From Accident to Entrepreneur

Nwi Times:

A motorcycle accident 19 years ago restricted Dave Lewis’s mobility but swung open the door to a business opportunity for the now 39-year-old entrepreneur. Lewis was driving home from his job managing a rental equipment store in LaPorte when he hit a hole on a set of railroad tracks and was thrown into an 8-foot ditch. The impact crushed a vertebra and his spinal cord, paralyzing Lewis from the chest down.

He opened Access Mobility Wheelchair Shop 15 years ago, selling and installing chairs, lifts, retrofitted vehicles and other equipment for people with disabilities, and making vehicle and home modifications to accommodate their disabilities.

“There was a need,” Lewis said. “The market was there and there was nobody else doing it.” The business has grown by about 15 percent each year and built a customer base of more than 1,000, Lewis said. Driving the growth has been Lewis’s unique insight into his customers’ needs, he said. “I know what they’re going to need because I’m disabled myself.” Customers range from children with disabilities to stroke and heart attack victims.

Some of his customers are members of Lewis’s Wheelchair Chicago Cubs softball team, which plays from June to August.

Image via GermesOnline

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