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The Big Impact Blog, EP. 1: Iver Fashion

Travis Iverson of Iver Fashion is probably one of the hardest working individuals I've had the pleasure to meet. He is constantly out there promoting his company and brand on a 1 to 1, face to face level. No one and I mean NO ONE does it better. 

I met Travis back in December when I saw him posting about his 'Red Cardinal' pins (which he designed and drew with his mouth). All of the profits were going to outfit members of the wheelchair users community with his stylish and accessible designs. It looked like the perfect gift, and I decided to try to catch him at The Rideau Centre, as he was out there posting story after story on social media, from one location to the next, selling his pins to people. It seemed like I was always 10-15 minutes behind and never did catch up to him. It was a wild goose chase but an enjoyable one! We did finally chat and I met Travis and bought a whole bunch of pins off of him for Christmas gifts.

We loved what Travis was doing so much that we asked him if he'd like to be our first guest and feature on our new blog called 'The Big Impact Blog' - Amazing people doing amazing things in the autism and disabled communities. He loved it, happily agreed and here we are! You can watch the full 10 minute episode in which Travis talks about his journey from his spinal cord injury to why he started Iver Fashion.

Purchase a Red Cardinal pin here.

Visit Iver Fashion:

Blog cover photo by Sean Sisk Photography


Here is a full transcript of the video:


This is Travis Iverson and this is The Big Impact Blog.

I'm the founder the CEO and president of Iver Fashion Inc., which is a unique accessible clothing line exclusively for all. Whether you're in a wheelchair or you are visually impaired or you are a war vet, we will have pieces that are designed specifically to help your needs.

The Journey

The bet was to dive from the dock into the lake and and get the deep dip that goes down 40 ft. It's a shallow sandbar for a little bit and then it dips down quite a bit. I ran pretty much from the cottage and as fast as I could to get to the deep end and missing it by half a meter, laying there face down... The body just not corresponding. Me telling the body to basically turn over and again it not corresponding and you know I was basically drowning, and so luckily my friend was close by and he turned me over and at that point, without knowing what paralysis was, I said you know "Sean", you know "call 911, I think I'm paralyzed". My arms, my legs, just like, lifeless and so he said "they're on the way", you know, "stay calm" and pulled me to shore. You know and then there was a big journey ahead of me and the first was to just to be able to breathe on my own. The average bronchoscopy for spinal cord injury is 1 to three, post injury, and I had 17 the first week. So you want to talk about survivor you know, that was a a huge feat.

Iver Fashion: The Birth

After my injury, you know I realized that clothing was just really hard to to get on you know. I was out finding an outfit for my best friend's Milestone birthday and so we picked the mannequin outfit right off the mannequin, and it just looked so nice.  And so we boxed it up brought it home and only to be shattered the next morning and it not fit anywhere. And so, right then and there I rolled up to my computer desk and with a very sore neck - I type with my with my head. I have a sticker in the middle of my glasses and it's an infrared, so basically letter by letter, I wrote out every piece I've ever wanted, every spec, every detail. And so yeah, post all of the 'fits from chair' and all of this stuff, I gave it to my mentor, Jason Daley. He was my best friend's brother-in-law and he saw all of the write up that I did and he was blown away. So he basically took that to the Applied Research and Innovation at Algonquin College and out of 30 Venture pitches, I was the last to present but the first to win. And that's basically when the ball got started.

How the injury sort of propelled into my business career, the never give up motto really really stuck with me, and it's true when you are passionate about something, if you never give up, you know, you'll be successful. And I think that the one pillar of success that you can control is hustle and grind. So all these things I mean, here I am you know. Basically everything I'm wearing right now other than my jewelry is mine.

The Red Cardinal Pin

The reason why I did the mouth drawn red cardinal bird? A friend of mine, Chris Gordan, was 17 years old. He was the only child and he was on his way to school and unfortunately, he was hit and killed by an elderly woman. So you can imagine the devastation on that family, Chris being the only child. He was driving a red Civic, so the red bird was... it was an easy pick. I also really love the sound of the Cardinal and they were really prevalent at my mom's home where I lived for 10 years after my injury. So uh yeah, with a very very sore neck, Jason and I - and I used a stylus and a tablet and we went through the motions and after (again with a very sore neck), I came out with this brilliant design and I'm so proud that everybody is supporting this beautiful cause because all of the proceeds of the of the Cardinal go to fitting wheelchair users and people with disabilities with Unique Designs that I designed.

One collection is called 'fits from chair', and it's basically how it sounds. So, getting dressed from the chair. So the jacket I'm wearing now, it has no back, so you put it on from the front and as well as the pants - same deal. And I mean, it's a game changer when your caregivers don't have to like, turn you left to right in bed. It's very taxing to be a caregiver and back injuries are very high in the industry and so  that's another give that I'm helping the caregivers, with you, know garments that are easy to put on and take off. Having garments that the nurses can put on with ease, that's a huge plus. And I mean, having like, garments that aren't is a huge back breaking ordeal. I mean I I've been through it. I've been inured for 20 years and I mean, like the difference between the Accessible Line and just traditional garments that you get from the box stores; it's just a huge, huge difference.

The Future 

Well, I'd like to have a brand that's Global, and so you know that's in every home, you know? Whether it's again, someone who's visually impaired or someone who has a missing leg or a missing arm. Whether it's, you know, your graduation outfit and you're heading off, you're getting married - Just, a global brand, not just so much a small business. We would love to have some Angel Investors and have, you know, just some more investment into the company so that we can do more ourselves. So I guess it would come down to funding, most certainly is one of the biggest challenges for a small business like this - a unique, small, niche business like this. And just for a lot more awareness for injuries and for you know, people with impairments so that we can, you know, help them with whatever it may be. A lot of people helped my family and I after I got injured, to come home from the rehab. And you want to talk about a huge undertaking, financially. I mean, you know, putting in a roll-in shower, widening doors, putting in ramps - it was massive and I give it all up to Mr. Power from the Emporium and Heather Lillico who took on this massive challenge ,and you know a lot of people from far and wide, even people I don't even know stepped in to help us out, and so it's my duty and a and an honour to be able to do the same thing and just on a bigger scale.

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