The shoes Ricole Wicks designs are a lot like her personality – bright and bold.
“Part of knowing your wealth is knowing who you are, so every shoe that comes out in this collection will say something about me as a designer,” Wicks said.
She is the founder and CEO of her shoe brand ColeMind, an idea that literally came to her in her sleep.
“ColeMind basically came from a dream that I have. Very rarely am I in my wheelchair when I dream. I’m walking,” Wicks said.
“What ended up happening was I had a dream, and I saw myself in a pair of shoes that I liked, and I went to look for them, and they weren’t available, so I started to design them,” Wicks said.
Her custom creations are intended to combine style with a product that’s comfortable for walking. A design skillset that comes naturally to Wicks despite relying on a motorized wheelchair.
“I was diagnosed at birth with cerebral palsy,” she said.
Growing up, there were times when Wicks felt out of place.
“I wanted to be normal, and kids didn’t see it as normal, so I felt like I wasn’t normal. But over time and realizing the chair is an asset, the chair gets me into rooms that I wouldn’t normally get into,” Wicks said.
Wicks doesn’t draw. Instead, she creates designs using voice notes with as much detail as possible.
A company then uses her notes to create a sketch to manufacture.
Wicks is a graduate of Eastern Guilford High School and received graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Continuing to reach her goals has helped Wicks encourage people not to give up on what they want to accomplish.
“Part of who I am as a person, I want to take away people’s excuses,” Wicks said. “There’s a way to be creative. There’s a way to be innovative. There’s a way to own your space.”