In-Depth with "Patti+Ricky"

By mobileWOMEN Team

Founder, Alexandra Connell
If you are on social media lately, you may have noticed that the Internet has been abuzz about a new company that sells functional fashion for people with disabilities called “Patti + Ricky”. What caught our attention was the fact that they refer to themselves as an “online department store for people with disabilities”! Whaaaaat? Sounds interesting but what exactly does that mean?

Their website features products from 20+ different designers, many of whom live with disabilities themselves. To better understand this "new to our community" concept, we decided to get up close and personal with “Patti & Ricky”. See below, our in-depth interview with founder and “Creative Energy Officer”, Alexandra Connell: 

Mw: What inspired you to start your company? Who is PATTI + RICKY? How did you come up with the name?

AC: I saw a need for a marketplace that offered stylish and functional clothing that catered to people of all abilities. Thinking back, there were many experiences in my life that led me to find Both of my parents worked in the New York City fashion and accessory industry. Conversations in my home included what would be the next fashion trend or what was going to be the “it” colors for fall. I like to joke that I was born into retail and it’s in my blood.

I also grew up with dyslexia and ADHD. During and after college, I worked for nonprofits focused on fostering inclusion. Much of that time inspired me to earn my masters in disAbility Studies. 

Camping in The Sierras

By Emily Ann Hupe

Emily & husband on trip
In August, the hubby and I went camping with the Walking Trout Foundation. We had met Steve and Charles at the Triumph Foundation Sports Festival in Los Angeles in April. There were these two guys in their forties, sitting by tents that were large enough to accommodate wheelchairs - I was intrigued. However, I became an RV camper while I was still able-bodied so the last time that I slept in a tent, was 1998. I grew up tent camping and I loved it; there is just something about waking up in the mountains in a tent. However, the idea of sleeping in a tent as a paraplegic did not seem like a lot of fun. Steve explained that they take care of everything and it is at no cost to the campers including a guest of their choice so I decided to give it a try! I am always up for an adventure and Steve and Charles were VERY persuasive.
Walking Trout Founders, Steve (on rock) Charles behind on left) & Crew
The Walking Trout Foundation is a group of friends who are longtime backpackers and campers. After years of backpacking and camping together, the guys decided to help take people with mobility limitations on camping trips so they could experience the beauty and majesty of the Sierras.  In 2013, Steve and Charles advertised the first trip by posting flyers at rehab facilities. Tents, sleeping bags, and vehicles were rented, and Steve and Charles took 13 people they had never met to Rock Creek Lake in the Eastern Sierras. The trip was a great success, and the Walking Trout Foundation was born.