By Arielle Follett
A former Algonquin student is working with the college’s applied research department to help create a fashion line for people with mobility impairments.
Travis Iverson, a self-confessed fashion lover and high-level quadriplegic, came up with the idea through his own frustrating experiences with clothing.
“When I would go to a store, I’d see an outfit and think ‘Wow, that would look sharp together,’ and then I’d bring it home and it would be like ‘Oh, well that didn’t quite work out,’” said Iverson.
“As far as that goes, it’s just frustrating. You’re already challenged with so many things that you can’t do for yourself. There shouldn’t be a real difference and that’s the problem.”
Iverson took his idea to his friend and business advisor, Jason Daly of Startup Ottawa.
“He was so inspired and enthusiastic but he didn’t believe in himself,” said Daly. “I told him he just has to work step-by-step and start making some connections.”
After his own positive experience working with the Applied Research and Innovation team at the college, he recommended that Iverson go pitch his idea.
The panel approved Iverson’s pitch and took him on as a client.
“Originally, Travis came in looking for help making connections in the fashion world, but we had him pause and realize he has to create a business first,” said Kevin Holmes, project manager of the health and wellness research centre.
Cristha Sinden, marketing team leader for the project, has been helping Iverson and team through the “conducting of secondary research in the market, identification of applicable trends, competitors, and technologies that could affect us and possible opportunities we can capitalize on.
“Our team basically has to determine if there is a market for our client’s product and if there is, how can our client get involved and what could possibly affect their entry.”
Currently, the team is in the process of making a website and image, finding business partners and figuring out a “factory model” for the pieces and how they will be manufactured.
There is no stated completion date for the project.