Hey there beauties! We know you’re preparing for the holidays, but we just wanted to leave you with a bit of inspiration before you check out for 2017. Have you ever read something and felt as though you were kicked in the stomach, but in a good way? I’m talking about something that picks you up, opens your eyes, and permanently alters your perspective. Well, that’s just the kind of story we have for you today; so sit back, relax, and get ready for that gut check, as we introduce you to Brittany Déjean. She has taken what most would see as a family tragedy and uses it as a platform to help individuals with disabilities find the resources they need, to not only live their lives, but to THRIVE in society.
Brittany is the brilliant mastermind behind this monumental movement that enriches the lives of others on a daily basis. AbleThrive is a one-stop platform of resources for people with disabilities and their families, that are customized to their interest and the details of their disability. Brittany’s mission since the conception of AbleThrive has been to “empower individuals with disabilities, along with their families, to maximize potential and live well.”
Oprah Winfrey says, “Know what sparks the light in you, then use that light to illuminate the world.” Brittany has most definitely achieved this since day one with AbleThrive, helping individuals with disabilities to empower themselves, providing tools and support they need to go for their goals, pursue their passions, and ultimately dare to dream!
We got the chance to chat with Brittany and find out even more about AbleThrive. She opened up about this one of a kind resource helping people who live with disabilities to connect and be empowered in a multitude of ways. Brittany is an advocate for inclusion and diversity and has set so many goals for this awesome movement! With AbleThrive you don’t just live with your disability, you learn to take pride in your abilities and THRIVE!
We are so honored to spotlight AbleThrive and welcome the incredible Brittany Déjean to our Slick Chicks family. Read the entire interview below and find out more on how you can get involved with such an empowering movement!
Can you tell us more about your company?
AbleThrive is a one-stop platform of aggregated support resources for people with disabilities and their families that are delivered to the user based on their interests and the details of their disability. We're using technology to make it easier for people to find the information, products and services they need to thrive.
What inspired you to create this company?
My dad was paralyzed in a car accident when I was 12.
Why is AbleThrive so necessary?
It's not common knowledge that it's possible (and many people do) to live life to the fullest with a disability. I work for a world where someone living life to the fullest with a disability is the expectation and the norm, rather than being considered an anomaly.
What was the first ever act of inequality or injustice you noticed?
I remember going to NYC when I was maybe 8 years old, it might have been my first time that I remember being in a city (I grew up in a very rural area) - and I remember a homeless man sleeping on a grate with a pink blanket. I remember being very confused why a man would be sleeping outside.
Why does it matter to companies to be inclusive and what can they do to foster more inclusion for others?
Inclusion is not only the right thing to do, it's also better for companies. When teams are diverse, you have a better chance of covering more bases and understanding how to reach more customers. Also, you open yourselves to benefiting from the skills diverse populations offer. Companies have to make a commitment to inclusion and to go beyond race, gender and sexual orientation to proactively include disability. I offer talks and workshops for companies who want to be inclusive of people with disabilities to understand how to overcome the fear and discomfort barrier to lay the foundation of an inclusive company.
What does the word empowerment mean to you and give us an example of a time you felt most empowered?
Empowerment means having the tools and support you need to go after your goals and do what's right for you. I feel empowered when I am connected with people who believe in AbleThrive's mission. Startup entrepreneurship is a long and lonely road, so I am always grateful to be rejuvenated by people who are with us every step of the way.
What advice would you give to a young person to navigate society today?
My favorite quote is - “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” —Mark Twain
Explore your passions, be kind, talk to others (and listen to them), and follow your gut. There are always going to be tough days and down moments, but if you can stay anchored in your truth, you can weather any storm. Also, surround yourself with people who build you up and set boundaries or end relationships that don't. You have to love yourself first and foremost - that's a journey in and of itself, but make it a goal.
As most of you know, at Slick Chicks we thrive on empowering women of all abilities to stay fierce, bold, and fabulous every day.
We want to hear from you! Tell us how you THRIVE by commenting below.
As always, don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter, keep reading the blogs, and visit us on social media to stay updated on all the latest Slick Chicks news. Happy holidays and wishing you and yours a prosperous New Year!❄️❄️❄️
See ya in your skivvies in 2018!