Original story from NBC Dallas Fort Worth
What started out as a class project has become a full, real business venture for a North Texan who can’t even drive yet.
Jakayla Dixon of Haslet just patented her design for a clothing tag and launched her business called “Feel the Color.”
The tags are designed to be like any other shirt or pants tag, but Braille markings and raised letters are sewn in so that the blind and visually impaired can have a better view of the clothes they’re purchasing and putting on.
Right now she just plans to add the colors of the garment to the tag, but said that could expand to add more information as the product grows.
Over the past several weeks Jakayla has been pitching her idea to investors and working with her attorney to secure the patent, in between classes and homework.
Dixon is only 15 years old and a sophomore at Eaton High School in Haslet.
She enrolled in the school’s Academy of Business Management and Entrepreneurship last year thinking it would just be a path for her studies, but a simple class project that hit a personal note for her changed it into a passion.
The assignment was to create an innovative business idea.
Dixon said she immediately thought to her aunt, who lost her sight about 20 years ago after surgery.
"She sees shadows but what's a shadow when I see colors on a daily basis?" she said.
So she decided to use the project as a way to come up with something to help her aunt do a daily task a little easier: pick out an outfit.
Jakayla began studying and learning Braille and developed the tags that, to her surprise, no one else had come up with yet.
“They have some similar but they’re like hard plastic and aluminum,” she said, “and who wants aluminum in their clothes?”
When she pitched the idea at a local conference, she found several people and investors interested in making it a reality.
So now, Feel the Color is an actual business working to find more investors and get the tags into clothes in stores to help the blind everywhere.
"I have a manufacturer who's waiting for my go ahead,” she said.
Jakayla even has five employees comprised of fellow classmates who fill positions ranging from accounting to human resources.
Staff at Junior Achievement of Fort Worth added - “Jakayla is a very special young woman, only a sophomore. She never thought about business or entrepreneurship until she got involved in the JA Co Program last year as a freshman. She is now a true entrepreneur. We got a patent attorney to work with her to protect her product. Last week she spoke at our Ask Breakfast and shared her full story.”
Great job Jakayla!!