Last week, Emily sat down with Janira Obregon for our monthly Facebook Live broadcast to discuss life as an advocate for the disability community, the importance of living and leading by example, and adaptive wear. Janira is a New York Fashion Week Model and college graduate who hopes to study law one day. She lives with Cerebral Palsy and Spastic Quadriplegia but has not let her disability stop her from pursuing her dreams.
Miss the interview? Don’t worry! You can tune in and watch their full conversation below!
If one theme ran through their entire conversation, is was that both Emily and Janira value positivity, even in the face of life threatening health setbacks. Here are a few additional highlights from Emily & Janira’s conversation…
Janira and Emily talked about navigating the business and fashion world as young women living with illness and disability, and they both stressed the importance of being brave.
“Half of the struggle is just showing up and reaching out,” Janira says. “You just have to say, I have this idea would you like to work with me! And most of the time people want to work with you. It’s about not being afraid and taking that first step.”
Lead by example.
Through all that bravery, Janira and Emily also talked about the importance of living and leading by example. When asked what issue she was most passionate about advocating for, Janira told Emily that issue was education.
“A lot people have low standers when it comes to education and disability,” Janira told us. “They think we can’t excel in school, but we have to show them that we can. Going to school, graduating, that’s all really important to me. I’ve had people tell me that they don’t go to school because people expect less of them. But I try and use my story as an example. Getting my education w wasn’t easy, but I did it, and I surprised others by doing so.”
“And that’s what real leadership is,” Emily said. “You’re going to get people who don’t believe in you or don’t understand why you are doing what you are doing, but I’ve come to realize – those people aren’t for me.”
Adaptive Wear and The Mighty Pack
Emily and Janira also talked about their experiences in the fashion world, Emily as a designer and Janira as a model at NY Fashion Week!
When asked about the one thing she wish designers knew, Janira said she wished they would start designing for everyone. “I’d like to see more inclusivity, Janira said. “Don’t just design for one person, but design for everyone in mind.”
Emily also asked Janira about her newest piece, The Mighty Pack! “I absolutely love it,” Janira said. “It’s like the best backpack. There is so much space inside! It doesn’t lose its’ shape, it’s waterproof, and I also just like the style!”
Thank you Janira for joining us this month on Facebook Live and for sharing your story. Stay tuned for more conversations from the Mighty Well community, coming soon.
Want to connect with our community? Join us in our group, Friends in the Fight and share your story!