Ep. #1147 - The Sandwich Generation
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, join Lauren Conaway and returning guest Brandy Archie, Founder & CEO at AccessAble Living. They talk about today’s Sandwich Generation and supporting people with mobility issues to stay independent. Find tips on closing gaps in the healthcare system using an OT mindset and technological solutions. Learn how AccessAble Living’s mobile app, AskSamie, is expanding to help more people with disabilities.
Covered In This Episode
Living with a disability can be challenging, often requiring extensive and expensive environmental adjustments. AccessAble Living provides options.
Lauren and Brandy talk about AccessAble Living and how it helps disabled people regain their independence at home. Brandy recounts the story of Mrs. Smith to demonstrate how an occupational therapist’s mindset can solve problems. They also touch on projects with Full Scale, the future of accessibility technology, and more.
Don’t miss out. Join the dynamic conversation between two social entrepreneurs in this Startup Hustle episode now.
- What is AccessAble Living, and how does it work? (1:14)
- The story of Mrs. Smith (6:49)
- How she got started with AccessAble Living (10:10)
- Vulnerability is the key to success (14:26)
- Brandy’s latest project with Full Scale (18:07)
- What it’s been like to receive recognition for your efforts (23:52)
- How do you look back on where you started? (27:56)
- What’s the future of accessibility tech? (32:53)
- If you could take anyone on a trip, all expenses paid, who would you take with you? (37:54)
What we do might seem like a small piece, but it actually ends up having a huge impact on people’s lives, and affects a bigger problem, which is affordability and housing. Because not everybody can afford to spend $6,000 and go to assisted living facilities, right? And not everybody has family to go move in with. And sometimes you just want to stay where you’re at. And so we really believe that there’s usually an option, or multiple ways to keep yourself at home. So we try to sort of sum that all up in a nice little package. We use our OT brains to figure out what is needed in the home in order to keep you live in there as independently as possible. Then we bring that equipment and make that happen.– Brandy Archie
I think a little bit of self doubt is sometimes it’s okay. You know, because, because when you have that self doubt, like, sometimes it propels you to deeper greatness, you know. If you you think everything’s perfect, you’re not growing, you’re not learning, you’re not reiterating, which is kind of the entrepreneurial process.– Lauren Conaway
While I am maybe not 100% sure what the solution is going to be I’m I am 100% sure that I will find the solution. So if you ask me a question, and I say, I’m gonna get back to you on that I’m gonna get back to you. And I’m going to have a solution, even though in the moment I don’t. And so because I know that we’re going to try to solve the problem, because that’s what we’re here to do. And there always is a way to solve that problem.– Brandy Archie
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Lauren Conaway 00:01
And we are back. Thank you for joining us for yet another episode of the Startup Hustle podcast. I’m your host Lauren Conaway, founder and CEO of InnovateHer KC. And I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about our amazing episode sponsor. Today’s episode is sponsored by FullScale.io. They can help you build a software team quickly and affordably they do a great job. I have heard from countless clients who have availed themselves of Full Scale services and ended up with a beautiful tech product without all of the stress, so highly recommended that you check them out.
Lauren Conaway 00:35
Today, we have with us– I’m very excited about this next guest because I have been watching her career for for years now. She participated in a pitch competition a while back. And she did such an incredible job and I loved what her product and what her company represented so much that I’ve always kind of kept my eye out for her. So we have with us today. Dr. Brandy Archie. And Dr. Archie is the Founding Director of AccessAble Living. Dr. Archie, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here.
Brandy Archie 01:14
Thanks for having me. Glad to be here.
Lauren Conaway 01:16
Well, as I said, I’m so excited. So let’s go ahead and get cracking right off the bat, I’m going to ask you the kick us off question. And I’m just gonna say, you know, tell us about your journey.
Brandy Archie 01:28
Yeah, so I am an Occupational Therapist by trade. And that means that it’s our job to help make sure people can be safe and independent taking care of themselves. And I like to say that we learn how to be advocates from school, because nobody knows OT is and it looks different in every setting. And so for kids that looks like helping them with handwriting, so they can be independent in classrooms, and for older adults is helping them be independent with everyday tasks like going to the bathroom. And so I love that it’s different for whoever you’re working with. And I’ve been doing it for about 14 years now. And over the course of that time, I’ve just always have my hands on gadgets and other things to kind of help people be more independent. Because sometimes, unfortunately, we’re not able to help fix people’s bodies. And so then you got to find a way to deal with what’s going on. And so the best way to do that, I think, is to add equipment or make changes to your environment. So I’ve always kind of stayed up to date on those kinds of things. And that really turned into accessible living. Because the healthcare system doesn’t really make sure that you have what you need at home, in order to be independent. And so that’s what we do at accessible event. So I started that a few years ago, and here I am today.
Lauren Conaway 02:57
That is so cool. And I think and correct me if I’m wrong, but I have a memory of accessible living that pitch competition that I watched. You had some slides, and I’m assuming it was your pitch deck. And I distinctly remember you were talking about a patient that you had, that she she was having difficulty getting in and out of her recliner. Right. And so her family, I think had decided, Oh, well, she needs to go into a home. But this this client of yours, she didn’t want to you know, and very few people do. Like if you can maintain some semblance of independence, you want to keep that in individuals lives for as long as possible. It’s my understanding that once you start removing those, those small bits of independence, you start to see declines in health. And you see you start to see mental health issues and in elderly populations, vulnerable populations. And so I you told a story about this client, and I’m wondering if you can share it with us here, because I just I loved hearing the story like how you were so so effectively able to help her?
Brandy Archie 04:06
Yeah, I definitely would tell that story. I’m gonna call her Mrs. Smith. That’s not her real name, but I’m gonna call her Mrs. Smith. So yeah, the the main thing that we do is to try to help people be independent and stay wherever they want to live. She wanted to stay living by herself, and the house that she had been in for over 30 years. However, it had stairs to get in the house stairs to get to her bedroom. Her ability had declined significantly. And people were concerned about her and she was missing doctor’s appointments because she couldn’t get out of the house. And that was piling on like you were saying it causes health, mental health but also causes physical health issues. So we had to start where was the start exactly where it’s the most important we’re trying always to get to the root cause of the issue. She had really swollen legs, and she was sleeping sitting up in a walk her walker with a seat. So we needed to find a way for her to be able to get up and down. And so we were able to help her put a, a custom box underneath the chair she already had, which is a lot more cost effective than trying to get a recliner and a lot quicker. And that extra height allowed her to get out of that chair. So now she could get up more often, which means that she can try to get herself to the toilet on her own and not be incontinent, and also have use less energy to get up so that she can be able to do the things she needs to do every day. So even though that sounds like just a simple thing, it had a rippling effect in our life. And so we did other things, too. So including getting her a bedside commode so that she could go to the toilet right near where she was at, since her walking wasn’t very good. And connecting her with some transportation options, so that she get to our doctor’s appointments, and then making some more long term plans, how are we going to get you a ramp so that you can get out of the house more easily and consistently. And so while what we do might seem like small piece, it actually ends up having a huge impact on people’s lives, and affects a bigger problem, which is affordability and housing, because not everybody can afford to spend $6,000 and go to assisted living facilities, right, and not everybody has family to go move in with. And sometimes you just want to stay where you’re at. And so we really believe that there’s usually an option, or multiple ways to keep yourself at home. So we try to sort of sum that all up in a nice little package. We use our OT brains to figure out what is needed in the home in order to keep you live in there as independently as possible. So and then we bring that equipment and make that happen.
Lauren Conaway 06:49
Yeah, well, I just think that that is that is so incredible. And it really speaks to your storytelling ability. And in the assistance that you provide, like that solution stuck with me, I mean, that that pitch competition was at least three years ago, it was pre pandemic. And I remember you telling that story and thinking to myself, how creative because so many people would automatically Well, I mean, the family kind of, from what I remember, the family had already kind of gone to the well, there’s nothing to do here, she’s gonna have to go into a home and, and then like, so many people would have been like, Well, if that’s not gonna work, we’re gonna need to get this super fancy tricked out recliner that, you know, goes up and down electrically. And, you know, and that’s, that’s financially out of reach, particularly for elderly populations. And so the fact that you were able, and I remember this slide, like so vividly, the fact that you were you able to create such a cost effective, easy solution, and, and create such lasting change in that client’s life. and Mrs. Smith live. Like, that was just really powerful to me. And I mean, I, you know, not all of us, we’re not, we’re not all 80 years old, but everybody listening here has at some point, you know, probably had a grandparent or a parent who had issues, you know, someone that they love, someone that they trusted, who experienced issues like this, and I just I invite our listeners at home to really think about that. Think about the people that you love in your life who maybe confronted with, with some mobility issues and how somebody like Dr. Archie and accessible living, how they might be able to help, and what that could mean in their lives. You know, you didn’t just impact Mrs. Smith, although I’m sure you did, profoundly. But you also impacted everyone around her the people that love her and care about her. And so I just want to I want to start, you know, we’re kind of at the beginning of this little recording, I want to start by just commending you for the work that you do like finding those creative workarounds, finding solutions that work for the people that you serve it on an individual individualized basis. Just super impressive. I love it.
Brandy Archie 09:03
I appreciate that. I think that our motto is we’re creating accessibility everywhere. And I don’t think that accessibility is a privilege. I think that is a right. And so while if you have more dollars, you have more soldiers in order to make your home accessible or move to a place that is but I don’t think that if you don’t have those dollars, you should be subject to slipping in a row later. And so there’s always more one more than one way to get things done. And we’re just trying to make that literally accessible to everybody.
Lauren Conaway 09:34
Yeah, you’re well named for sure. And I do want to point out and just for folks who might be listening and they’re not looking at the episode title, accessible is a cc S S, capital a b l e so a little bit different from how we normally spell accessible but access ABL which I love that too. I remember thinking that that was such a such a perfect name like it speaks to what you do, and I Just thought that that was so fun. Well, so tell us, tell us about starting the company. What’s it? What did that look like? What did that feel like for you?
Brandy Archie 10:10
Um, it was very gradual, I would say, I started the company in December of 2016. And of all of 2017, we served eight clients. Now part of that is because I didn’t know how to start a business. And I also was working a full time job as an occupational therapist and home health. And it was, it’s always been a gradual process of less working for others and more working for myself. And I think, I think many business owners do it that way. I don’t think a lot of people actually talk about it. So I felt badly, I guess, to some degree, like a, I don’t know, a little impostor syndrome like a sham. So if I’m out presenting accessible living, that I also have another job that’s actually paying for my bills. But that was important for me to do it that way for my own sense of security. And because I have a family and my money matters to what happens in our household. And I also think it was really good for building out the way we do things. It’s really comes from my experiences working in home health and acute care and all the different settings I’ve worked in. So had I not done that, I don’t know that we would have come up with as many creative solutions as we have. So we started that way. And we started real slow and just grew as our networking grew, and our reach grew in the city. And so now I’m definitely a full time business owner. And this is the way we go. And we’ve got a team of people and other couple of occupational therapists that come out to people’s homes, and a partnership where we help people make sure it actually gets installed. Because that’s half the battle too. Because what if you know what you need, and you order it from somewhere? And then what you know, so we’re trying to make an end to end solution happen. So that things that our ideas become reality?
Lauren Conaway 12:02
Yeah. Well, I love that. And I have to ask, you know, we talk about, and I think that I do not think that this is an issue that affects only female founders. But I do think that it’s an issue that more like, affects female founders more frequently. But I have to ask, you’re over that impostor syndrome now, right?
Brandy Archie 12:22
Um, I think, yes. In certain areas, I think, certainly accessible living is a growing entity, and I’m confident in what I’m doing there. And I know that this is exactly where we should be. But every time we do something new, that means I haven’t done it before. And I got to demonstrate a level of professionalism and competence and what’s going on, even though I might not be that confident about it. So I’m not gonna say one way all the way but definitely know how to work around it.
Lauren Conaway 12:54
Well, that’s good. And I mean, honestly, like, I think a little bit of self doubt is sometimes it’s okay. You know, because, because when you that self doubt, like, sometimes it propels you to deeper greatness, you know, if you are constantly if you think everything’s perfect, you’re not, you’re not growing, you’re not learning, you’re not reiterating, which is kind of the entrepreneurial process. Like I think, everybody listening today, like you, me, you know, all of the hosts of Startup Hustle. We’re all entrepreneurial. And so we are constantly thinking through how can we make it better? How can we, how can we learn more, grow more? How can we evolve? So I don’t necessarily think that too much is a bad thing. And I definitely I love the fact that you acknowledge that it’s still there. But you found some workarounds. Now. I’m curious, do you have any specific workarounds that you would like to share with us?
Brandy Archie 13:47
Oh, that’s a good question. I know that people might feel some kind of way about the statement, but I always think fake it till you make it. Yeah. So while I am maybe not 100% sure what the solution is going to be I’m I am 100% sure that I will find the solution. So if you ask me a question, and I say, I’m gonna get back to you on that I’m gonna get back to you. And I’m going to have a solution, even though in the moment I don’t. And so because I know that we’re going to try to solve the problem, because that’s what we’re here to do. And there always is a way to solve that problem. We might not like it all the time. Sure. There’s always a way to solve the problem. So I that’s my main workaround is just to ask for a little bit of grace, give me a little bit of time, and we’ll come up with it together.
Lauren Conaway 14:37
Well, and that takes that that’s really interesting, like the process that you just shared, because what that takes is vulnerability. Like there’s a lot of power and saying, I don’t know. And I think that often in entrepreneurial circles, there’s this conception out there that you have to be unassailable, that you have to be perfect. You’re always hustling, everything’s going great. You’ve got all the funding you need. So the, the fact that you’re able to be to be vulnerable and say, I don’t know, but then empowered and confident enough to say, but I’ll figure it out. That is truly such an entrepreneurial mind way to be, you know, we talk about like the the entrepreneurial mindset, a lot around Startup Hustle in this, like entrepreneurs are people who look at challenges, and they see something to overcome, rather than something to block or stop you. And clearly, you’re not doing that. So I will say one of the things that I find interesting about what you’re doing, and I want to I want to delve a little bit deeply into this, you know, before we started recording, you mentioned, you know, what you’re doing currently, it’s not necessarily like a super high tech field, like some of the workarounds that you’re, you’re, you’re really dealing with human beings, you know, and some of the solutions that you come up with, like, they’re not super high tech, I mean, you fix Mrs. Smith’s situation with a box, you know, and I mean, it was custom, and it was built for the situation. But that being said, it was it was a box. And that’s not, you know, that’s not like a really technical high growth, sexy, fancy topic, like, it’s just not. And but it did the job. Now, what we for we hit record, you mentioned something, something that you’re building, and I want to hear more about that.
Brandy Archie 16:24
Yeah. Um, so I think that’s a good description, what we do is really awesome for the for our area where we serve, and we’re in the Kansas City area. And, but it’s also very labor intensive, we send an occupational therapist out to the client’s home, to take a look at their setup, understand what their needs are, and then we come up with a list of prioritized solutions. And then we help them get that in place. And we actually get those pieces of equipment to their house, and they get them installed. And so that works really well for all the places that we can drive to. But it does not work the greatest, to reach people who live in rural areas, or anybody who lives outside of our driving radius. And, again, our goal is accessibility everywhere. And I know this to be a problem everywhere. Because I’ve worked in multiple states and multiple cities. The healthcare system is set up to deal with things have to do with your body, and your health insurance pays for that. So if you lose a limb, they’ll pay for a prosthetic, or a wheelchair so you can get around. But what it won’t do is pay for a ramp to help you get in your house or chair in your shower so that you can sit and take a shower since you are missing away. And so since we don’t have a system for that, you’re kind of at your own mercy. And you got to find your own resources. And I don’t think that’s right. So that’s why we created accessible live, because it’s really hard to put all those pieces together, especially because most people are only dealing with this for the first time. Right. And so we have experience in doing it. And so let us help shortcut it for you. So while it’s needed here, and our physical location is also needed everywhere. And so what we’re doing now is enhancing our services by building an app. And it’s called AskSamie, that’s spelled S-A-M-I-E, and what our what our main superpower is, I think accessible living is using our OT brains to figure out to match you with the right products and equipment for your needs. And while we really value being in that space, we also are just really good at asking the right questions in order to get to the best solution. And so we’re putting that in our app. And so soon, people will be able to go there to our website, or download the app and answer a few questions which could be about yourself or about your loved one or somebody that you’re working with. And then be routed to the right set of equipment for your needs. And also be given additional suggestions about if you need this, most of our clients also need this. And so that’s going to be building in the artificial intelligence to to that so that we can try to solve more problems in a shorter amount of time and decrease people’s stress level. Because this is what I always say is if anybody is seeing me it’s not their best day, right? Like I’m in to try to help make things easier. And so if we can take this one piece off of somebody’s plate, whether that’s the individual themselves who needs help, or somebody who’s helping a loved one or another professional who’s really trying to make connections for their clients, because they see their need. We we know that this is all outside of everybody’s everyday so If, and we want to make that as easy as and as quick as possible. Yeah. And then once you get your list of things, then you can click in order from us and get it delivered to you so that we can serve people everywhere.
Lauren Conaway 20:14
That is absolutely incredible. And congratulations on not just conceiving of this, this very big thing. It feels very big, you know, this, this app that you’re building, but not only thinking of it, but you know, finding the tools and the resources to make it happen. I imagine that has probably not been easy. One of the things that you mentioned was, you know, how can you take things off of your client’s plates. And I do really quickly just want to remind everyone listening, that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is sponsored by full scale.io, they can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. But what it really comes down to with Full Scale is they take things off your plate, they make your job as an entrepreneur easier, they help you build tech products, and they do it in a way that is supportive, and that it can just remove so much of the headache. I mean, I gotta ask you, you know, Brandy, has it been hard building a tech product? Particularly as a non technical person? I’m interested, yes.
Brandy Archie 21:16
That’s exactly what I was gonna say is, yes, I’ve built a service business and integrate and but OT is a service. And I’ve been doing that for a long time. So now, this is a dif, a whole different kind of business. In a way, even though it’s our same mission is a different, it’s a tech business. It’s not a service based business. And so I’ve had to learn new vocabulary, I’ve had to meet new people, I’ve had to think about how our workflow is in a different way. That is challenging, but I like it, because I’m always trying to learn new things. And also, because the ultimate goal is to make sure that people have access to these resources. I, I appreciate that. When we get done working with people, they often say, you cannot believe how much easier you made that for us. And I’m so glad we found you and worked with you. And while I like that, I don’t think that they should have to find a individual or a business to do that. What about all the people in all the other places that we don’t physically touch? Right? They need to have the solutions as well. So it is a big project, a huge project. And it’s needed everywhere. And so that part is a little bit scary. I think that’s where the imposter syndrome wants to come back in? And–
Lauren Conaway 22:35
Brandy Archie 22:36
I know, it’s so huge.
Lauren Conaway 22:37
Knock it out, girl, knock it out.
Brandy Archie 22:39
I know, I’m gonna find–I don’t have an answer all the time, but I’m gonna find a solution. And I really do think this will be a good solution that will help a lot of people in a lot of places. One good example I have with that is I had somebody who was actually a friend, who was, who has family that lives in a different country. And they were going to go visit, and she was having trouble walking. And they were like, man, it would really be great if we had a wheelchair, but we have no way to access that at her country. And so can I get one from you. And we’ll take it over there. So we figured out what we needed to all remotely didn’t actually meet the mother, who was the person who was in need, but was able to get them the right equipment, they flew with it over there and used it for their trip and things that they were doing and came back and said that was such a game changer for us to have that there was literally nowhere to access that kind of tool or piece of equipment in the place that she lived. And so being able to bring that there was life changing. And that put a lot of perspective to me on how big of a thing this is, and how much we need to do in order to bring accessibility not just to America, but to the world.
Lauren Conaway 23:52
Oh my gosh, I love that as a vision. I love how big your thinking because because I do remember you I think you even said in that that long ago pitch competition. I think you even made mention of the fact that like you hadn’t been operating very long as an entrepreneur. And I think I remember feeling like oh man, like this woman, she just has so much potential that she’s just getting started and to sort of see the evolution of your personal growth as a founder and your organizational growth like through accessible living like, it is so cool to talk to you now because I just I can I can even see how far you’ve come. And so I just, you know, please don’t take this the wrong way. But I’m super proud of you. And the growth like the fact that you’re thinking globally, and not just locally is that’s incredible. That’s huge. You know, I really hope that you kick that impostor syndrome in the ass, but it sounds like you’re doing that. So congratulations. So speaking of, you know, Dr. Archie’s growth, accessible living as growth, you know, the growth that you’ve seen here You have over the course of your career. And I can think of a couple different examples, but I’m sure there are more. You’ve, you’ve, you’ve gotten some recognition for the work that you’ve been doing, I think I’m pretty sure you placed at that pitch competition, I forgive me, I don’t remember where you placed. I do provide like a, you were just named smallest superstar, through the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, you know, talk to us a little bit about that, what it’s been like to, you’ve worked so hard, what is it like to receive recognition for your efforts?
Brandy Archie 25:34
You know, it’s, it’s really gratifying to be able to see, especially other people, you know, nominate us for things. And to know that we’re making an impact in our community, because that’s really what my goal is. And so I’m glad to see that actually happening in life. And I think that it’s also really hard to start a business and to make it be impactful. And so while it might take longer than you anticipate, is great to have some level of, you know, retribution for that. And just to know that it matters what you’re doing, I think that’s the most important thing is that it matters what you’re doing, we get that on a regular basis from the people we help every day. So that is cool. But also on a bigger scale, it’s important to and then the other literally functional thing about that is, that’s been our main way of raising funds. And so this company has been bootstrapped. And like I said, I started and had a full time job as I was trying to build this. And so in that pitch competition that you mentioned, won the first prize, which was $10,000. And that was the first grant that we ever won. And that took us a long way, as far as being able to build the tools that we needed in house in order to pull all of the things together that we needed in order to create the solution that we wanted to have. So we also have an app that is just for our with our in house use just for all the staff that works together. And they helps us communicate better and be able to show people equipment on the spot and put out like our quote sheet and our prioritized solutions right away. Because really time is of the essence, because most of the people that we work with are coming out of the hospital or rehab. And they have about two or three days before they end up at home. So building that app was really key and cost money. And so being able to have some funds and fundraise through grants and pitch competitions has been really important. So I’ve won a couple of more since then, that we’re outside of the Kansas City area. So that’s really cool to see that other people who actually aren’t here in our area, seeing us work, still see that this is important thing that needs to be funded. For sure.
Lauren Conaway 27:56
How do you like, look back on where you started? Like, do you think you can imagine where you’re at right now, when you started on this journey? Or were you imagining bigger?
Brandy Archie 28:09
You know, I think it’s twofold, I think originally is imagining, just being able to serve more people that have served me as an individual OT, in my career, knowing that starting a business, I’d be able to impact more people. But then as you start doing that just by ones and twos turning into 10s, and 20s, and then hundreds of people, then you’re like, Okay, this is actually something that needs to be solved on a bigger, larger scale. And we can do that. And so I think the vision turned to be bigger and and literally why our statement is accessibility everywhere. It’s not accessibility can city and accessibility for 60 year old is literally everywhere, because everybody deserves to have it. And so once you have a little bit of success, and you see that how important it is, I think your vision has to grow.
Lauren Conaway 29:00
Oh, man, I love that. And I wholeheartedly agree. Like I think at the beginning of the journey, there are so many entrepreneurs like you’re almost like tunnel vision focused, because you see the problem so clearly. And then you see the solution. So clearly, like if you didn’t, you wouldn’t try be trying to start your own thing. You know, by starting your own thing. You’re basically declaring to the world like, I know how to fix this problem. And, and so I feel like when you first start, there’s like, you’re just so focused, but then as you get better at what you do, and you grow in scope, and you figure out you know, the accounting pieces and like all of those things that like founders have to do that we’re not necessarily comfortable with like most of us are comfortable and lay in our lane, like these are the things that I’m good at, but as a startup founder, particularly when you’re a solopreneur and you’re just starting out and there were maybe only like one or two people on what you’re doing. You know, you have to do everything, right you’re there isn’t Nobody else to to do the marketing and the sales and the accounting and the back office bullshit that, you know, gets my that we get mired in. And so I love that statement like as you grow as an entrepreneur, like your vision has to get bigger, it only makes sense that as you put experts into roles, and you figure out how to activate people around what you’re doing that you have the grace and space in your head to think bigger and do bigger. And so it’s just been it’s been really lovely to hear that progression in you for sure. Speaking of that, progression, talk to us a little bit about the future of accessibility. And I’m interested in the future of accessible living as a company, but I’m also interested in in the landscape, like what do you see coming down the pipeline, for the kinds of folks that you help that need your assistance,
Brandy Archie 30:59
I think that the world is starting to understand, or I should say, the United States are starting to understand that these things that we put in place for maybe better productivity, and make our lives easier, just as individuals who might be 30 and busy and have kids and doesn’t have time for grocery shopping. So you use Instacart. Like, I think that people are starting to see that while they might be developing it for that person. It actually has a lot of benefits for people who have disabilities. And you know, and I use Instacart, because, one, I use it, but also because a lot of my clients use it because they can’t drive or they don’t drive anymore, and they can’t get out. Or maybe they can’t bring those groceries into the house, from their car. And so being able to order them makes it so much easier. And so I think that we’re opening up our eyes a little bit more to a more to understand a more diverse atmosphere exists in the world that has a lot of use cases for the technology that we are developing. And so part of what we’re trying to do accessible living is to try to match that with people’s needs, and be up to date on what are the new tools that are out? And what are the new things that are being developed. I mean, so many people use an Alexa, which is not necessarily a disability tool, but certainly does a ton for the elderly population who don’t just jump on a computer and Google things, but can ask Alexa, what’s the weather going to be today, or give me the phone number to a plumber, you know, where I might just pull up my phone. And so I think that the landscape of accessibility, or the goal of having accessibility everywhere is actually achievable. Because of all the things that we’re doing in technology for everyone, because it evens the playing field a lot more
Lauren Conaway 32:49
than that is so like, that’s so good to hear. A little bummed that it’s taken as long as it has that, like I even point to like remote work, you know, so many companies are shifting over to remote work as a result of this global pandemic that we’re experiencing. But I talked to the startup founder recently, and she she’s doing some work in this space. And it’s just so cool to me, because you know, now that companies have kind of changed, like they’ve had to pivot, they’ve had to change how they conduct business. And remote work has become more and more accessible, accessible, acceptable and even encouraged. So think about the populations who maybe they can’t get around so easily, they haven’t been able to find fulfilling work, you know, in their in their areas of expertise, because it was too hard to get there. And, you know, so we’re opening up like, all of these different avenues of opportunity. And and it starts with you, you know, branding, it starts with you, you know, how do we get these people mobile, active, activated and fulfilled? And then, you know, the next piece is how do we, I don’t know, help them get jobs? How do we make sure that we can connect them to other resources that can make their lives better. And so I almost feel like you’re kind of the first part of the funnel on on this journey that so many so many are able to take, which is super cool. Super cool. Like how I’m applauding you right now like clapping right next to my microphone.
Brandy Archie 34:22
I’m taking a little bow.
Lauren Conaway 34:25
I love that she really she really did, folks. I just watched her take a little bow. All right. So I’m curious. What is the future for for Dr. Archie?
Brandy Archie 34:37
Oh, so I think that the future for Dr. Archie is that AskSamie is a global phenomenon. And that is like the primary way that people go the first thing that people go to when they want information about adaptive equipment or ways to care for a loved one or client. And so I want that to be the place is where you get information, you understand what these things can do for you or your loved one. And understand why we’ve chosen to put that in our catalogue of things, and then also have easy access to get to it. And so I want to be running that company and continuing to add more resources to it, so that it continues to grow as our landscape changes, and as we serve more people, so that’s the ultimate goal, I think, so that we can provide solutions for people everywhere.
Lauren Conaway 35:34
Yeah. Well, well, that is, that sounds like a super cool vision. You’re such a visionary. Um, what is your advice to tech startups out there that might be interested in getting into the accessibility tech space?
Brandy Archie 35:49
Oh, so my advice is to start now, as we probably whatever you are seeing as a problem, we probably had that problem for a long time.
Lauren Conaway 36:00
We have like the boomer generation, getting to the point where like, they’re gonna I mean, that is a large generation here in the US. And they’re, they’re all starting to have mobility issues and accessibility issues. So I would say that the market is pretty ripe.
Brandy Archie 36:16
Yeah, and I would also define it in two different ways, too. So like, there’s accessibility with technology. And then there’s also using technology as an accessible tool. And then I’m gonna tell you why they’re two different things. Okay? I’m Alexa, that’s a excessive using as an accessibility tool, I’m going to make my life easier by buying this tool. But also, when we’re actually accessing tech that should be accessible to show if you creating a PowerPoint presentation or building a website for your business, use the alternative text so that if somebody is blind, and using a screen reader, the screen will pick up that text that’s behind or embedded in an image. And then they’ll know what’s on that image, even though they can’t see it. And so those are actually two different lanes, and both need lots of work and lots of ideas and hands in it and from a diverse group of people. So that more people have access to more things like it doesn’t bother my experience of your presentation at all or website, if you have alternative text included in behind embedded in your pictures. But it certainly makes a big difference for somebody who has low vision or as blind. So. So accessibility in tech and using tech as an accessible tool. The world is ripe for improving both of those areas, and people have more knowledge about it in general.
Lauren Conaway 37:40
Yeah. So start now is your advice to entrepreneurs who are interested in this, this rapidly growing rapidly more accepted in space? Like I love that. Do you have any other any other thoughts that you want to share with our listeners?
Brandy Archie 37:59
Um, no, start now. And you can do it. And even if you don’t feel like you know all the answers, you’ll figure them out. So let’s go.
Lauren Conaway 38:07
That’s right. You got to take a page from Dr. Archie like you might not know but you can figure it out. You got this? We believe in you. I have my I have my human question. And I’ve been thinking about this for for a hot minute. I’m just very curious. Like I like you Dr. Archie, like I’ve known you for a while and like I said, I’ve kind of watched your career with interest. So So I want to I’ve been waiting to ask you this human question. But what is? No, I’m gonna ask it a different way. If you could take anyone right now on a on a trip all expenses paid luxurious trip. Who would you take with you?
Brandy Archie 38:50
Oh my gosh. See, what do you don’t know about me is that it’s really hard for me to pick favorites or one of anything.
Lauren Conaway 38:57
Right? Yeah. So here’s the deal. All right. I’m gonna make this a little bit easy, like a little less pressured. This is who this is who Dr. Archie would pick right now. That’s not to say that that answer might not change, you know, according to her mood and whim later on. So if you are a loved one have brandy, please do not feel slighted. This is just what she’s feeling at the moment.
Brandy Archie 39:17
Okay, so here’s how I answer this question. Yes, no family or friends should feel slighted because I can actuality we can plan a trip and go somewhere. But I’m going to use my free wish here to pick somebody that I might not actually be able to act like to How about
Lauren Conaway 39:35
playing the game? She’s playing the system, y’all. That visionary piece.
Brandy Archie 39:39
I’m always trying to you know, find a way to shortcut the system. So love it. I think that I and this is just literally right now I think that I would want to take Nicole Hannah Jones on a trip all expenses paid and pick our brain and I’m gonna tell you why. So this is the journalist who wrote the 1619 project. I was reading the book that the new book that came out and I just think that she’s gone through a ton of a ton of life experiences in professional life, and then also challenges with the passion she has in her work. And I’d really like to know how she deals with all of that, you know, I also just really like journalism, and their investigative minds, and willingness or desire to get to the bottom of everything. So I would just love to glean from that knowledge and experience. I think that’s problem-solving at its best, so I could use some of those skills, too.
Lauren Conaway 40:39
I love that answer. So that is such a great answer. And I love how diplomatic you were you were like, Well, I’m just gonna do the dream. Because I can. And also because I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings like you’re so diplomatic. I do, I do have to tell you that I actually– I just recently bought the 1619 project. I have not cracked into it just yet that it looks like a super dense read. And I’m like, I need to be in like the right headspace to, to start this but highly recommend anybody who is interested in history, and race and culture in you know, our country, definitely give it a read. I’ve heard so many good things about it. Like I have so many people who have come to me and say, Lord, you have to read this book. And I’m like, alright, alright, I will, I promise. But no, that is an excellent, excellent choice. I gotta tell you, Dr. Archie, I am so very grateful for you for taking the time to come and chat with me and be on the show. This has been fun. And I just want to say a huge thank you. You’re awesome.
Brandy Archie 41:45
Man, thanks for having me. I’ve really had a good time. And a great conversation. So thanks.
Lauren Conaway 41:51
Awesome. Well, and I do have to thank our episode sponsor. Once again, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is sponsored by Full Scale, helping you build a software team quickly and affordably. We love Full Scale so much all the hugs and good vibes in the world for them. You know, because they they sponsor a lot of our episodes, and they are the organization that makes this possible. And they make entrepreneurs lives better by taking things off their plate and helping founders build really truly awesome tech products. So huge fans of Full Scale. Also huge fans of social media, invite all of our listeners at home to check us out. We’ve got we are high Startup Hustle is highly accessible friends. It really is. You can find us on Facebook, we have a Startup Hustle chat, invite you to join that if you want to continue the conversation, ask questions. Talk to the hosts like myself, Matt DeCoursey Matt Watson, we’re all members and we all we all contribute to the chat. We’re on Instagram. We’re on LinkedIn. We’re on Twitter. Come and find us. We want to continue these conversations with you. And friends. I would be very, very remiss if I did not also thank you, our listeners for taking the time to listen to us week after week. We are super grateful to you and for you. And we will catch you on the flip side.