Author: Hannah Henry
Published: Tuesday, 19 Dec 2017
Jakayla Dixon of North Texas is changing the way visually impaired people choose their clothing.
When Jakayla was a young girl, she would visit her aunt in Louisiana. Her aunt became blind as an adult, and would often ask for Jakayla's assistance in selecting clothes that matched color-wise. Jakayla often wondered how blind people who didn't have assistance were able to match their clothing.
This idea stayed with Jakayla as she grew older, and it became a driver behind the creation of her student company when she joined the Junior Achievement Company program as a high school freshman. Like any startup, the JA Company Program aims to solve a problem or fill a need in their community through entrepreneurial endeavor. The program helps do this by promoting concepts like developing a business plan, learning financial tools, sourcing product through a supply chain, and promoting it through sales and marketing.
Through research into the subject, Jakayla found that the only solution for the visually impaired community was a tag made from aluminum that was etched with braille. Not wanting to wear metal on her own clothing, Jakayla began to brainstorm other possibilities, which led her to her idea, patented cloth tags that can be used by the blind to match clothing.
Through Junior Achievement of Chisholm Trail in Fort Worth, TX, Jakayla has been able to meet with clothing industry professionals, as well as business management executives, in order to expand her understanding of running a successful business. JA has also assisted her in protecting her idea by having her meet with an attorney to help her patent her tag design.
As of now, Jakayla is working on innovating her idea by creating a tag from silk that will have the name of the color embroidered in both Braille and the English Alphabet letters, to help those visually impaired and those who are colorblind. She hopes to partner with clothing designers in the future so that she can provide her product to all visually impaired people.
Her innovative design and concept earned her the Junior Achievement Company of the year in her region. In June of 2017, she and four others represented the company at the JA National Student Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, where they won the FedEx Access Award for their innovative business.