Rebranding Disability – Interview with Mindy Scheier
A compelling interview with Mindy Scheier, Founder of the Runway of Dreams Foundation.
Before starting the Runway of Dreams Foundation in 2014, Mindy Scheier spent 20 years working in fashion on the design team for the INC collection and as a stylist for Saks Fifth Avenue. Mindy was inspired to start Runway of Dreams after her son Oliver, who has Muscular Dystrophy, dreamed of wearing jeans like everyone else. After using her design skills to adapt a pair that met his needs and increased his confidence, she went on to conduct extensive research to develop modifications that would meet the needs of the largest minority in our world- people with disabilities. Following its launch, Runway of Dreams partnered with Tommy Hilfiger on the first mainstream adaptive clothing line for kids and continues to with many mainstream brands such as Target and Zappos.com. Founded on the basis that clothing is a basic human need, Runway of Dreams develops, delivers and supports initiatives to broaden the reach of mainstream adaptive clothing and promote people with disabilities in the fashion industry.
Due to the overwhelming amount of requests Mindy received at Runway of Dreams from a multitude of brands and industries for connection to PWDs, in 2019, Mindy created Gamut Talent Management to represent people with disabilities and create a marketplace where businesses and industries can connect to this target audience. Gamut is rebranding the way PWDs are viewed, marketed to and represented in the mainstream world. The continued support of the mission of Runway of Dreams will always be a component of Gamut, as the company’s 501c3 partner.
Mindy has been featured in Newsweek’s “The Creative Class of 2019: Innovators,” People magazine’s “Heroes Among Us” and Pix 11’s “Changemaker: Making the Fashion Industry More Inclusive.” She has also been featured in USA Today, Parents, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue Business, WWD, NBC’s Today, ABC’s Good Morning America, Access, CNBC, Fox News Channel and more.
An inspiring TED speaker, Mindy has received numerous awards including the Catalyst Award for “Marketing Influencer of the Year,” Citrin Cooperman’s “Women at the Wheel Leadership Excellence Award, the Association of Image Consultants International Bravo Award and Enable Inc.’s Michael Graves Award for Creativity and Persistence. Mindy studied Fashion Design with a dual program at the University of Vermont and Fashion Institute of Technology.