Necessity was the mother of invention for Maura Horton when she came up with the idea for MagnaReady®. Maura was inspired when her husband, a college football coach, had to rely on a player to help him after a game because his Parkinson’s prevented him from buttoning his shirt. Determined to help her husband remain independent, Maura came up with the idea of a magnetically infused shirt he could easily dress in without needing finger dexterity. MagnaReady® is the first fashionable, magnetic closure dress shirt for people with limited mobility. MyCity4Her recently caught up with the busy mother of two, and entrepreneur and asked her to share about her entrepreneurial journey in the hopes of inspiring and helping other women considering such an endeavor. Here’s what she had to say…
What is Magnetic Fashion?
Newly patented technology that inserts magnets inside a hidden placket where button closures would traditionally be. The facial of the button is still visible – it is just faux.
When did you get the idea to start this endeavor and why?
The idea came to light about 3 years ago. My husband was diagnosed at 48 with Parkinson’s disease. One of the side effects of the disease is limited mobility and I witnessed him struggling to button his dress shirts.
What motivated you to do so?
My husband was having a hard time with his finger dexterity and traveled for work quite a bit. I was concerned he would be on the road and would need help or take much wasted energy and time to complete what was once a simple task.
Fashion is not usually touted for being practical, what problem do you think your designs help solve?
I think my product and MagnaReady technology helps restore large segments of our population dressing with dignity again. Often people with limited mobility have to give up on traditional dressing because designers do not accommodate this large and growing population.
What do you enjoy most about being a business owner?
When creating our web presence/site, I asked to have a section specifically for people to share their stories. I read every comment and story that comes in. Many inspire me, and they all educate me! I enjoy hearing how MagnaReady has helped them or a loved one. This keeps me on track and helps me continue to grow our business.
What if you knew THEN what you know NOW – would you (if anything) do differently?
MagnaReady’s creation has been very organic. It started with an idea and then was propelled by a refusal to stop in the creation process. I do not dwell on the past and honestly believe that everything I’ve done has led me to this endeavor.
What do you believe, are the biggest challenges continuing to face women in business today?
I had been a stay at home mom for 10 years prior to this and I believe women just aren’t taken seriously. Often our business ideas are often looked on as hobbies. It takes continued stamina to communicate your vision and viability.
What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given and why?
Find a mentor. Many have been down similar roads and it is always best to hear how they’ve tackled challenges and grown successfully.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
In helping restore freedom to many, I take delight in knowing I can help educate and become an advocate in the world of adaptive clothing and disabilities. The “side effect” in my endeavor is demonstrating for my 2 girls how strong a woman’s voice can be.
Do you ever get discouraged? If so, what do you do to stay enthused about what you do and stay motivated?
I am motivated daily by my husband. If he can get up every day and face his challenges and his disease head on then I can stay motivated.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Run! I run after my children and run for sport. Both keep my mind open and level.
What are some of the best resources, tools, organizations you’ve found that have helped you grow your business?
About Maura Horton
Maura Horton is the CEO and inventor of MagnaReady. Prior to launching her company, Maura was a stay-at-home mom of two young girls. Maura has a background in children’s clothing design and her knowledge of the fashion industry helped inspire her to invent a magnet shirt to aid her husband in his battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Maura and her family currently reside in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can find out more about MagnaReady and their products by visiting their website here.