My name is Kate Nelson and I’m an accountant for Colorado PERA, the state pension fund. I’ve worked in this industry for 17 years but always had an additional love for all things fashion. I decided to step outside my comfort zone and audition for Denver Fashion Week just to plant the seed that more disabilities need to be represented in fashion platforms. To my surprise, I was chosen and became the first person in a wheelchair to model on the runway in the spring of 2019. I’m now an advocate for more representation in the fashion industry for those with disabilities and am thankful to have the support of my accountant colleagues along my journey.
Fall is my favorite season for many reasons but fashion is first and foremost. Patti + Ricky has me swooning over their curated collection of inclusive and adaptive “must-have” items. 2020 has presented challenging issues and any items that can bring comfort or make life go a little more smoothly are welcomed.
The first essential item is the manual wheelchair bags by PunkinFutz. In this environment, it’s nice to have a safe place to put items and remain hands-free. I need more lap space when doing things like grocery shopping to put a basket on my lap and a purse often takes up too much room. The “pie bag” that is easily attached to spokes and accessible on the wheelchair tire is roomy enough to hold a cell phone, small wallet, car keys, and pocket-size hand sanitizer and keep me on-the-go. It’s also nice to have when going for walks on these brisk days to see the leaves change and if it gets a bit late, there are several to choose from with reflective properties to help you be seen at night. Definitely, a game-changing product and stylish to boot.
The second item is the Rover Rain Cape by Cleverhood and it comes in a variety of colors that can brighten any gloomy day. They are universally designed to flatter anyone and can even be more effective for bike riders than traditional rain jackets that might not be as weather-proof. As a wheelchair user, this is the first time I’ve ever found a product that would work well with a wheelchair. It’s an item that is easy to put on and take off, doesn’t get tangled in wheelchair tires when in motion, has an adjustable feature in the back for the hood so it doesn’t sink down into your line of vision, and helps keep you dry. Traditional rain jackets are hard to put on because of their length, hard to get under your bottom when seated, and don’t provide much coverage to keep thighs and legs dry. I’m really looking forward to having this on hand when concerts return because as a Colorado girl, I’ve been caught in some storms at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater and then remained cold and damp trying to enjoy bands after the storm passes.
The third item is fidget jewelry and with everything that 2020 has thrown at us, any item that helps provide a sense of calm and focus is needed. Fidgeting eases anxiety and stress and can be discreet when it’s a feature in a beautiful piece of jewelry. Patti + Ricky has several styles and price points to choose from and combines beauty and function. Like many others, I now work from home for health and safety reasons and have had to navigate online meetings with video. Being able to fidget with rings, bracelets, and necklaces have enabled me to stay focused in meetings when speaking to groups.
Some of the fidget pieces can be custom stamped and I was delighted to have “Roll Model” engraved on a sterling bracelet with a fidget slide closure. This was the title of a local news story marking my dive into the fashion modeling realm as the first person to ever hit the runway in a wheelchair for Denver Fashion Week. The bracelet doubles as a sweet reminder of this cherished memory and serves as a calming fidgeting tool for me when public speaking. I think these items are beautiful and can make great holiday gifts.
The fourth item can be used together or separately and are a godsend in this climate. Essential oils can be used for a variety of reasons including lessening symptoms of headaches, bringing peace and serenity, increasing alertness and clarity, relaxation before bed, and help allergies, asthma, and kickstart your immune system. Open Heart Apothecary offers essential oils that are natural, pure, and safe for the skin. In my own experience, I had only ever used oils at home in a diffuser but recently tried the oils paired with diffusing jewelry and I loved the combination. The oils smell wonderful and provide benefits throughout the day in a beautifully designed Boho-style essential oil diffusing bracelet by Essential Adornment. It’s fashion-forward as lava stones hold the oil and you can choose from many semi-precious stones or even layer many together.
My fifth and final recommendation for fall from Patti + Ricky is wheelchair wheel Covers by Different View Designs. They are simply stunning and as a woman who is into all things fashion, these are beautiful. It’s a fun way to stand out and show off your personality and since it’s made of yarn, you can further make it your own by adding “flair” pins or weaving flowers through the knit. Your imagination can go wild with possibilities.
Make sure to look at the Patti + Ricky site to get your hands on these fashion finds for yourself or gifts for the upcoming holidays. A resource for the fashion-forward in all of us and items sure to please anyone on your “nice” list.
Fashionista Finds for All.