Louise, an entrepreneur from SW Florida…

Let’s give Louise a warm welcome to the ‘No Shoes Required Blog.’ I especially want to welcome her, because she is my FIRST guest. This is her testimony. I hope you enjoy… Louise writes.

“No Shoes Required” is a blog designed to help fellow women with a disability. There, we learn how to interact and gain knowledge of how other women cope with their limitations. This includes what styles of clothing are the easiest for us to wear along with being in step with today’s fashion world.

I am handicapped, but this has only been for the last 26 years. I have been fortunate enough to have the time to adapt to my slowly worsening condition. And I am learning daily about new ways to do things in a manner that requires very little leg work. In 1988 and 1992, I blew out the ACL ligaments, one at a time, in both my knees.

The right one was repaired in 1988, but the left knee has never been repaired, due to obesity. The Doctor’s say, “It would be a waste of our time and your money to do the repair without losing 120 pounds first.” So it’s up to me!

Just for good measure, throw in a case of sciatica acquired after an auto accident. My back goes into severe spasms whenever I stand for more than five minutes.  If I sit down, the pain is immediately relieved. But not so good for weight loss, however!  I’m not into pity parties, and yet, I am working slowly to get my weight down so I can get the surgery done. I’ve always loved to walk and cycle.  At the moment, I can do neither.

I am a retired x-ray/CT scan technologist. I did this for 30 years and really loved working with the patients and Doctors.  It’s a very rewarding profession. In my early days, 1963, all that was required was a lovely white uniform. Then in the 80’s, along came scrubs, which were wonderful, and comfortable. I loved all the colors.

My life partner and I then went into the pool table and amusement vending business. This was from 1992 to 2001. And then we sold it. He was the salesman, and I was the installer along with the crew of helpers. We did quite well at it-except for blowing out my 2nd knee lifting a large piece of slate. Enter my disability.

I had to find a job I could do sitting down. So we started a store on EBay selling mostly shoes. He was the buyer, shoe cleaner and polisher. And I did all the technical stuff. Like taking photos. Writing descriptions to list them. Taking care of wrapping them and making mail labels for them.

Since his death from a stroke, I have been doing it all on my own. I’ve got a pretty good system worked out so I can do it from home. Even the mailman picks up packages at the front door when I sell something. I can drive (my right knee is fixed), but I need to use an Ambulator to walk.

Fashion wise, I’m sure not a Fashionista. I’m more comfortable in sweat pants and cartoon T-shirts. I wear pullover tops and stretch knit pants for comfort. My shoes are Oxfords, so I don’t turn my ankle and stress my knees.  I love colorful tops, and I am partial to Henley tops with the 3 button neck. My Easter blouse has butterflies all over.

I’m an entrepreneur. My EBay store specializes in men’s and women’s plus size clothing, plus a collection of Fentonware. I have quite a few Western shirts, mostly men’s. My store is called LucyRae’s Emporium and it can be found at http://ebay.stores.com/Lucyraes-Emporium

Thanks for reading my story. I hope you find me a fun and interesting person. I enjoyed writing this short post. Here is a sampling of the clothes that I sell.

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I carry all sizes, and my inventory changes when items sell. I encourage you to visit my website http://ebay.stores.com/Lucyraes-Emporium and find something that will change you into your own kind of Fashionista.

I also hope that I’ve inspired you to write a little something about yourself. As the author, K. Lorraine said, “We’ve got something in common. And disability doesn’t need to be a drag.

Your friend from SW Florida, Louise

I’ll see you next week with another Fashionista story,

K. Lorraine