What's the Story?

Our company, BILLY FootwearTM, is the brainchild of two Seattle locals: Darin Donaldson and Billy Price. Our focus is on shoes that embody universal design, meaning they both appeal to and work for everyone.
The term, "universal design" is used all the time in the construction of homes and city buildings, referring to environments that accommodate all parties. Universal design has even appeared right under our noses with the advancements and popularity of smart phones, which incorporate features that are not only convenient for the masses, but also allow individuals with vision, hearing, and mobility impairments to access all the same information. The designs of these structures and gadgets are universal, so why not apply the same term to fashion?
Smashing fashion with function, BILLY Footwear incorporates zippers that go along the side of the shoes and around the toe, allowing the upper of each shoe to open and fold over completely. Thus the wearer can place his or her foot onto the shoe footbed unobstructed. Then with a tug on the zipper-pull the shoe closes and secures overtop the user's foot. It's simple. It's easy.

You might be wondering why universal design is so important to us. Well, after breaking his neck from a three-story fall in October of 1996, our co-founder, Billy, became paralyzed from the chest down and lost the ability to move much of his body, including his fingers. Not only did he suddenly face mobility challenges, but daily tasks that he took for granted, such as putting on clothes, became much more difficult. Throughout the years he learned tricks for getting dressed more easily and found a handful of clothing companies that catered to the adaptive community. That said, the one piece of clothing that always eluded him was shoes—he never found a pair of shoes that he felt were both attractive and that he could put on independently.

Fast forward half a lifetime later, the solution was born. Between Billy’s propensity for problem-solving and Darin’s spark for business innovation, they created a prototype that fulfilled Billy’s personal needs. But the solution Billy was seeking for his own challenges grew into something bigger—it became a mission to create mainstream shoes that are functional, fashionable, and inclusive for everyone. 

It is clear that the world is ready for greater inclusion in fashion. Everybody is unique and we all want to express ourselves and feel confident. BILLY Footwear is proud to be a part of this movement. And our major retail partners, such as Nordstrom, Zappos, and Kids Foot Locker, not only support our product and mission with open arms, but it is a sincere honor for us to serve their customers.

Universal Design with Fashion in MindTM. It has a good ring to it, don't you think?

 

Meet The BILLY Footwear Team


Billy Price
Co-Founder

Darin Donaldson
Co-Founder

Brandi Wasnock
Director of Public Relations

Patrick Foster
Director of Strategy & Distribution

Ty Kelly
Director of Multimedia

Steve Kelley
Director of Due Diligence

Martin Otterson
Director of Marketing & Business Development