Accessible beach access is KEY for anyone that loves the ocean. Kelly Twitchel from Access Trax created a way to do just that. We spoke with Kelly about her innovative design for beach access that has turned into a fantastic resource for multiple terrains. She shared with us her love for helping the community and where her design came from. We had such a fun talk with Kelly and she had fantastic energy. Listen now and enjoy it!
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Hey guys, welcome back to the show. We're so glad to have you back with us this week. We know we missed a week last week, but we are ready to go and excited to share our guests this week with you. She is fantastic. She had some amazing resources to share with us that are great for the entire community, not just the disability community.
[00:00:25] And yeah, she was super positive. Super awesome. What like a true little Cali girl, which was, she was terrific. I had a blast. Um, so again, make sure that you do listen to our episode. All of our resources will be yeah. At the end of the episode. So of course, if you like these episodes and any other one, please share with a friend and leave a review.
[00:02:30] All right. And, uh, today we'd like to welcome, uh, our guests, Kelly Twitchell. Uh, Kelly is the co-founder and CEO of access tracks, a lightweight, portable pathway to access to rain. Uh, welcome Kelly. Thank you for joining us. Thanks Kelly. Thank you for having me. So Kelly tell us, you know, to start off real right off the bat, tell us a little bit about your personal story.
[00:02:51] Where are you from, you know, kind of tell us a little bit about your background. Yeah, absolutely. I grew up in San Diego, California, and, uh, surprisingly, I didn't even move away for college. It's just, it's just a really cool place to live. And my family was here. Um, one of those things that if I could go back and change anything, I might've explored a little more, uh, while I was in college.
[00:03:15] But, um, anyways, just love it here. And. With being in Southern California, you have access to a lot of outdoor activities. Whether it's going to the beach, then driving maybe an hour or two, going to the mountains, going camping, and even going to the snow during winter. So, um, really it's just a lot at our fingertips here.
[00:03:37] See, Yeti I've been telling Eddie. No, did y'all coordinate this because she's really trying to coax me to move to California. It's not a location. It's a people thing. I just don't. I mean, I don't say it. I'm not going to say I don't like people, but I don't like people in like large groups. Yeah. So it's like, you know, I don't like crowds come to San Diego.
[00:03:59] I feel like that's where they go to. That's where they land. And so it's, I feel like you just got lucky you happen to already be there. Yeah. Yeah. There's not a lot of people that I come across that, or born and raised in San Diego. A lot of people have moved around. So that's kind of a fun talking point.
[00:04:14] They're like, wait, you grew up here. You're human. Like, are you sure you're good because you do hear San Diego is like an awesome place. So it's like, that is really cool. And I'm just like reflecting back. I'm like I was born and raised where we're right now. Right. And I'm like, it's no, no, it's not like, that's the thing, at least, at least you're San Diego.
[00:04:34] So that's like up at the top, you know what I mean? You want to go there like, ah, I can't even see the top from where we are. I've been here my whole life. That's that's pretty cool. Yeah. So tell us, so you went to California, so it almost coming out of college and in San Diego as well. Yeah, just outside of San Diego.
[00:04:54] Well, yes, I went to undergrad at San Diego state university. Yes. Um, I studied biology and was actually going to go to med school. Um, I had an emphasis in pre pre-med. Um, but right before graduating, where I was supposed to apply to med schools. I felt like something was telling me that's not my career path.
[00:05:16] I had found that I really wanted to be working a lot more with a person through whatever rehabilitation or health care journey they were going through. And as a medical doctor, a lot of times you're forced to see so many patients in one day and you get barely 10 minutes with them. Um, and so I just did.
[00:05:35] Didn't feel right to me. So I didn't apply to med school and I graduated and decided I was going to interview people. And what career are you in? Do you like it? What don't you like? Um, and just really kind of find that, that niche for me and. After San Diego state, I circled back to a career called occupational therapy, which you guys might be very aware of.
[00:06:00] Yeah, yeah. Through your journeys. Yeah. So what, what first exposed me to OT when I was younger, was that my mom, two weeks before I started high school had suffered a massive stroke. So. Immediately, we were thrown in as a family into what is rehabilitation and what can it do for my mom to help her regain as much of her independence back, um, because she was paralyzed completely on the left side and she was right handed.
[00:06:32] So that part helped a little bit. Right. You know, depending on the area of your brain that's affected in a stroke, it, it affects different. You know, parts of your personality, your, um, your critical thinking, um, movement, all of that. So she went through a lot of rehabilitation and OT was one of the ones that she had.
[00:06:55] So that was kind of how it was. First exposed when I was in high school. And then after graduating from SDSU, I ran into somebody who, um, I worked at a golf course and, uh, one of the golfers wives was an OT. And so I went and shadowed her and I loved it. I mean, you get to spend so much time with your client and you get to work on their goals with them.
[00:07:17] Yeah. You get to see their progress sometimes over six months, two years at a time, depending on whether you're in OT, in school-based or pediatric versus, you know, maybe they're rehabilitating after, you know, a short-term illness or injury. So, um, anyway, that's how I fell in love with OT again. Awesome. So now, so that's, that's kind of how you're connected to the disability community.
[00:07:42] You work as an OT now, currently. Yeah. Yeah. So I ended up applying to OT school in Southern California, just outside of San Diego. It's San Marcos. So I was able to live at home for a semester, save a little bit of money. Um, and then I ended up moving a little bit closer towards campus, cause that was like an hour plus drive with traffic.
[00:08:05] So it was kind of draining me. The traffic. Oh, that's Eddie's keyword there. Yeah. That's a trigger for sure. Terrible road rage too. So now as an OT, are you working, do you work with adults? Pediatrics. Both. What's your specialty? When I graduated, I got hired right away in kind of a school-based and clinic based system.
[00:08:34] So one employer and I was contracted out with two clinics and like six schools. Oh, wow. Let's just say that I had to be a pro at organization and executive functioning skills. There's no way. There's just no way you can handle that. Especially as a new grad, um, But I made it work and I just really do enjoy working with all kinds of populations.
[00:08:59] Um, but that was, that happened to be pediatrics was the field I went into right after graduating, no through your I'm sure at the same time though, it throws you into a good amount of experience right off the bat to kind of really give you everything that you need to see. Right away. Yeah. And when I was in school, of course we do field work, which is, uh, you know, six months worth of, uh, basically free labor.
[00:09:23] Um, yeah, you're learning, you know, obviously you have to have that, especially in the medical field, you know, can't just go out there and they hand you your stethoscope, right. Yeah, do the, actually work with humans. Um, so I worked in field work, uh, acute care in the hospital setting. I worked in a long-term nursing care.
[00:09:43] I worked in paeds, so I got a, uh, a wide variety, which awesome. So tell us how. Access trucks came about. I love telling this story because I think it helps inspire people to know that it doesn't matter what part of your journey you're in or whether you took a sharp right turn and just completely switched without your planning involved, um, that you can really find a passion and chase it.
[00:10:11] So. I was a student and OT school in 2015 and it was 2016. So a year into my program where we took a class called assistive technologies. And what that could mean is really just any sort of device. Or service, whether it's off the shelf or modified after the fact that helps somebody complete a task. So assistive technology can be a mobility device, like a wheelchair.
[00:10:41] It could be, um, a screen reader, you know, for your computer. It could be really anything. Right. And. The class project was, Hey, just create something to help a population with disability, be more independent. And my classmate and I, who worked on a lot of group projects together because, you know, sometimes you find that person, you know, they actually hold their end of the bargain on projects.
[00:11:06] Um, so we tackled the issue of adaptive surfers needing to cross. The sand with dignity and independence in their own mobility device. Right? So not creating another beach wheelchair, but somehow creating potentially a pathway system that would help them, but they could easily deploy. Um, so in a, uh, long story short, basically we started a school project that ended up working as a, you know, minimum viable product, like showing proof of concept, handmade materials, and we tested it with actual adaptive surfers, getting their feedback.
[00:11:48] Um, That is what motivated us, the actual getting the feedback from the people that would use it. That is what motivated us to not just stop at a school projects. You know, this is something that can potentially help millions of people around the world have better access to not only sand, but outdoor terrain, like gravel, dirt, mud, grass, even snow.
[00:12:12] So. Yeah. School projects, a business, essentially. Now how, as like an OT, I mean you're as a student, where does that concept come from? Other, I mean, obviously it's coming from a need, but where are you seeing that need? Where you guys out somewhere and seeing something and being like, okay, this is a need.
[00:12:33] We're seeing people struggle. Or was it literally just a concept like came out of thin air and you guys are just that creative. Um, our professor in that class, she was a surfer and she had a special request in that class say, Hey, can one group try to tackle helping adaptive surfers, her mobility? Yep. So she kind of kicked it off.
[00:12:57] And my classmate and I went to home Depot four times in one day, getting different materials to say, what can we put together to lift the tires off of sinking into the sand? Yep. So essentially I was looking at rain, gutter covers. So aluminum rain, gutter covers, which are. Six inches wide and three feet long.
[00:13:19] And I got to of them and zip tied them exactly. Twenty-five inches apart onto plastic chicken mesh so that they would be the perfect with width part so that a wheelchair wheels, you know, castor wheels and the main wheels would be lifted off the sand because they are on that aluminum rain gutter covers as a track.
[00:13:42] Great idea. That's so creative. I feel like this is something I can't believe you didn't think of it. Eddie, like Mr. Mr. MacGyver,
[00:13:52] I'm just waiting for the patent office to get back. Oh, you're funny. You'll never hear exactly. I think that's such a, I mean, a great, she, obviously she gave you a great opportunity, but also to fill a need like that. That was out there. It was, it was clear. It was out there. This wasn't just like, Oh, you know, let's come up with this idea and maybe it will be a need.
[00:14:14] Like it was, it was a need. So fulfilling. It is just like, even more exciting because you're, you're able to right then and there, see, see it being used. Like how could you not move forward with a product like that? Right. I mean, we tested it at a surfing competition down in California in ocean beach, and there were five adaptive surfers competing, uh, there at, in a heat.
[00:14:39] And we had to separate 10 foot sections of this handmade track. And we had to go over a hundred feet down the beach. So like, wait. Yeah, it was probably way more than that. And so we were kind of leapfrogging it where two people would move forward, propel themselves forward in their own mobility device.
[00:14:59] And then we would drag and drop the two sections that we had and they got all the way down there. It didn't matter that we were the ones sweating after the end of it. They were just excited that, Hey, this was the first time ever that I've. Gone over sand at the beach, in my own wheelchair, without having somebody carry me, carry me like a child without dragging my body myself across the sand and just doing it in style.
[00:15:26] I mean, yeah, it was so cool. I mean, I it's cool. I mean, that's the thing is like, we've talked time and time again. We've talked to like other, you know, other people as well with resources and the key word always is independence. There's nothing worse. Then that fee I'm sure. I wouldn't know, but I'm sure that that feeling of losing your independence when it's not necessary, but I mean, to be in a surfing competition, you have, I'm sure there's this level of independence that's well beyond what other people have in that position.
[00:15:57] So why have to take a step backwards just to get to the beach or to the water? That's just crazy. Like there shouldn't, there shouldn't, it shouldn't happen for anybody and yeah. An opportunity to have a resource. Like this gives an opportunity for someone who maybe isn't an adaptive surfer to say, Hey, I could surf.
[00:16:17] Yep. Or I could do this, you know, for a kid to say, Oh, I'd never thought about surfing before, but now that it's so accessible, why wouldn't I try this? Um, you know, that's the goal, right. Is to make everything accessible to everyone so that everyone has that same level of independence. There's just no reason why.
[00:16:35] Absolutely. I think over the, the past few years and seeing this products, a pathway laid out at different events, you find that there's people who aren't even a part of the event who are suddenly interested and what is this what's going on here? And there's a clear pathway that's accessible. And so you get moms with baby strollers coming down because all of a sudden that's accessible and not a struggle.
[00:17:00] You get, uh, you know, elderly people, you know, Families with their grandparents who normally they don't try to go on the sand anymore because it's a fall hazard. Um, and just anybody in general, like, Oh, cool. There's a pathway. That means I should be allowed to go this way. Right. They go and check it out and they learn more and we get so many people who didn't even know this existed.
[00:17:20] What's adaptive surfing or whatever the event may be. Right. It's just a way to spread the word more awesome. Which when she, Kristen had introduced me, she was like, Oh, we're going to have this guest. And we went over, um, all the, you know, what you guys were about. It was, uh, It's one of those ideas where you're just like, Oh my God, why?
[00:17:42] It seems now that that was created, but it seems like why wasn't this created before sooner, faster, because you're just like, that's so it's, it's a great. Idea. It's amazing, but it seems like it took, it took this long for that to come about or some, for somebody to actually, you know, take that, take that time to the same as like the app.
[00:18:03] We like, think about it as the opposite effect. Like how many times now that Eddie has a wheelchair for part-time long distance, we say part-time, but how many times would we go somewhere? And we're like, well, yeah, this door might have a quote, unquote handicap accessible button. But nothing about this store is handicap accessible.
[00:18:21] The way the doors open are looking, but these are not things that. Before we ever would have noticed, we would have felt, Oh, this is an accessible area. That's so nice of them to think of that. So nice of them to think of that. But now we're like, none of this, we've gone places where we're like, this isn't even accessible just because they put an automatic door, doesn't make an accessible entrance or there's a stair right before a ramp.
[00:18:43] Like what? Like, there's just, it's not well thought out. And I think that is just, and a result of. You know, the ignorance of just, we aren't being vocal enough. Like there's just not enough out there and no one's speaking up. So it's just being like, Oh, well, this makes sense to me. So it must make sense versus someone saying this doesn't work, so let's think of a better way.
[00:19:10] Right. I think that's awesome. But yeah, that was, it was incredible to see that I was just like, jeez, because I have, I'm almost positive. We've seen, um, we've been to a couple of beaches where. They had a similar right. Wilson. We've been to one beach in three years. I had the last one, went to a beach. We've been so bad at going to the beach lately.
[00:19:32] Our life has been, but the last beach we were saying at the last beach, cause we knew this was coming, that we, this was there because it was it's all blur theory. It was a very, very, very far walk. And very difficult and we didn't, for that reason, we didn't bring the wheelchair. Cause we knew it wouldn't been unnecessary.
[00:19:53] There was no point, but even not having the wheelchair, like for Eddie. It, you know, every it's tiring for him to walk in sand period. It's a lot of extra work physically. And so just that alone, maybe he doesn't need the wheelchair, but just to get from a to B is difficult or, you know, rougher terrain is difficult for him.
[00:20:15] And so, you know, something like this is just a great opportunity. I concur. So tell us how specifically access trucks works. Happy to share that. So access tracks is a portable modular pathway, meaning that in the smallest unit, it's a three foot by three foot by an eighth of an inch thick square. So there are.
[00:20:39] The square mats that you can connect to each other in any configuration, because there are hinge slits on all four sides. Oh, think of, yep. So think of connecting, let's say you need a straight path down the beach. For example, you can connect these maps in a straight line with these hinges, which is just Velcro.
[00:20:59] So it's really, really easy to understand how to use their lightweight, flexible sand doesn't bother them. And the Velcro is. Very still durable, which surprises most people. Um, but they can handle a lot. So you connect them in a straight line. It goes all the way down the beach. Let's say you have your pathway.
[00:21:19] Um, and then let's say, when you get to where your hangout spot is going to be on the beach, you can unhinge and rearrange these maps to make a platform like a square platform. Uh, so you can kind of have that space to move around, um, under your pop-up 10 or whatever. And then let's see. Say you want to go back to where you came from and let's pretend you only have 10 maps in total, you could connect to five mat sections and do a leap frog where you have one connected straight line of five mats.
[00:21:54] And then a separate one line them up. You'd say you got a mobility device or whatever, and you go to the end of your pathway. Then you have at least one helper with you taking the maps that were behind you and putting them in front. So you can kind of keep going, no matter how far of a distance you need to move, you have the flexibility to create that Fermin stable sidewalk like surface, wherever you go.
[00:22:19] Wow. And what's material are they made out of. They're made of made up of high density, polyethylene, plastic, which is used in a ton of everyday materials. So it's a very, um, durable, long lasting material that, um, also has. You stabilizers in it for the sun. So it's not going to break down in the sunlight because obviously this is something you're going to use outdoors a lot and it's resistant to things like it doesn't get damaged.
[00:22:50] If it gets wet or Sandy or dirty. Awesome. Now, what is people typically buying? Purchasing? When I get a new customer inquiring, I usually ask them like, where do you plan on using it? Um, what kinds of areas are you going to, um, how would, what capability do you have for transporting them? Storing it, those types of things.
[00:23:14] And essentially if you are a family and you're taking it on vacation or places outdoors, um, but don't need, um, to set it down permanently, uh, like in your driveway, if you don't need to set it down permanently, you have the flexibility of maybe ordering like 10 of these mats. A lot of families do that and doing what I said before, where you can leap frog the pathway, no matter how far you need to go.
[00:23:42] Um, and 10 maths is really manageable to, to carry to transport and to store. Awesome. And you said they're an eighth of an inch thick. That's a very, very thin profile. That's insane. That's awesome. Yeah. So when you have these 10 mats and you, they actually, when they're connected with the Velcro, let's just say they're all in a straight line.
[00:24:04] All 10, they accordion fold. So that makes. Set up really, really quick, because you can leave these connected for even when you're transporting and storing them, you can leave them connected in their configuration. So you have these 10 maps, their accordion folded switch means that they stack flat. So 10 math stacks, less than two inches thick and all 10 of them together only weighs 52 pounds.
[00:24:33] Yeah, I have a carrying strap system that you can hook up to these maps when they're stacked like that. Um, so I can carry, I typically personally like to carry between six and eight panels at a time. Um, and you can do that with that one carrying strap, and then I have my hands free to carry whatever else I'm carrying when I'm going somewhere.
[00:24:54] Nice. I didn't even like, think about that, how small it was. Yeah, like explain it that way. Cause I mean, that just makes it easier for like portability, but also the storage and stuff. Like it can be right there. You can slide it. It's right here. Just slide it right out. Bo also. Yeah, I'm thinking about like the cabin, like let's say it was at the cabin, it's an easy place to store, but you could still lay it out really easily to get to, and from the cabin entrance or something like that, like it was at a place like that, slide it right under it.
[00:25:21] And then we just like literally accordion it right out in the accordion right back. Right. Right. So families will put it in the trunk of their car. Um, and you can stack a bunch of other equipment on top of it. Right. It's durable. They stuck flat. So you can have your wheelchair, you can have your other sports equipment, whatever on top of it.
[00:25:38] And you can check it as luggage on an airplane. That's your assistive technology, right? So typically. You check that for free, because if you have a disability, they're not going to question you on that. Um, and it's you take it with you. People fly all over the world on vacation with that stuff. Oh, awesome.
[00:25:59] What type of customers are purchasing access truck that you're seeing for like what type of uses other than that, the beach, right. We are really happy to serve families with, uh, typically physical disabilities who want to use it for any outdoor activities. So a lot of them are maybe adaptive athletes and they take it to whatever sport they're going to.
[00:26:25] If they especially water sports. Lay up the edge of the water. There's either sand, dirt, or like small rocks. So people who do kayaking, paddleboarding, things like that. Um, we also work with a lot of adaptive sports organizations and nonprofits. They purchase it and use it for their sports programs because now they're.
[00:26:47] Much more accessible and inclusive, and it's a lot less of a liability to have a person in the comfort of their own personal mobility device, cross, whatever gap that there is at their event outdoors, and then transfer safely into the kayak or whatever it may be versus volunteers having to carry somebody.
[00:27:08] Um, so it's a lot safer, a lot more enjoyable, enjoyable for, for most people. Yeah. And then, um, So a lot of people too, like going back to families, they'll take it camping. I think you kind of mentioned like going cabin or vacation. So for vacation travel, camping, outdoor adventuring, um, as well as the beach and like the park, for example.
[00:27:32] Awesome. Have you seen any like really creative ways someone's used it that you wouldn't have thought about? Yes. Um, so this one, um, there there's a nonprofit in Southern California. They do adaptive surfing, and they actually, uh, were really creative and made a wheelchair skate park using the mats. Um, I, at one point I looked at the photos like.
[00:28:00] Maybe not the safest idea, really rad. I definitely laughed. I was like, you guys are crazy, but I love you. Um, yeah, so they use the sand and like Doug, um, pits and jumps and like, The maps, when they, when the maps heat up, they get a little bit more pliable and they conform a little bit better to the surface.
[00:28:24] So if there was a curve, they'll conform a little better to that. And so they, they made like a wheelchair skate park. That was definitely hands down. That's the most creative I've seen. I know someone who would totally do that. Well, like, I'm like the, anything with wheels, anything with wheels, if it has wheels, I will try to ride it and I will at least try to do in non-stop until I land one trip.
[00:28:46] Oh yeah. Has already removed. Eddie's like the safety back wheel, like the catch wheel from Eddie's wheelchair, because going up and over curbs. You can't do it with that wheel on it. So the anti tip wheel. Yes. So apparently dad thinks we should be able to pop wheelies over curves at eight years old.
[00:29:11] So we're constantly like, uh, here a little at he'd be like, Do a wheeling with me, do me do it really with me do that, do over that curb. I'm like, Oh gosh, what are we getting into? This is trouble like wheelies. Aren't like off curbs and stuff, like we'll know in a wheelchair. Cause they accept the wheelchair.
[00:29:27] So we have plenty of weight, like, yeah. Again, anything with wheels, but like I've got Eddie into when you broke your leg, you're constantly bouncing off of things. Oh yeah. I don't work there anymore, so we don't have to worry about that story. Oh my gosh. Anyway. So speaking of wheels, I just got my first skateboard ever.
[00:29:48] Yes. I'm a grown adult and I just started skateboarding. It's a small house break my wrist, like a long board or like a well it's it's not a long board. Yeah. So I've been practicing with, I mean, with the pandemic, what are you going to do? Right. You can't just like go out and go to standard, hanging out with your friends.
[00:30:09] So I'm like, I need to keep myself busy. I'm going to get a skateboard and I'm going to, yeah. Everyone needs a new hobby. I feel like during COVID. Um, I'm certainly not going to be knitting right now. So I don't, I don't know about that. So, yeah. That's awesome though. The reason why I feel like I'm convinced that the reason why kids can do so much more than adults, because they're not afraid of what's going to happen to them.
[00:30:31] She's got to go for it. Have fun. I mean, I've, I feel like I came out of the womb afraid of things, but the Gagnan boys are not afraid of anything. Yeah. Yeah. I was raised to believe there's there's well, w w we'll say the word, well, it's the worst factor, but we used to say it was the bitch factor. Like it's you have to there's.
[00:30:54] No, you can't let that exist. It's out of your mind. There's no, because you can look at the rail and be like, yo, if you don't make this, you're going to smash your face. You're like, okay. But if you get that out of your mind, you don't think of it. And then there's nothing stopping you and you just do it.
[00:31:08] There's yeah, there's a fine line between calculated risk and just going for it that I agree, but I feel like, so when I was going skateboarding down the boardwalk by the beach recently, um, well actually getting to the boardwalk on the street, we have some streets blocked off for like more community type things to here in Southern California.
[00:31:27] And. So I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt like, that could be some serious road rash there, but this, the second that I started getting that fear of, Oh my gosh, I'm losing my balance. It got worse. But then I know now don't think about that. I'm confident my body will calibrate its own balance. I just got to let it do its thing.
[00:31:45] I was fine. So I don't know. That's, it's interesting. That trust factor is important. Yeah. Uh, I don't have any of it. I don't have it walking, so it doesn't need it. I'm learning. So where I'm like, you guys are located in Southern California. Can they, can it be purchased anywhere? Yes. And that's my favorite.
[00:32:07] I mean, when I get a customer from a different country, I always, I still I'm, I'm 30 years old and I still jump up and down. Like how cool is that? To know that your thing that you started as a school project is getting used and, you know, people are benefiting from it from around the world, like as an OT.
[00:32:26] Yes. My goal in my career is to help people, but I can help so many more people as. Entrepreneur, you know, with this product that I could as an OT in my own community. Right. So, super cool. So how do you help the community like it, you know, it can be purchased anywhere. Um, where's the price point around. Is that something that is out there?
[00:32:54] Yeah. Oh, Oh definitely. I definitely keep that out there for people because that's important for families to know. Yeah. Um, so we have, uh, uh, each map is $68 and we have a minimum of five and that's for two reasons. One, because, uh, as much as I want to give these away for free, um, I have to have a sustainable business.
[00:33:16] Um, but two, because really, I feel like. Less than five. And you're just going to have to, you know, that leapfrog effect that I was talking about. You're just going to have to do that so much more. If you get less than five, like it's just way more difficult. So most families are at that happy medium around 10.
[00:33:34] Okay. Um, but yeah, that's, that's the price point right now. Okay. And, you know, How is there ways for the community to purchase this? If it's a price point that's too high for them, or do you see people like doing crowd, you know, certain type of crowd funding, things or fundraisers go fund me and things like that.
[00:33:51] Yes. So crowd sourcing is a huge way that a lot of our non-profits are able to purchase the product. So, uh, I recently wrote a blog article on my website about six adaptive sports grants that you should know about. And some of them, um, are specific to a certain type of population, but most of them are open to persons with disabilities, as well as the nonprofit space.
[00:34:18] So, uh, we've had people get grants from the Christopher Reeves foundation, the challenged athletes foundation, and, and more to, to be able to purchase it. Awesome. And then I noticed that on your site, there's a rental option as well. How does that work? That came about because right after we launched the company in 2018, we realized that San Diego is such a tourism focused area and you've get families from all over the world coming to visit here.
[00:34:50] And our beaches are. Everybody wants to go to the beach. So how can we help a family who doesn't really necessarily want or need to purchase the product and take back with them, but they want it for a few days to have that accessible vacation or for events that happen for one or a few days, once a year.
[00:35:10] That event can now be ADA compliant and accessible and inclusive. So those rentals serve families and it serves outdoor events in general, and maybe even had beach weddings rented so that their family members. Great idea, their ceremony. Yeah. That was one of my favorite rentals. That's a great, yeah. Yeah.
[00:35:30] Especially right now. I feel like so many people are reassessing their like COVID weddings and turning them into more outdoor events. Just a perfect idea. To be able to have something like that. Where maybe before you were like, well, how are we going to do this? And be able to invite everyone wanted to like grandma or whoever now you can.
[00:35:48] Still invite everyone you want to invite and have your outdoor wedding and be working around COVID, which is, I feel like the topic around everything. That's I mean, that's what I was thinking too. It's you have now? I mean, that is a huge barricade that you're able to take down because now people have that accessibility even around their own yard.
[00:36:07] Um, yeah, I mean, these are huge, huge things. Cause, um, I mean we, us, us involved in disability community. Like I see that all the time, you know, we, we have friends, we go to houses and stuff and I'm just like a birthday party and whatever, even the homes they've been there for years and you're just like, wow, like, and you have to do this to still get around that stuff.
[00:36:27] But because there isn't anything out there there wasn't. Until you came along. So, which is great. So that's why I love what we do because now we get to screaming from the mountaintops and let everybody know about, you know, what they can get there, um, about the access tracks, which is going to be awesome.
[00:36:45] Well, I love the idea too, of like an organization purchasing it, like even made me think of, we spoke to another resource a little while back and they were saying how organizations were purchasing their product and then renting it out. so P or, or like loan on a loaner program, loaning it out. And so I was like, Oh, we have an organization here that does, you know, we'll do similar things where they have events or whatever.
[00:37:08] And I'm like, that's a perfect thing. If they could get one donated or raise enough funds to have something like this. So such a great opportunity for them. They do fishing events, they do all that stuff. So it would be a great opportunity for them to be able to get it as like a loner, even where then they loaned it to people and they could check it out, use it for a weekend at the beach and then check it back in.
[00:37:27] Exactly. I love it. Now I'm about to call them up this week and the library would do that. Cause it's the same as the library idea. Yeah. I like it. Um, I know I'm getting excited. I did want to hit on the topic. Um, w w hearing that people order from around the world, um, I can absolutely empathize with that emotion of like getting excited and stuff.
[00:37:49] Cause Kristen will constantly check like, um, Where people are listening so true or the, the, you know, who's listening to the podcast and stuff, and there is nothing more exhilarating than hearing your, like people in other countries. First of all, I hope they, they know what we're saying, but like, this is insane.
[00:38:08] I'm just like, I can't believe that she's like, yeah. Um, what, what are the G uh, Germany? Was it one of the countries that a lot of listeners in Germany. Cool. And I'm like, this is so exciting. And at first I was like, maybe this is just like an app that's out of jar. And then I'm like, no, it's all over Germany.
[00:38:24] Like people are listening in different areas. I'm like, no, we actually have people listening in Germany. It's really exciting. But it's the same idea I get like really pumped. I'm like, okay. So at first you think it's just your friends and family, you know, you're like, Oh, it's just people that I talked to.
[00:38:36] I'm like, no, actually people are listening to. But I mean, in your, in the access tracks, I mean, are just providing just an amazing service. I mean, again, I feel like that is a life changing product that you can have that they can own. And it's just huge. That's that's awesome. And again, I love what we do because we can, no, thank you for bringing a resource like this to our community.
[00:38:59] It's, it's exciting for us, you know? There's nothing more rewarding than working with a new person, family, or organization, having them literally want to hug you and cry tears of joy because they found, yeah, I mean, I have, in my, on my website, you can request a quote for the product because I take every inquiry and I find the best shipping option.
[00:39:23] So I personally handle every order, um, and get to talk to people and they put in their quote requests. I have. Section of them to put their notes. And what are you excited about using the product for, and any questions or anything you'd like to share people, pour their hearts out. And I always get so excited and just really pumped about, wow, this person said they haven't been to the beach in 25 years since their injury.
[00:39:49] And they, you know, like I'm getting goosebumps right now. Just thinking about it, about how they're excited to be empowered, to get outdoors again. And yeah. That's what this is all about, for sure. I mean you're yeah, so you're doing more than giving them accessibility. It's giving them so much more than that.
[00:40:07] Like there, it's probably, you can't even count it, all the things that people are getting out of it. So it's really exciting. Independence is huge, right? You're turning 18. You're looking at somebody like that. Again, feeling that rush of independence is, is it's gotta be so liberating. So we ask our, all of our guests the same question we say, if you have 30 seconds, but it can be 60 seconds.
[00:40:30] It can be, I don't know why I keep saying I know because I feel bad. You could say one thing in our community. What advice would you give them? I would say that. Everybody has a purpose and a mission. And whether you know it now, or in 10 years, that's not so much the issue. It's once you get that spark, whatever gets your attention and sparks, joy, um, work towards that.
[00:40:58] Don't let it slip away no matter how many challenges that are going to be thrown in your path. And one thing that has really helped me on my journey is goal setting and. This is something that you don't have to be like an expert in, and it will take a little bit of practice, but every single day, if you could do one solid thing towards reaching that long-term goal.
[00:41:24] Do it don't let something get in your way. Like whether that one small thing is sending one email or making one phone call to somebody to help you along that way, try to start small. And then one day you'll get so good at doing one thing every day that you're going to pump it up to doing two things every day.
[00:41:45] And just having that goal, that longterm goal towards your dream, towards your passion, make sure you literally physically write it down or type it out and have it in a place where you're going to see it every day, whether that's on your nightstand or the mirror in your bathroom or on your phone screen that you see every 12 seconds.
[00:42:05] Cause we're all obsessed with our phones. Like just. Everyone has the ability to chase their dreams. You just have to start small and take it one step at a time. Oh, I think that's great advice. I mean, so many times it's so easy to think of everything you want to get done and try to tackle all of that.
[00:42:24] And then you get overwhelmed and you just don't. Right. But thinking, you know, taking things bit by bit by bit and you turn around and look back and you're like, look what I've accomplished. And I feel like it's so funny to think, like you, sometimes you even think you're not accomplishing it. Cause you're just taking it in such tiny bites.
[00:42:40] But then when you look back, you're like, okay, look, look how far we've come. And it's so important to, to have that. Forethought and say, okay, I'm going to just take these bite by bite. And I'm going to get to the desk, my goal destination, and I'll get there when I get there. And I'm not going to be too hard on myself and then it will be okay.
[00:42:58] Yeah, absolutely. And I think now more than ever, we have to really give ourselves grace and know that sometimes it will be just one thing in a day. And then on other days when you're just on it and you have a lot of time and energy, you get done 12 things. That's great too. Yeah. You crushed it crush it.
[00:43:18] So what are you an access tracks working on next? I mean, with COVID is it helping hurting? What are you kind of working towards? Ooh, that's a great question with COVID going on. We've certainly had a. A screeching halt to a lot of our events that we do. So the event rental side of the company has been affected very, very deeply.
[00:43:41] Um, and my heart goes out to all the nonprofits that we worked with too. They, you know, that's their bread and butter is events and getting people together in the community. Um, so that side of things has been interesting. Um, but. Even with that. That's actually, I try to look at the opportunity in that because having events canceled or postponed has actually opened up a lot more time on my schedule to allow me to think a lot more deeply on the actual strategy of the business and moving forward.
[00:44:12] So. Um, we've been doing a lot more like online stuff, um, getting ready for international partnerships. Um, so hopefully next year we will be able to add Australia to our list of 10 countries that we work in. So that's kind of something I'm looking forward to in the future. Yeah. Expanding our international presence.
[00:44:36] Definitely. And what a place to go? I mean, Just surfing alone. The beaches alone is huge. It's a culture there. So what a great spot to kind of be where accessibility would be huge there, and I'm sure much needed. Absolutely. There's a nonprofit there that we are trying to work with. That would be very helpful in connecting us to the right places.
[00:45:01] And of course, a leading it with a positive kind of vision, because I love working with other nonprofits. I mean, I wish I were a nonprofit half the time and I act like I'm a nonprofit half time, but I'm very, um, motivated to get that. That part of our vision done. Um, and then as far as everything else, I think, um, I am excited to open up more possibilities for people to support access tracks who may be don't need or want to buy the actual product itself.
[00:45:35] So when I first launched the company, we made some t-shirts and hats and things. Um, yeah. And those sold out quickly because I had to focus a lot more of my time and energy on the actual product. But now I'm finally, especially because of COVID I have more time. Um, um, I have are going to be launching our stickers on the website soon, so people can put those on their car or a surfboard or whatever and show support, um, and then developing a few other things.
[00:46:04] Oh, that's awesome. And you guys have, you guys have a great logo, so it's definitely something you should take advantage of. So where can everyone find you like social media websites? Where is everyone going to go to look for you? Definitely. Um, if you have an Instagram follow our Instagram account, we have beach tracks, SD, um, and I'm sure you guys might have the ability to share the link in your description and all that.
[00:46:30] Um, And our website is access tracks, S d.com. Uh, the S stands for San Diego in case anybody's wondering, because that all about yeah. Um, domain names when you purchase those, it's interesting. When somebody already has your domain domain name, you have to get creative. Um, Oh, I thought it was cause you guys were like global.
[00:46:51] You're like we have to isolate. So this is our hub. Okay. That's awesome. We're just thinking for the future, you know what I mean, plug that. Yes. And I, I always tell people I'm jealous of my product because it gets to travel way more than I do. Yeah. That's a good point. So hopefully someday I get to travel to places like Australia and New Zealand and you guys need on your website.
[00:47:16] You need like one of those pin maps. Or you saying pen everywhere that it's traveled? Yeah. There you go. I want one of those in my living room. I mean, I think about that all the time. Like right behind us, we just put like all our listeners on their learners. No, we got these awesome little, Oh my God. Tag sale time tag sell fight.
[00:47:37] Awesome. So we will tag and link everything on our show notes. So everyone knows where to find you. And access tracks, um, because I'm sure that we're going to hear from people that are looking to find out where they can access this and grab it. Um, so we'll definitely tag everything. Awesome. Thanks so much for joining us.
[00:47:56] Oh, of course. Thank you. This was really cool. And I'm glad that you know, the conversation. Is flexible and you guys were awesome. It's fun to talk to you guys. Well, thank you so much for listening. We really hope you enjoyed this episode as always, please make sure you share with a friend and leave. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode, on our Facebook or Instagram on, at special about special.
[00:48:22] Thanks again. And we'll see you soon.
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