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Day 12 of 31 Days of SMA⠀ Topic: Adaptive Fashion and SMA⠀ ⠀ This is Abby's Story⠀ ⠀ Growing up I loved dressing up and my mom loved to buy me clothes as much as I liked shopping for them. It wasn’t always easy though and I dreaded shopping for shoes and pants… We had to find something that would fit over my bulky leg braces, while being comfortable sitting all day, was functional for me using the bathroom, and the most important part- being cute. I didn’t let that stop me from my love of fashion and clothes though. ⠀ ⠀ As a freshman in high school I was ready to leave behind all the old cringy middle school fashion and tackle one of my biggest fears- blue jeans… This was a big deal for me and I was nervous… Nervous that I would be uncomfortable sitting in my chair all day with a button pressed into my waist or the ladies who helped me used the bathroom wouldn’t be able to pull them up all the way while being in my chair. Needless to say jeans weren’t the most comfortable things to wear or easiest to put back on me but I made it work and I looked CUTE. ⠀ ⠀ After graduating from college I was out shopping for interview clothes with a friend and she saw the true struggle I and many of my other friends who use wheelchairs have of dressing cute, affordable, and comfortable. I was struggling to find the perfect interview pants and left again with a pair of pants I would “make work” because I couldn’t find anything else. This didn’t sit right with my friend and I could see her thinking about this shopping trip more than usual. She and I had a conversation afterwards about clothes and the lack of adaptive fashion for people who used wheelchairs. We both realized this was heavily overlooked at the time and we should do something about it! ⠀ ⠀ Kristen and I have been working for about a year now on our adaptive fashion line Inclusive Brands. We are wanting to create a brand that celebrates people’s abilities and bodies while having a community of individuals who can connect. I’ve had struggles dressing with my disability but haven’t let that stop me from expressing myself through my clothes. I hope to let this line do the same all while empowered.
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