Speaker 0 00:00:03 Hey, and welcome to freewill and with carton, I'm your host card and wipe off disability advocate, wheelchair warrior, and I believe in creating a more accessible world. And so I have this podcast that brings on people with disabilities or people in the disability, community inventors, business owners, and share their stories of strength and talk about what they're doing to break down those barriers. And today I have Kelly who is an occupational therapist and passionate accessibility advocate born and raised in San Diego as an OT student in 2016, Kelly cone vented a portable pathway that empowers people with physical disabilities to easily access the outdoors in 2018. Kelly launched access tracks T R a X, a social impact startup that has since served customers across 10 countries. Some of her favorite accomplishments include volunteering at the first Costa Rica adaptive surf open being accepted into a San Diego business accelerator winning the 2020 FedEx small business grant grand prize, Paula that's awesome, and getting engaged to her fiance, Jeff, how exciting Kelly enjoy sharing her experiences with future entrepreneurs and encouraging the next generation of problem solver in her spare time.
Speaker 0 00:01:24 She enjoys cooking, reading CII and spending time outdoors. I'm excited to talk today about access tracks and that's ACC E S S T R a X. You can find her on Instagram at beach tracks, TRX S D like San Diego and on Twitter access tracks with the ex and then website access tracks, S d.com. Please also download I access life, a mobile app that rates and reviews places on their accessibility from the entrance, the parking to the interior. And it helps provide transparency such as myself, who is a wheelchair user, just going out, getting something to eat at a restaurant or going to a local bar. And sometimes it's difficult to know what that accessibility is going to look like. And so instead of calling head looking on the website, I can easily go to I access life and rate and review. And then also read what other Raiders have written about the built environment you can use. Referral code carton, my name C a R G N. And download I access life on Google play or the Apple app store. I welcome you, Kelly, the co-inventor of access tracks. Hey Kelly. Welcome to freewill and with carton podcast, how's it going? Hi garden. Thank you much for having me
Speaker 1 00:03:00 Doing well, having a really busy day and excited to kind of talk with you.
Speaker 0 00:03:05 Thank you so much for being here. And tell me a little bit more about the access tracks that you've created and describe, uh, you know, create that visual concept of what that is.
Speaker 1 00:03:17 Great question. I know it, I wish that we had a poster that would go with this presentation, right images. Um, so basically what the access tracks are, are square mats that you connect in any configuration on the ground. And it's meant to be a portable pathway system that empowers people of all physical abilities to access the outdoors and recreation. So essentially it is a portable sidewalk and each square piece. And its smallest form is basically three feet by three feet and they only weigh five pounds. So they're really lightweight and they're connected with just simple but durable Velcro hinges. So it's really easy to understand how to use them and to use them. So that's basically it it's a portable modular pathway that creates that from unstable surface so that people can get outdoors and access life.
Speaker 0 00:04:19 Nice. That's awesome. So can you describe the texture of it again?
Speaker 1 00:04:23 Absolutely. So basically it's made out of a hard plastic, so you've got these squares, they're really a forbid stable surface and the surface texture. It almost feels like not sandpaper. It's not abrasive, but it's almost like the surface texture of a cut, a plastic cutting board, if you can imagine. So it has some texture to it, but really it's more of a smooth surface that allows people to move over it without it feeling like you're on sand or gravel, that's usually really bumpy.
Speaker 0 00:04:58 Sure. Oh, that's so cool. And so where do people put access tracks?
Speaker 1 00:05:03 I love that question. I'm aware don't they put access tracks is really a better question. Yeah. So, um, so far some of our main customers include families and adaptive sports organizations and they will place the tracks, you know, in their gravel driveway or, you know, sometimes even over snow, if they're in that type of climate, but really the product was inspired by an invented for adaptive surfers. That was kind of really what kicked off the product. So a lot of people use it for sand at the beach, but we also have in addition to things like sand and dirt and snow, um, people using it over grass cause sometimes thick grass, especially if it gets wet and muddy can be really difficult for people who use mobility devices. So really just kind any surface like that. And I like to also focus on what are people doing, right? So we like to say, we empower people who are accessing their yard or their home going to the beach and having fun with friends and family going surfing. Sometimes maybe you go kayaking at the Lake or the river or just camping. You know, maybe you have a really cool setup when you're camping and you just want to have a little area like a platform or a little pathway going from your tent to the bonfire or the bench. So a lot of, a lot of uses for it.
Speaker 0 00:06:33 Wow. Is set the freedom that it empowers people. I mean, I would love, I can't wait to try it out in order some, because I mean, for me, I use a wheelchair and thinking about the limitations that the world provides in the natural environment, you know, sand, gravel, grass, thick mud, all of these kinds of things that just wheels just don't do well. And so I do have a special kind of wheelchair that has almost about four wheel drive and it has Omni wheels and it's, it's an all terrain type of wheelchair. And so it can traverse pretty heavy things. Um, but not thick sand can't do the exam and it definitely is not gonna do well in mud or really thick, loose pebble gravel. I'll just spin out. So that really deep kind of gravel and deep thick sand, if it's like hard packed sand, that's a little bit of a different story, but again, it just wears on the battery cause it's not really meant to, it's meant to be on a solid flat surface, right. For the most part. And so how many, how many, what's the square footage of each of the squares and how many would you recommend in, you know, going down to the beach or in kind of a small area like by campfire or something?
Speaker 1 00:07:57 Each panel itself, um, is three feet by three feet. So that's nine square feet and I really love that they're modular so you can connect them and have as many of them as you want. Or let's say a lot of families what they do if they're going to the beach, for example, and a lot of beaches are really wide getting to that hard pack sands that you mentioned. So that would be a lot of pathway if they tried to just lay it down and leave it. But we have quite a few families who will purchase. Let's just say 10 of these nine square footage mats, and they'll leave two different sections of five connected mats. So five and five and they will align them together and they'll move down the path. And then they just have one friend or family member that can easily fold up what was behind them and then bring it and put it in front. So you get this leapfrog effect. That's highly effective to getting wherever you want to go and you don't have to order, you know, 50 of these things. It's just get a couple of them. If that's what you'd like to do. And you have access at your fingertips,
Speaker 0 00:09:11 That's really smart to think about because yeah, I was, I was thinking the same thing. I'm like, okay. So I get down to the beach and I mean easily, that can be, you know, a hundred, 200 feet to get to the water depending on where you are. I'm in the coast that I've gone to can be long and to actually get to the waterfront. So I'm like, dang. Yeah, I have to, it's going to be heavy to carry all those tracks and in the square. So I like the idea of like that leapfrog effect. That's really efficient how to do it. So you have this awesome idea. It didn't just come out of nowhere. So tell me about the background story. I'm so interested in learning more about what got you interested in creating a mat and, or I guess like the square pad to give freedom and allow people to thrive who use wheelchairs or really any anyone that is unstable on their feet, because I'm sure that that solid surface can really help tremendously if you have issues with balance and coordination. Right. Um, so tell me about the background story.
Speaker 1 00:10:14 I love this story. Thank you, Cardin. So I, as you mentioned, I'm an occupational therapist and really how I got started into this path of entrepreneurship and inventing something is I was in my second year of grad school and I went to school at the university of st. Augustine for health sciences in California. And we had a class called assistive technologies. So the main project of that course was to create something that would help people with disabilities, be more independent in achieving some sort of task or goal. And the teacher of that class, she was a huge surfer and she had a special request to help her, you know, the adaptive surfers that she seen be able to get across the sand in their wheelchairs with dignity and independence. So I had a classmate, a fellow OT student, who we worked on a lot of different group projects together.
Speaker 1 00:11:17 So we instantly were like, if we're going to work on this project and we thought, yeah, we can try to tackle that. That challenge seems really exciting and motivating. So we went to home Depot four times in one day, we just tested a bunch of materials. You know, what can we build with our hands that can create a Firman stable surface, at least at the point of contact where wheels would normally sink into sand? How can we prevent those from sinking? And you might ask, okay, so we started tackling it from a pathway of view. Why didn't we try to make some sort of wheel modification or something on the wheelchair? And really our thinking there was, we wanted something that could help more than one person at once and with a modification with a wheelchair that's really only helping one person at once. But if it were some sort of modular pathway, anybody could really benefit from the pathway. So it's not limited to just a person who uses the wheelchair where that modification. So that's kind of where our thought process web. And we created that first handmade prototype back in 2016 and we tested it with real adaptive surfers, just a few weeks later at a competition in Southern California, there were five adaptive surfers at that competition and they all tried it and it was so incredible card and seeing their faces as they were using this pathway. So we, okay. So we only have man I'm crying. We only had,
Speaker 0 00:12:57 I know the beach is just so hard to get on and that is something that I've really stopped going to because of the lack of mobility, getting to the beach and, you know, someone would have to piggyback me. And then when I'm on the beach, I have a progressive disease. So I wouldn't be able, I would be stuck like you get to the beach and they put me down in the sand or a chair and I'm like, alright, well I can't move now. So it's so limiting. So I can only imagine what they're thinking when they, when they have that, that feeling of, wow, I can move around.
Speaker 1 00:13:30 Absolutely. We had two of these handmade sections that were about nine feet long each and we had to get a, I think it was 150 feet down the beach to the competition area. So we were doing that leapfrog thing with the surfers and their wheelchairs. Um, but even with that, I mean, they were independently propelling themselves in their wheelchairs getting down or pathway. So one of them even said that was the first time in 10 years, he'd been able to get across the beach independently with his chair because otherwise what he would do is, um, he has, uh, uh, lower level endure, uh, injury, spinal cord injury. And he would literally drag himself down a beach because he didn't like as a grown man, he didn't like people carrying him. So to empower him to say, yeah, I can do this by myself, but I'm also not tiring myself out before I even go surfing. That was really, really powerful.
Speaker 0 00:14:33 Wow. That's, that's so cool. And then, so you, you've tested out this material with professional surfers of professional adaptive surfers. And so was that the prototype? How did you get this to go mainstream
Speaker 1 00:14:50 From that first testing? We got a lot of great feedback and that helped us kind of choose a direction before that day. We weren't really sure. Like, are we going to turn this into a business after we graduate? I mean, we're in school to be occupational therapists, are we going to be clinicians? So basically after that day, the feedback we knew, like we can't just leave this as a school project, but we also couldn't sell handmade pathways from the materials from home Depot that was not practical or scalable. So we quickly shifted to start thinking about the business decisions and how can we manufacture this out of a material that is durable and not going to be damaged from the sun and the water and mud and you know, all of the materials. So we first thought, okay, obviously we need to find a manufacturer here that can help us. And really with that, it was, Oh, okay. Where are we going to get the money to do any of this right.
Speaker 0 00:15:55 Your stuff isn't inexpensive.
Speaker 1 00:15:57 Absolutely. So forming a product and a company are very expensive and we were, you know, students. So we started asking our school, Hey, are there any scholarship or grant competitions or opportunities? And just so happened. There was one our school qualified to compete in because it was the company that owned our school. But nobody from our school of st. Augustine had ever competed in this particular grant competition. So we were the first students to ever compete from st. Augustine in this global business plan competition and all the other competitors, they had had six months or so to get their application together. We had six weeks, uh, so the pressure was on. Um, but we were very motivated, you know, to get funding, to help make this thing a reality, you know, after testing it with surfers and seeing their reactions on that, you know, that freedom, we just couldn't let it go. So we ended up being finalists in that competition and we won some grant money that got us through the prototyping. Wow. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:17:06 Those others to shame, you can put something together and six weeks with a little bit of motivation behind ya. Wow. That's, that's really amazing. You know, just kind of, I feel like sometimes a lot of life things that happen, especially when it's for, when it's for the good, the greater good things kind of just fall into place naturally. And it's almost like the universe is on your side in that case. And it just so happened that you had that grant program and competition right there and right then, and so that that's really awesome.
Speaker 1 00:17:41 I totally agree with you saying that the universe will help you, you know, especially if it's something for good, because have been so many occasions where something like that has happened, somebody came into my life or an opportunity presented itself and I went for it and that will continue to happen as long as I have this positive attitude that I can't give up, even if this is really difficult, but it's worth it.
Speaker 0 00:18:14 What does your business look like now? Do you have a team? Are you pushing this out to production? Are you working with beaches? Like tell me where where's the next step for it.
Speaker 1 00:18:24 Access tracks as a company was founded in February of 2018. So we've been in business for just about two and a half years now. I am actually the only one running operations. So I wear all the hats in the business between sales and manufacturing and marketing. And I think that there are definitely some pros and cons to that because one, I, I know what's going on in every aspect of the business and I can see when there's issues right away, or I can see where things are going really well. Um, but obviously the negative is, is that I am only one person and I only have so many hours in the day and so much energy. So that is time is my limiting factor in addition to sometimes money, um, actually oftentimes funding, but really, um, where there's a will. There's a way. Yeah. So when you were talking about also like, are these in production and things like that, I wanted to answer that part of it too, is that even though I am the only one running the company, like it's running and we have customers in 10 different countries so far.
Speaker 1 00:19:35 Oh yeah. Yes. I mean measuring pounds. Right. I think when I was talking about the adaptive surfing community, they were the early adopters because it was really inspired by them and made for them. So word caught on pretty quickly. And part of that is that here in San Diego, pretty much every winter is the world Paris surfing championships. So I had from 2016 on this global audience that came to me. I mean, how lucky is that, that I was able to show them in person, people from around the world, from Japan, from South Africa, from, you know, England everywhere where people could actually use the product in person and see it it's value. So our first international sale was the, uh, ju uh, Japan, adaptive, surfing organization. Um, cool. Yeah. Uh, so
Speaker 0 00:20:34 Japan does a lot for disability inclusion. Mainly they have a very strong, uh, tendency for, uh, visual diseases. Um, and so a lot of them are blind or have low vision over there. And so I could see how even access track tracks would be really helpful just for having that clear pathway to go down to the beach, because how are you going to use a walking cane on the sand? I mean, I haven't seen that happen. Maybe it is possible, but it's nice to have that smooth pathway that, you know, the edges and, you know, there's a clear path where it's going,
Speaker 1 00:21:11 Right. Yeah. I actually have had, um, people here in Southern California, uh, use it who are visually impaired and they, their feedback was, yeah, I know that this is direction that I'm supposed to go because somebody tells me this pathway leads towards the water and there's not an obstruction between me and the water. Then they, you know, are able to use their cane or they have a person with them. So it's pretty cool.
Speaker 0 00:21:37 Definitely. And when I was in Spain, Spain has, uh, some of their beaches, they do have accessible pathways going down them. And so I'm also thinking if you were to start working with local, I mean, I guess the local cities and their beaches, whoever owns the beachfront area, how you can bring that accessibility to the waterfront, because there's a lot of just, there's a lot of energy and movement with the ocean that you just absorb. And when you get there, it's almost like this out of body experience. And at least I get that. I'm like, wow, it's just so beautiful. And like calm and the crashing of the waves. It's just so soothing. And then sometimes the fear in an area that has, you know, dolphins or whatever, it's such a peaceful environment. And so opening that up, it's just, it's very like, stress-relieving in my opinion. And do you ever have, yeah, for sure. Do you ever have an issue with people blocking the access tracks? If you have it laid out in a long pathway, do you have people like putting their beach chairs on it? And it's tough because a lot of people like to block right away.
Speaker 1 00:22:56 That's a good question. Um, so far I haven't seen that as good a lot of times it's because there's a lot of people actively using the pathway. So people get the hint that they shouldn't just, you know, sit down right there in the middle of the accessible walkway. Um, when I have a surprise. Yeah, you're right. Um, but when I have a platform built, because like I said, they're modular, so you can create a big square platform. I have set up for an event the day before at a public beach before, and I was in the middle of still setting it up and people would come sit down. So when there's a platform, absolutely. It's more inviting. Um, so to speak for people to come check it out and set up camp on it. But so far haven't seen any instance where people were straight up blocking the accessible walkway. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:23:53 Yeah. I just know on streets and sidewalks, people love to block the sidewalks with anything and everything. So I just want to get to, to the idea and the point that having a smooth pathway is something that came out of as, as I understand from the Americans with disabilities act here in the United States and that isn't just there to provide access to people with disability. So for thinking wheelchairs and scooters and canes and all those, anyone with wheels, and also anyone who has a struggling with balance coordination. But if you're thinking about you're walking down to the beach and I, and I know I'm saying peach a lot, because I S I can see that being the, the highest impact of using this at a large, very large scale. Cause a lot of people like to gather around beaches and your, when you go to the beach, what are you bringing with? You? You got your umbrella, you got your rolling car, you got this, you got your bag, you got your child and all this. And I know as well, sometimes in some beaches, that sand is like a thousand degrees. And so not only is it benefiting people with disabilities, but it just benefits the greater good. Um, and every anyone cause does the pathway get hot at all in direct sunlight?
Speaker 1 00:25:19 Yeah. So two parts to that. I wanted to touch base on that. You're basically nail on the head talking about universal design and the fact that when you design something that can benefit really everybody that's that's for the greater good, and you're not limiting it to one population. So when we designed the access tracks pathway, we quickly realized from our first prototype that was handmade to the final product that we launched. We had some design changes to make, to make it more universal so that people walking people with baby strollers, people with mobility devices could all benefit from that. Um, and in really addressing the second question about the temperature of the, of the math. So that's a, that's a tough one. I think that the, the mats certainly don't get hotter than the sand, but they do absorb the heat of the sun. If it's a hot day they'll, they'll heat up a little bit. So that's something with future design modifications would be really interesting to test different surface textures. Um, we've changed the color from black to gray to see if that would help. So absolutely looking for
Speaker 0 00:26:33 Shelby veto, right? That's like how much the sun absorbs or reflects. I think I learned that in environmental science. Very cool. You know, you have darker colors, then it's going to absorb more like black that's right.
Speaker 1 00:26:46 Versus reflecting it. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:26:49 Yeah. Have you ever thought about things like high contrast? And so with those who are, have low vision or are, um, usually with low vision, they need that high contrast. So I'm just thinking like gray against that. It depends on the sand color. You know, some niches are kind of muddy. Some are, you know, beautiful white sand beaches is the gray high contrast enough for, for people to be able to differentiate it from the sand.
Speaker 1 00:27:18 That's another great question. I think that with our original color that we tried, which was black, it was absolutely contrasting pretty much every terrain, but then it was getting a little bit, I wanted to test it to see if a different color would not be quite as hot. Um, but at the same time, most of the people so far that we're using it, we're using a mobility device. So they work barefoot, um, and actually touching it. So it was kind of one of those catch 20 twos of, okay, if we change the color and then, you know, the surface and all of that, it's going to get more expensive and potentially less attainable to the average family versus, okay, do we keep it the way it is for now? And then as the company grows, potentially have different product lines. So maybe one product is like the standard and then maybe another one has an option that is, you know, really just reflects that sun and the heat. So it doesn't absorb it. And maybe we have different color options as well. So the one thing that I did do is I switched from using a black Velcro hinge color that connects the mats to a high contrast orange color. So I found that, that I got feedback that having the orange color pop was really helpful for people who are visually impaired and just really anybody. Yeah. Right.
Speaker 0 00:28:43 Again, the universal design and that universal access or access for all is a term that I learned recently. Yeah. This kind of like access for all and thinking how people with disabilities, we often just look at accessibility and access as a checklist, like, okay, you've got the ramp. Okay. You've got the captioner. Okay, you've got this and that and this and that. And it's a series your checklist. And you're like, okay, I'm done. That's it, we've checked off all the accessibility that we need, but we don't really realize that, you know, it's such an ebb and flow. And I really look forward to seeing how your product evolves, given that, that feedback from users that experience it too, to make it better and always be thinking about how to improve the product, because that's something just in general with accessibility and how do we design products for everyone is you always have to be adaptive. So yeah. Thinking about just universal access and the feedback and the high contrast, um, yeah. Orange is definitely super high contrast against gray. Yeah. So that's awesome.
Speaker 1 00:29:51 Definitely. And we've done different color options as well. One time we had this nice blue color for the Velcro and people liked that. So that's something that we, I can foresee us custom orders for the colors would be really cool and people can change it up to like the say you have orange mixed in with blue and maybe it's your favorite team colors or has to do with just colors that you like, and then you can mix and match. So it'd be kind of fun to do something like that.
Speaker 0 00:30:20 I could almost see this you're on the beach and you have the pair of surfers and each team has a different color. Right. It's laid out is that's their track that they go down to get to the water of that would be kind of fun.
Speaker 1 00:30:36 Oh yeah. And then it would make it easy for people to see immediately. Oh, those are my tracks versus that somebody else's cause that's been a one time that was an issue of, Oh wait, there were multiple people volunteering at an event one day and we were mixing and matching to kind of make the accessibility a really, really good. And then we forgot. Okay, wait, which one's yours, which one's mine. So I had to refer back to, we have a batch number on the bottom right hand corner of the panel. So I was able to figure it out from that.
Speaker 0 00:31:09 Oh, that's smart. Yeah. To have that identifiable. And have you thought about any personalization aspects to it like monograms and designs logos?
Speaker 1 00:31:21 That's a great question. And I, a while back was going to be involved in an event in San Diego where they needed a lot of pathway and unfortunately the event got canceled, but what it was was at the beach and they were going to have a lot of sponsors because it was a nonprofit putting it on. And I thought, well, what better way to help them be able to rent the pathway for the event then to offer the sponsors, their logos on the mats so that they had high visibility and marketing and would be more willing hopefully to, to sponsor that pathway. That's cool.
Speaker 0 00:32:03 How much does each one of the squares weigh?
Speaker 1 00:32:06 So each square weighs about five pounds. So they're really pretty light. Yeah. And it always surprises people how durable they are because there are so thin they're only an eighth of an inch thick each square. Yeah. Tiny. Right. But that allows them to stack very, very flat. So let's just say you have 10 of the mats and you stack that they accordion fold. If you have them connected in a straight line with those hinges and say you fold them and stack them into one square, it's less than two inches thick. Wow. And 10 of them would weigh about 52 pounds or so. So for me, I prefer to carry about six or seven of them at once. And we have a shoulder carrying strap system that you can hook up to the mats for easy carrying. Yeah. But that's, that's what I tell people like, Oh, if you want to carry about five of them, it's about 25 pounds. If you want to carry a ton of them, it's about 50, 52. So they can decide themselves what they physically would like to be able to carry.
Speaker 0 00:33:13 That's awesome. Yeah. I love how you're always thinking about, you know, how can you make this easier for people, you know, the caregivers or maybe it is the, you know, the person who's going to be laying it down is going to be carrying it. I'm thinking that, you know, it's so lightweight. Right. That's really nice. So tell me, what do you envision for your company? Like what would be your ideal future for this?
Speaker 1 00:33:40 Yeah, I was actually just thinking about this question because I got asked the same thing. I won the FedEx small business grant this year, which is incredible. I mean sure. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you. Over 4,000 businesses applied. So I feel really, really special and honored to have that award. Um, but we have a conference coming up where the winners get to share about their businesses. And that was one of the questions of like, where do you see your business going in the future? And I really would like to see some more product diversification, you know, maybe developing three or four versions of the product to fit different people and different needs. And one of them that I've been kind of working on in the background is making smaller panels that somebody who happens to use a wheelchair would be able to fit on their lap so that they could literally independently lay these out and potentially pick them up like that leapfrog effect with just a few panels so that if they were either in an emergency situation or just in general, they want to do it themselves, that they'd be able to do that.
Speaker 1 00:34:57 Um, so that's one of the new ideas. And besides that, I really just want to be a global leader in outdoor accessibility solutions and really just empowering people all over the world. So that's, that's a really huge dream of mine make it happen. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:35:17 Manifested, you know what, I'm a big believer of manifesting and you know, all that life coaching and personal development. And, you know, you say you have your mantras and you have your, your affirmation statements every day and you just keep dreaming it and, and you will make it happen because you believe in it. It's not just words on paper, you actually in your core, believe it. And, and through that, it just, it just transpires to everyone because other people feel that passion and that energy and why you're doing good. And so they want to be a part of the cause. It's, I don't know if you saw that, Oh, this great YouTube video of there's a field of people and they're kind of just sitting, having picnics. And this one dude is just dancing his heart out and his energy and his vibe started triggering other people. You know, they started like shaking their head and like, you know, moving and wiggling. And then it was just like this whole MOSFET that just started of, so all it takes is one person to, to create that movement. I think Margaret Mead also says that, you know, the power of one person can, can change the world and don't you ever forget it? I probably totally said those words wrong, but something to that, to that point, what kind of help do you need to make this a reality?
Speaker 1 00:36:36 Ooh, I love that you asked that. Um, I think first and foremost, it's spreading the word about this solution that could help people and having people understand what the product is and what the brand means and see if it fits within their lifestyle, you know, are they looking for something like this that can help them have better access to camping or recreation or their yard and telling their friends and family about it. And then secondly, it's, I guess helping with really giving feedback too, because I love hearing from people and what they like, and even what they don't like. And is there something within my power to improve the company or the product, or think about future products that could also help
Speaker 0 00:37:29 Sure. That's important to, to get that feedback from, from users, especially in this kind of like pilot period in the early part of your business. Cause you're still a young business, you know, two years they say a lot of businesses go under within five years. And obviously we don't want that to happen here because you're working here to, to break down those barriers and create that accessibility. I've, I've helped out with a number of startups in like their pilot programs. And one of them was like this ambassador program where for eight weeks they sent me the device and I would get paid by the social media posts that I would promote. And that could be, you know, an opportunity to do. Um, or obviously if you don't have the finances to pay people to, to promote, you know? And so it was after the, the eight weeks, the number of social posts that you did.
Speaker 0 00:38:26 And if it was like, if it was a video versus a photo, you would get more or less money and, and then you would provide feedback. So you have those initial users and those adopters and identifying people with the disability community that have a lot of followers or have high impact can usually help spread the word pretty quickly. And then there was, you know, that referral program where a lot of businesses do that kind of strategy, where if you refer a friend and they purchase it, then you get, you know, 10% off your next track or whatever the case may be. So there's a lot of ways to get creative on how to get access to those early adopters and needing that critical feedback to really make this reality and really elevate it. Have you thought about any of those ideas or do you have any in, in the pipe
Speaker 1 00:39:21 One? Yeah, actually recently I think it was in June or July. I had a couple of an inter abled couple from Canada. They're called the accessible adventures. They reached out on social media. Yeah. And they proposed pretty much that exact thing they said, okay, we've been following you. We'd love to try your product. Um, is there any way that we could try it for a few weeks in exchange for spreading the word about your product? So that exact type of thing occurred and you know, there was no gimmick, you know, they really did love it and they ended up purchasing it so that I think I absolutely would love to replicate because one, I just, if I could give this away to people for free, Oh, I totally would. I mean, that's like my that's my OT brain and just like find personal. I just love helping people. I volunteer a lot, but I understand that to have a viable business that continues to go on past this five years, I need to think about what is sustainable and what drives that return on investment. So, um, absolutely. I do believe that working with people in the disability community who have a large reach and who historically have been able to communicate things with a large audience, I think that that would be wonderful to continue to partner with people and organizations like that who can help give access trucks of voice.
Speaker 0 00:40:51 Definitely. That's great. Ah, I'm so excited. This is such a cool product. I love learning about adaptive equipment because there are so many new products that continue to just come out every year and the freedom and just how, how limiting that the world currently is in the built environment. And some of it is from humans creating that barrier, but then you have mother nature, right? That has created its own barriers that you can't always fix. So being creative as is crucial. So where can people find you?
Speaker 1 00:41:30 I think people who are on social, they can find me on Instagram. Our handle is beach tracks, S D and that's tracks with an X. If people are looking for the website, it's access tracks, S d.com and that's S D for San Diego, if people are wondering, what does that SD for? When we were originally trying to buy the domain name, access tracks for our website years ago, somebody else I think already owned that domain name. And it is crazy. People will buy domain names and sit on them for years. And then when somebody comes along, that's interested in it. Alright. It's $20,000. What? Yeah. So
Speaker 0 00:42:15 Same thing with, so my, my personal name, I wanted Carta and why cough.com and it got a hold. China has it.
Speaker 2 00:42:25 Oh, wow.
Speaker 0 00:42:27 Domain broker. And the domain burgers, like, yeah, it'll be $10,000 to get this. And I'm like, that's ridiculous. I paid $10,000 to get a website with my name on it. I'll come up with something more creative.
Speaker 1 00:42:40 Right. Wow. That's so interesting. Yeah. It's a real thing. I'm selling domain names. I guess that's a lucrative thing apparently. Right.
Speaker 0 00:42:52 Well, cool. I will definitely post this out in the show notes and really looking forward to just expanding the reach for access tracks. And I'm going to hit up your, your virtual website, your store to get me some. That sounds awesome.
Speaker 1 00:43:10 So cool. Yeah. Send me a message because basically the way it works, if you're interested in ordering is on the website, it has all the information about the product specifications and the price. But when you click to add to cart, basically it redirects you to request a quote page right now because the product is very large. There is no integration for e-commerce that allows me to automatically calculate shipping for my customers. And so I really enjoy being able to talk to everybody individually to say, Hey, I'm getting you the best shipping quote possible. So I personally find the quote through FedEx to give them the best pricing, and then we can customize the order that would best fit your needs. So it's a really high touch. Um, I'm the one that interacts with everybody. So I hope that people do find that helpful in the process, but yeah, someday it will be as easy as I go online and I buy it. But right now it's, um, it's a little more of, Hey, I'm here to help you. Here's your quote. And I provide that to you same day.
Speaker 0 00:44:19 Well, I think this is such a special product that you do need someone to kind of walk you through what, how many you're going to need in that ideal scenario. I mean, unless you were <inaudible> in the future, create this, this journey walkthrough of like, what is your ideal scenario? And it auto tells you, it gives you recommendations on how many you need and, and whatnot. So that would probably be later down the line. But I, I think businesses that have that personal touch really thrive much better than because the majority of the businesses that you buy in e-commerce, there's no connection with the business you just click to add and it delivers through your door. And you're like, okay, cool. So it's almost like you're using them for the products because that's what they're giving. But I mean, I like having the relationship with, with who I'm buying things from and, and what I'm buying, because they can get, you can get more recommendations than what I would know.
Speaker 0 00:45:20 Yeah. I love to, you know, provide tips to people. Um, you know, and I'm an occupational therapist. I did end up graduating and get licensed. So I wanted to be able to talk with people if they have questions about certain things, about how to use the product, or that may be related to what they're going through. You know, so always, always happy to talk to people, whether it's by, you know, via email or a phone call, phone call, they can text. So, um, I really enjoy that part connecting with my customers. Awesome. Well, there's a little kitty again. She's she's ready. All right, Kelly, thank you so much for your time and your expertise and thank you for all that you're doing in the world to break down those barriers and providing accessibility universal design. I really appreciate it. Thank you card. And thank you for having me and letting me you're welcome. Share my story and share about access tracks and our journey. And hopefully people will come check it out. Sounds good. All right. Take care.
Speaker 3 00:46:26 Thank you, friends for listening. Please rate and follow this podcast or text card at (470) 588-1215 with comments and suggestions tune in next week for another disability topic.