Disabled Girl Uses Fashion to Move Forward

EHUNTEmily Hunt became a household name in Indiana in August of 1996, but not in a good way.

On a trip to an amusement park with her grandparents and cousins, Hunt was the victim of accident involving one of the park’s amusement rides and suffered a broken neck that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Unfortunately, her grandmother was killed instantly.

Though the family would win a settlement with the state of Indiana for $1.5 million to help pay for medical bills, Hunt was left traumatized by the event. Having to adjust to life in a wheelchair was not easy even with the loving support of her family.

It wasn’t until high school that Hunt would find an interest that stoked her passion: fashion.

“I’ve always loved clothes,” Hunt told the Indianapolis Star, “And I’m super girly, I love pinks and purples”.

While the thought of being a runway model crossed Hunt’s mind, it is the business of fashion that really peaked her interest, and though confined to a wheelchair, she soon learned that drive and determination can often overcome just about any obstacle.

This summer Hunt is doing an internship with a boutique clothing shop called Boomerang. The boutique is owned and operated by Felicia Kiesel who opened the store last year and received over 40 applications for the internship.

Originally Kiesel chose another student but when that didn’t pan out she took another look at Hunt’s resume and made the call.

“She was very knowledgeable about the industry, about fashion, about trends,” Kiesel told the Indianapolis Star, “She just had a lot of drive”.

Hunt has been a great fit at Boomerang and now assists Kiesel with answering customer questions about merchandise and helping shop for new items online. Her goal is to finish college, get her degree and work towards one day owning her own boutique.

While Hunt admits the business is not easy, she doesn’t view her disability as putting any limitations on what she can achieve.

“It is part of my life (being in a wheelchair), but it doesn’t define me”. Hunt said.

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