Top Trending: 11 Qualities of Super Successful People (Infographic)

Cure Couture

To lessen the pain of a family tragedy, one woman dressed up her crutches and found a fashionable calling.
  • ---Shares
This story appears in the December 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Reader Resource

Apply now to be an Entrepreneur 360™ company. Let us tell the world your success story. Get Started »

What: Designer crutches and crutch accessories
Who: Laurie Johnson of LemonAid Crutches
Where: Edwards, Colorado
When: Started in 2004
How much: $100,000

Leg casts decorated with Sharpie markers are so five years ago. What's the new must-have item for the injured fashionista? Designer crutches, of course.

For Laurie Johnson, founder of LemonAid Crutches, the idea of adding a little pizzazz to the drab world of medical supplies was born out of terrible tragedy. In 2002, a small-plane crash took the lives of her husband and 2-year-old son, and left her with a broken femur that wouldn't heal. A year later, still in emotional and physical pain, Johnson decided to take life's lemons and make lemonade.

It all started when her sister spray-painted Johnson's crutches and fabric-trimmed the handles. "I sat there thinking, 'Oh my gosh, this is so silly, but they make me feel better!'" says Johnson, 46. "I said, 'If I feel this way, someone else is going to feel this way, too."

In mid-2005, the company put up its website, where it peddles fashionably functional crutches designed with themes such as Safari Adventure and Asian Inspiration. The fully padded and lined crutches cost from $140 to $175 a pair.

Although a self-proclaimed "capitalist at heart," Johnson felt she could do more. In 2005, she founded Step With Hope, a foundation that offers financial support and counseling for people who have lost loved ones. She dedicates 50 percent of LemonAid's profits to the foundation.

And though the designer-crutch business may seem like a small niche, Johnson has big plans for several new projects, such as offering crutches to children's hospitals. She expects Lemon-Aid to bring in just under $150,000 in 2006. "There's so much we can offer," she says, "with just a little less in our pockets and a lot more in our hearts."

Edition: May 2017

Get the Magazine

Limited-Time Offer: 1 Year Print + Digital Edition and 2 Gifts only $9.99
Subscribe Now
OK

This website uses cookies to allow us to see how our website and related online services are being used. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our cookie collection. More information about how we collect cookies is found here.