The Story Exchange, Rhonda Robinson, Cane ExpressionsYour Name: Rhonda Robinson

Business Name: Cane Expressions, a maker of removable cane sleeves

Type of Business: Health & Beauty

Business Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States


Reason for starting
My 80 year old mother needed help with her mobility, but felt that using a cane was unattractive and made her feel “old”. I invented a changeable, decorative cane cover that easily slips on and off a standard cane which transforms a mobility device into a fashion accessory. Now my mother feels like a fashionista with her matching cane covers where ever she goes. AND now I don’t have to worry as much about her falling. My motto, “Keep Moving, In Style!”

How do you define success?
My first challenge was getting my mother to use a cane. Success! Now success is defined as getting other cane users feeling good about using their cane as well. I’d like to see my cane accessory sold wherever canes are sold.

Biggest Success
I have had success with getting Cane Expressions on a variety of websites, but a new product needs more visibility in a brick and mortar store so people see the product. Once it has visibility, my success on websites will increase. Our company just received its first purchase order from Walgreens which is our biggest success to date.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
One product does not get us in the door to major retailers, so we aligned ourselves with a medical supply distributor which in turn sells our product with other cane accessories in a mobility makeover concept to retailers. This was how we were able to get in front of the Walgreens buyer and receive our first purchase order.

Who is your most important role model?
My most important role model is my best friend and business partner Pam Goldwasser. She does not take “no” for an answer, is relentless in her pursuits, turns a negative into a positive or a great learning experience, always sees her cup as “half full” even while battling choroidal melanoma.