I recently read an interesting blog on “Adaptive Clothing” (see link below blog) that talks of all of the “new and innovative” clothing lines available for disabilities.
This was my response to the editor:
“We have been in the adaptive clothing business since 2001. As a matter of fact – we, Dignity by Design, introduced Adaptive Fashion to the world. For years we went to investors, we pitched, we were up for awards. We were, and are, considered the leaders and experts in adapted fashionable clothing, without a stigmatized “adaptive” appearance. Yet we couldn’t make the investment market take notice – not enough to invest real $$. The main brands that are referenced in this blog simply modify their current lines “enough” to be considered adapted – but there’s so much more to adapted clothing: Materials, cut, price, style and research.
If this market truly is going to approach $393 billion by 2026, then perhaps my readers can point us to the people that are serious about disabled fashion, investing in this market and providing a real solution that will capture the market with integrity and purpose – not just a quick fix. “
I remember watching Brookdale Mall (Brooklyn Center, Minnesota) being constructed as we all eagerly peered out the school bus windows, on our way to Northport elementary. (It was my kindergarten year, and everything was bustling with “newness”.)
It was magical – Just imagining a mass of stores, under one cover, in a luxurious setting with restaurants attached – called: A MALL!
So many shopping firsts and fashion firsts were acquired at Brookdale Mall: Dayton’s, Penney’s, Donaldson’s, Snyder’s and……..Sears. I worked at Sears throughout High School….. it was a grand place to work. I can’t remember a time as a little girl when I didn’t look forward to the “Christmas Wish Book“, or going with my Dad to get a “Craftsman” tool. And when Mom’s washer went on the blink – off we’d go to Sears for a replacement. Sears was the store for the Everyman.
The demolishing of Brookdale Mall a number of years back left one vestige standing: Sears. But now – it will soon be demolished as well.
I visited my flagship job/store/memory maker – in the last final days, and it was heartbreaking. Below are a few pictures on the history of Sears – as I remember it and photographed it.
Nothing stays the same.
And, at times, they simply vanish.
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
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!!!
Dignity by Design™ provides Independence to the disabled, elderly or veteran through clothing…Fabulous clothing…Accessible clothing…. Simple enough.
Dressing is an everyday human right that most able bodied people take for granted, and yet a solution has never been offered or recognized, to date, by the US or global economies. I find that astonishing.
DbD™ offers the solution to accessing clothing that is suited to disabilities. We take the guess work out of buying clothing that is suitable to wheelchairs, limb loss or prosthetics. Dignity by Design is uniquely the only source available for the disabled or physically challenged that it is online, ergonomically correct, current fashion at a moderate price.
Clientele, caretakers and health care providers deeply understand the need for
independence and dignity for over 54 Million Americans living with disabilities – and
it’s ever growing. This is a business in a box, market ready and possesses tremendous
I can’t continue to carry this banner alone. I need investors and partners in manufacturing and business that will take the risk of “doing good”, being pioneers and building a company that will become the largest and most economically rewarding Fashion empire in recent history. No brainer?? You tell me.
Dignity by Design is where Social Technology meets Fashion!