business colleagues: Buy, Buy, Buy!!
The true entrepreneur thinks outside of the box and can bring a wealth of talent into your business:
Having tame yet empowered entrepreneurs within a company is the dream for most business owners. These are employees who will undertake something new, without being asked to do so. They are innovative and creative – they are people who can transform an idea into a profitable venture for your business. They strike the perfect balance – act like entrepreneurs, but they work for you.”
–The Barking Mad Bloghttp://www.neilsteggall.org/SME Advice with bite!
Search within your Network for the entrepreneur (with the skills that match your business
model) as your next awesome employee.
It’s the no-brainer way to obtain growth and innovation within your company!!!!
Marketing, Social Media and Business Development: Donna Freeberg 612-325-4889
Marketing, Social Media and Business Development: Donna Freeberg 612-325-4889
The younger generations may not know who she was or why she died – but this single incident sparked a Nationwide acknowledgment to Nuclear terror – hidden within the towns, families and jobs in the “Good Old U.S. of A.”
It was a time when: If the people, the press or news uncovered corruption/evil THEY spoke and the people of the USA listened.
We had outlived the Hearst’s and our Nation was seeking truth and liberty. We were expanding our brains beyond what we’d been told and we sought to become enlightened people. It wasn’t without risk, but it was courageous and true.
TODAY evil/corruption is at home again and deeply nestled within all of the news –
and sound bites are everywhere.
It has escalated since the Karen’s and Watergate to where this nation is uninformed and held hostage to “entertainment” coverage for ratings, financial and political gains.
I want to take this moment to show my gratitude to you, personally.
Thank you for your service and sacrifice.
The most influential Veteran in my life was my Dad: Leslie Walton. My Dad was part of the glory, sacrifice and triumph of WWII. He was a pilot in the Army Air Corps, (before it became the Air Force as we know it today); he lost his leg in an airplane accident and spent a year in the hospital recovering. His aeronautical triumphs continued after the war with Honeywell. He loved flying, he loved his country, he was a man of honor and a great father. And my mother was by his side – every step of the way – through thick and thin. They were the inspiration for my company:
Dignity by Design. (www.dignitybydesign.com)
Country: I hope that these images will be as inspirational to you as they were to me:
I believe that every Physically Disabled Individual should have the right of Independence and Dignity….Don’t you? Don’t we all??
AND….I’ve got a crazy idea:
WHAT IF.…Celebrities living with a disability came together in Support, Partnering or as a Team in making disabled fashion their OWN? Each with their OWN individual STAMP on the styling of garments for this amazing populace?? Cool huh???
DIGNITY by DESIGN: “Brilliant Apparel for the Physically Challenged and all Disabilities” We NEED you…. And isn’t it Personal to you? Millions of Americans living with a disability have nowhere to turn for fashionable
clothing. NO Where – but Dignity by Design
Singly or as a Celebrity group YOU can make this happen.
YOU can be part of something greater! AND Your name will
live on – not only as a Star but as a legacy STAR MAKER.
There are 2 ways you can support and make a difference or just CALL me!!!
Logic, common sense and profitability guide this industry – not Fashion. That’s secondary.
It doesn’t take genius to understand that you would rather wear a suit to a board presentation or sales meeting than Zubas®, or that you will inevitably put to the back of the closet, or donation bag, the pants that no longer “zip” or are too long/wide/tight/wrinkly.
What if you had no choice BUT the Zubas® or ill fitting, unprofessional clothing??
That is my market. The Disabled, Veteran and Physically Challenged
Do you know 5 people? Then you intimately know my market!!
1 in 5 people in America have some form of disability that inhibits dressing in some way or another. Not only the wheelchair users – but the elderly, the returning veterans and those with dexterity limitations.
“Today, it’s a good idea. Tomorrow, it’s going to be essential.”