By Louise Kinross
For the wheelchair it is a bit bling and for the user security and control.
Lucy Jones – described by Forbes Magazine 2016 as one of the world's most intelligent women entrepreneurs designing wheelchair clothing – is launching a new range of wheelchair accessories in New York today.
A small metal clip for $ 49 with a docking station that fits on manual wheelchair hoses is sold with two leather handbags and a magnet holder attached to the drinks. You can use it to attach a bag or drink holder to your wheelchair.
The smaller bag is available in blue, pink, tangerine, yellow and black and is perfect for credit cards, keys, telephone and cash. It costs 108 US dollars. The slightly larger black bag is for people who want to wear more make-up or other things nearby. That costs 138 US dollars. Look at her This video,
"In focus groups, people often told us that they were sitting on their phones, their wallets or their keys because they did not have a safe place," says Lucy, whose new company is called FFORA, "That could cause pressure points.
Other people carried things open in her lap. Lucy remembers that one of her friends with multiple sclerosis asked her to put in her bag, which hung on the back of the chair to fetch things. "I've often asked myself, "how is that for sure?" The community wanted fashionable bags, but they often had to manipulate or hack them from the jury to fit their chairs. "
Lucy says it was a challenge to make a clamp that is light, sturdy and small and something that people want to leave in a wheelchair. Early users say the product, available in champagne, silver and midnight black, "looks like a piece of jewelry".
When the dock is attached, it can be rotated 360 degrees so that the user can position it so that it does not interfere with its movement. "It can drive anywhere along the lower wheelchair tubes. We have a man who lays it behind his leg and others who have it high up next to their kneecap and others who put it outside. "
Lucy and her team at FFORA needed to develop a product that works with seven different wheelchair tube sizes. "We have seven different silicone inserts
" She says. "On our website, the customer checks the model and brand of his wheelchair. and when the product is delivered, it already fits in with her chair. "
About a dozen wheelchair users aged 22 to over 60 years tested the products for a week each, then came back to check what worked and what needed to be improved. "One of her biggest questions was that we do something that's functional and easy to use, but also cool and stylish, something that her sister or mother might want to use," says Lucy. "If you do not have a disability and love the bag, you can wear it with a strap over your body – these bags compete with the rest of the market for small leather bags."
There's also a $ 25 drink holder that fits into the wheelchair dock. So you can take your coffee with you and do not have to worry about spilled liquids.
The new line will be delivered only in the US, but FFORA hopes to expand to Canada and Europe next year. Lucy and her team are working on ideas for children's products. "Imagine Disney or Marvel. Imagine we could get a license for a child to have his superhero character in a cup design? "It is planned to develop an attachment that is also suitable for electric wheelchairs and scooters.
In 2016, BLOOM interviewed Lucy about her clothing collection called Seated design for wheelchair users. She developed it as a PhD student at the Parsons School of Design in New York.
Lucy states that she has named her new company FFORA to recognize all wheelchair users she has worked with. "If we had focus groups, it was a really honest place where people could voice their opinions," she says. "It was a forum. I did not like the word "forum" and changed it to "forum", which is the plural of "forum". Then I added the double F purely for selfish reasons. I am a Welshman and I wanted the word Welsh. In Wales, there are many duplicate Fs that produce the F sound. I thought it was unique. Now we imagine the two Fs as a symbol for fashion and function or form and function and are forward-looking. "
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