A devastating accident twenty years ago has turned into a business opportunity for a pair of friends in Issaquah. Billy Price was in his first week of school as a freshman at UW in 1996 when he fell out of a three-story window.
“It broke my neck and it broke my back and it basically left me in a wheelchair,” he explained.
The accident, which was alcohol-related, made him quadriplegic. Today, Price is turning his personal tragedy into a unique footwear company.
BILLY Footwear designs and manufactures shoes for people with physical limitations. The shoes are fastened with a clever zipper attached to a ring. They’re easy to put on, and the fashionable designs are definitely street-worthy.
“We don't want to have a shoe that screams adaptive, we want to have a shoe that works for everyone,” said Price.
Price and his longtime friend Darin Donaldson co-founded BILLY Footwear in 2012 and recently got a boost when they appeared on a reality TV-show called “Don’t Quit Your Day Job.” The program gave them much-needed exposure and a solid business plan.
A pair of adult BILLY footwear shoes is expected to cost $100. Kids shoes will cost about half that. They're taking online pre-orders now and hope to eventually have them on store shelves.
“It's absolutely amazing to be able to not only create a product that I like and enjoy but that I know is going to positively impact so many people,” said Donaldson.
Ted Land, King 5