Taryn Rose“Entrepreneurs have a profound grasp of the obvious” is a quote that Taryn Rose, M.D. said during her keynote speech at the Women Venture event in Minneapolis yesterday.  Herself a “serial entrepreneur”, Dr. Rose shared her family’s story of fleeing then-Saigon in 1975 and persevering to find an American to sponsor her family as a partial basis for her success.  Being a physician’s daughter, Dr. Rose went into medicine to eventually become an orthopedic surgeon. During her medical training, while working in a Diabetic foot clinic, she brilliantly devised a research study that successfully demonstrated that fashion-forward diabetic-friendly shoes. had a higher rate of compliance by the people who used them. In other words, she designed shoes that were functionally appropriate for people with Diabetes by engineering the shoe inserts with materials that helped protect their feet from skin break-down or foot ulcers which, left untreated, could lead to amputation.  Taking it further, she started designing shoes in her garage and eventually developed her Taryn Rose shoe line into a multi-million dollar shoe empire.

Although her bio on the Women Venture’s website is what initially piqued my interest in attending yesterday’s event, I had no idea that I would be so motivated by her story. What first interested me in her story is that she is an orthopedic surgeon who forged her own path into fashion by creating fashionably functional shoes.

As someone with a life-long love affair with fashion, I chose the legal and medical (as a nurse, a histotechnician, and a clinical researcher) professions because I didn’t think fashion careers were “credible” (by my own perception). Not that I would forego the amazing career path I’ve chosen but I’ve reached that point in my life to find my truer self and to do that which brings me passion.

So with my inner voice telling me that I had to meet Dr. Rose, I did just that.  At the conclusion of the luncheon, I made my to the front of the ballroom, patiently stood in line for her, introduced myself, told her about this blog, and said I am going to buy a pair of her shoes so that I can blog about them. I told her that I’d love to consult with her about developing shoes for prosthetic feet and she didn’t say “no”.  

Meeting her put it all into perspective for me.  Maybe this blog is my only foray into fashion and that’s okay.  It’s manifests my academic amalgamation of providing advocacy (that’s the legal brain speaking) by giving peer support to people with limb loss (that’s the medical care-giver-wanting-to-help-people brain speaking) about life-style expertise on fashion, travel & fitness (that’s the passionate true-self brain speaking).  

So, if by blogging about fashion is the extent of my fashion “career” and one person feels beautiful or more confident about something they’ve learned, then I have achieved success.  

And now, time to shop for these uber fabulous Taryn Rose shoesImage

My Beautiful MomFor as long as I can remember, I have loved clothes.  I love getting new clothes.  I love wearing new clothes. And I love the thrill of mixing old favorites and creating new looks.  All of this, I attribute to one person:  my mom.

Growing up in a large family with a mother who was a costume-quality designer and seamstress herself; my mom developed an early knack for fashion, sewing, and re-purposing hand-me-downs, long before it was Etsy-chic to do so.   She designed and re-purposed her own promdress, the likes of which were similar to fashions only seen on the big screen.  She designed and sewed her own wedding dress, with painstaking detail to the placement of every seed pearl from the bodice to the hemline.   And for as long as I can recall, she has lovingly designed and sewn my clothes, with some of our fondest memories spent in her sewing room.

Unfortutately, the sewing gene stopped with me.  Although I seriously lack her engineer-worthy seamstress skills, I did get a teensy-weensy bit of her creativity and can devise ideas for certain garments; describe them to her; and then, marvel at her ability to translate the ideas into actual articles of clothing.

As subsequent posts will feature some of our creations, from what I have coined the “KarLes Collection” (taking substantial liberty in morphing a catchy name, with her name being Carol and mine), a blog about my love of fashion would be incomplete without basis for my fondness. Here’s to my mom-may she always be crafty!

Heel Envy No More.For as long as I can remember I have loved, loved, LOVED all things related to fashion. I love clothes. I love skirts. I love dresses. I love blouses. I love boucle jackets, wool blazers, and cashmere sweaters. I love textured nylons. And I love printed Italian tights. When it comes down to it, when it comes to fashion, I am an addict.

But what I don’t love about fashion are shoes. Having been a person who uses a prosthetic leg as one of my many fashionable accessories since I was 6-years-old, finding shoes, rather CUTE shoes, has been a bit of a heel.

For those non-prosthetic wearers in the world: prosthetic feet are pre-made with a fixed heel height, usually between 1/2″ to 3/4″. Without going into great detail about the physics of prosthetic feet, suffice it to say that the purpose for low heel heights is to most mimic a non-prosthetic foot and to replicate a non-prosthetic gait and alignment.

So when it comes to shoes and having a closet-full thereof, I am an atypical woman. Until recently, for me, shoes were a functional item and fashionable shoes were just not an option. Besides, we would all rather spend our money on things we love, right?????

Then it all changed!

Although fashionable flats have made their episodic Fall debuts throughout time immemorial, I have to hand it to Tod’s and BCBGirls, and now, Michael Kors for consistently introducing fashion-forward, and prosthetic-foot-friendly shoes in the last 3 seasons(but who’s counting???). Not only have they created lower heeled options for women, in general, but they keep producing fashion-forward, prosthetic-foot-friendly shoes, as well.

So like the millions of other women looking for fabulously fashionable flats, I am loving the new options that come out, season after season. And with that, I suffer from heel envy no more.
Here’s to many seasons of fashionable flats and to the shoe designers who make them.

It’s official! The onelifeonelimb shirts are in! Having been an idea swirling around this blonde head of mine for a really long time, I am so excited to see these shirts. And since tomorrow is a day of filming b roll of Pilates, Kettlebell, and TRX, their world-wide premier will forever be recorded in this little documentary film thingy that I’m doing (but more to come on that topic, later ;-)).
So, with me being a fan of promoting something wonderfully exciting, namely onelifeonelimb , I’m thrilled that the shirts promoting onelifeonelimb, are hitting this fan.
Be the good!