According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 54 children have been identified with Autism
Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and 1 in 6 children are thought to have some sensory need. It can be difficult for parents of special needs children to find
products that will fit their child’s needs without scouring the web for hours
or visiting every store in the mall. Patti + Ricky, an eCommerce website specializing in inclusive and adaptive clothing, accessories, and toys offer a wide range of sensory-friendly gadgets such as Chewelry (chew-safe jewelry), art supplies, weight blankets, and lap pads, cozy cocoons as well as a wide variety of fidget toys ranging from calming playdough to marble mazes.
All people have different talents, strengths, challenges, and
moments when a little extra help can go a long way. The new online marketplace, Patti + Ricky was created by founder Alexandra Herold as a digital shopping destination dedicated to offering products from designers that cater to people of all abilities. They offer items for women, men, and kids that fulfill specific needs without sacrificing style and personal expression.
Founder Alexandra Herold’s parents both worked in the New York
City fashion and accessory industry. Growing up in a house full of
conversations about the next fashion trend or “it” color of the season led
Alexandra feels like she was born into retail and in her blood. Her own
disAbilities, her close relationship with her cousin Ricky who was unable to walk or verbally communicate, and her mother’s battle with brain cancer fueled Alexandra’s determination to launch Patti + Ricky. Many of the designers whose products are featured on the site also have disAbilities or a loved one with disabilities. Patti + Ricky strives to be the one-stop-shop for people with disabilities, including visible and non-visible disabilities and temporary and lifelong disabilities.
The Statistics Behind Their Story
The latest statistics available through the American Community Surveys estimate that 12.6% of the US population has a disability. Carefully
selected products that meet the Patti + Ricky standard of character and flair
address the particular needs of many people. Some of these products include
colorful wheelchair bags decorated with characters and designs for kids that
can be attached to the spokes of a manual wheelchair or an electric arm.
Magnetic clothing, cochlear ear implant jewelry, braille printed jewelry and
clothing patches and wheelchair-accessible rain capes are just a few of the
other inclusive items stocked by Patti + Ricky.
Life events can create new needs in people’s lives. Illness, accidents, and the aging process can make activities that used to be as easy as breathing more challenging. Designer arm slings for men and women transform the
results of surgery or an arm injury that would typically end in a boring
standard-issue sling into an opportunity for personal expression. Denim and
flannel slings are available for men with designs from lace to sequins, beading, and laser cut-outs for women. A variety of options in easy-to-wear clothing are also available through Patti+ Ricky, along with specialty items like eye patches, wheelchair gloves, walking sticks, and spray supplements.
One of founder Alexandra’s favorite product lines is the fidget
jewelry collection. Part of her inspiration for starting Patti + Ricky has been
her own disAbilities. Alexandra has dyslexia, ADHD, and anxiety. However, her greatest muses have always been her mom Patti and her cousin Ricky.
“After my mom, Patti was diagnosed with a brain tumor; she needed
a cane to help her walk. A fashionable and fun woman, she wanted a leopard
printed cane! The choices in most stores were clinical and boring, but I
eventually found her a pretty pink cane with roses,” said Herold. “The cane
meant a lot to my mom, not only because it was her vehicle, but also a stylish
talking piece that made her feel beautiful. Through her, I learned that fashion
could support individualized needs while giving people the opportunity to
express themselves and feel great. My cousin Ricky was unable to walk or
verbally communicate, yet he showed me that communicating through our eyes and facial expressions can be just as effective. Together, Patti and Ricky formed the inclusive lens through which I see the world. Our mission is to continue to spread the love, understanding, and acceptance that Patti + Ricky passed on throughout their lifetimes.”
Patti + Ricky is constantly evolving and debuting new products from hand-selected designers with “Patti + Ricky approval” in mind. The site
now offers products from over 90 designers. If you have a child with a particular need, it may be worth checking out this company to see if you can find something that would best support them!