“I was born with blue cone monochromacy, which is a really rare eye disease. I’m completely color blind; I’m on the line of legally blind with contacts, but without my contacts I’m 2400, which is way over legally blind. It’s kind of hard to explain to people what I see, because they always ask me, ‘What colors do you see?’ or ‘What can you see?’, so a lot of times I tell people I can’t see any color and I see black and white. That’s what it is.
“So I started Eyeconic exactly a year ago. I’m making t-shirts and hoodies and gear like that. My girlfriend’s a graphic designer, so she designs my stuff. We just want to help people. When I’m working on this stuff, it’s something I’m passionate about. I wake up thinking, ‘Man, I love doing this!’ I’ve had kids in high school that have eye conditions that I’ve talked to. I had a meeting with one of the kids that wants to go to SEMO, and I just tell them that it is 100% attainable. I want to let people who have disabilities know that they can do anything. I was told I’d never get my license; I have my license. I was told I’d never get to college; I’m a junior in college.
“Our saying is, ‘Stay Focused.’ If you don’t have the right tools and you cannot stay focused, you cannot learn. Keep a positive outlook on it. I might not have the best vision, but I have everything else. There are people who have a lot less that are doing a lot more. There are so many resources around. You just have to be proactive and seek out those resources.
“I want to give 10% from Eyeconic to people that have low vision, to help them get it corrected. I focus on vision, mainly, because people aren’t focused on that. I;m working with eye doctors around here and I’m trying to work something out to where they give a free eye exam and I’ll buy the glasses. Even if I can’t help with money, I still would like to help people and kind of be a mentor. It doesn’t even matter the disability.”