Downs Designs Dreams is a newly formed 501(c)3 Corporation.
Downs Designs® and NBZ® Jeans are now brand names.
If you are wondering about our new name, it’s about MY dream. It’s the vision I have had since I started Downs Designs®. I want to share it with you. What’s your dream?
Since I began this journey almost five years ago, I’ve had a vision. I see a huge warehouse, with guys on tow motors, unloading trucks every day. I see the shipping and receiving department busy packaging orders for shipment and putting away the latest truckload. I hear the hum of sewing machines down the hall in the alteration room where our amazing seamstresses are busy hemming and ironing the latest orders that just came back from the try-on service.
I see Jillian and her team of designers working on next season’s sportswear line. The phones in customer service are ringing off the hook and we just hired a new employee; her name is Janie and she has Down syndrome. Last week we brought in a new customer service rep (a proud veteran). He lost a leg in Iraq, but he’s doing a great job communicating with our customers. The accounting department is busy keeping up with all the paperwork and the break room is empty with just a few dirty cups sitting on the table. The Board Room is being prepared for tonight’s meeting and my calendar is full of speaking engagements bringing awareness around the community.
Children with disabilities in schools everywhere are sitting quietly in their seats when the bell rings. They’re off to the bathroom where they proudly can pull their own pants down and no longer need help from their aid. Mary, who has Down syndrome, just got a compliment on her new dress from Downs Designs Dreams. Bobby is eight years old and is autistic. His mom just bought him some new NBZ® Jeans and he loves how they feel. He thinks he’s cool today and needed no help getting dressed before school.
Jimmy also has Down syndrome and just got a new job at McDonald’s. He’s so excited about his new position, but when they told him he had to wear black pants everyday, he wasn’t worried. He just bought a new pair last month from Downs Designs Dreams and knew he would look his best on his first day on the job.
No more will kids or adults with disabilities feel out of place, uncomfortable or feel like they don’t fit in. Downs Designs Dreams is providing quality, stylish clothing to enrich the lives of people with disabilities and help them live a more satisfying and happier life.
“In loving memory of my grandson, Brendan Koehler, who was born with Down syndrome.”
Downs Designs Dreams
Message from Karen Bowersox:
Now that you have read my "dream", I hope you have a better picture of what our team hopes to create in the future. As we turn the pages to the next chapter of this journey do you wonder what’s next? Well, I plan to build the foundation of our company on our Adopt-A-Jean® Friday program. I want to be able to donate our jeans to needy families that are just too strapped financially to afford a pair of our special jeans. I also want to educate those whose lives are not affected by someone with a disabilities and help them realize all the clothing challenges that people face when they or a loved one has a disability.
We’re going to do this through donations to our Adopt-A-Jean® Friday program. We need lots of help so help us by donating to this program.
Go to our Adopt-A-Jean® section on our website and find out more about how you can help!
Your donation is fully tax deductible and your donation 100% paid toward the mission.
Effective January 21, 2015 our DLN# is 17053202303025
Downs Designs Dreams Mission Statement:
Downs Designs Dreams advocates disability awareness and promotes independence and instills confidence by designing, developing and marketing a special clothing line for special people to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families.
Downs Designs Dreams is a newly formed 501(c)3 corporation. Downs Designs Dreams offers two brands: Downs Designs® and NBZ® Jeans.
Meet our Downs Designs Dreams' Board of Directors
Susan Peters – Board Chair-Board of Directors
Ms. Peters has 25 years’ experience in fundraising, grant writing and event planning. She currently serves as Volunteer Service Manager of Hospice of the Western Reserve and former Program Director of J.D. Breast Cancer Foundation.
Sean Blake – Board Vice Chair-Board of Directors
Mr. Blake is a physical therapist and has extensive experience serving individuals with disabilities including people with Down syndrome. He currently works for University Hospitals of Cleveland and serves on the Mentor Ohio Planning Commission. Mr. Blake has served on several non-profit boards over the past ten years.
Tisha Mochan – Board Secretary-Board of Directors
Ms. Mochan is an Intervention Specialist for adolescent students. She currently works for LaMuth Middle School in Lake County Township, Ohio. She has worked with children with special needs for over 15 years and has prior non-profit board experience. .
Karen Bowersox – Executive Director and Director-Board of Directors
Ms. Bowersox is Executive Director for Downs Designs Dreams. She is the founder and owner of Downs Designs®, Inc. and NBZ® Jeans, Inc. She began building these organizations to make adaptive wear solutions in 2009. Ms. Bowersox has extensive organizational management experience including medical practice management and small business management. She devotes 200 hours a month to the Corporation.
Dr. Harold Bowersox – Director-Board of Directors
Dr. Bowersox is a Board Certified Family Practice Osteopathic Physician and has 50 years’ experience in his field of medicine and has specialized in Integrative Medicine for over 20 years. He has worked with many patients with disabilities and has vast experience in dealing with individuals with Down syndrome and autism. He is currently employed by Lake Hospitals Systems in Lake County, Ohio. He also has a MBA and JD.
Michelle Koehler – Director-Board of Directors
Ms. Koehler is a registered nurse and previously was employed as intensive care nurse at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. She is also the mother of Karen Bowersox’s granddaughter who was born with Down syndrome. Her experience is invaluable to the Corporation as she deals with the clothing challenges of a person with Down syndrome on a daily basis and her advice and council is helpful for the design of these clothes and future clothing designs. Maggie, her daughter, also models for the designer to help in the creation of Downs Designs Dreams clothing line.
Trenton Tipton-Fletcher - Director-Board of Directors
Mr. Tipton-Fletcher owns and operates a small business consulting firm. He currently works with over a dozen businesses in a variety of industries. Mr. Tipton-Fletcher is a past Board President of the country's second largest Montessori school - Ruffing Montessori School of Cleveland Heights, Ohio - and has extensive non-profit experience. He also provides financial management services to the Corporation.
Chester Karchefsky, Jr. – Director-Board of Directors
Mr. Karchefsky is a Senior Director and Energy Consultant. His experience in marketing is invaluable to the Corporation and he has served on numerous non-profit boards in the past. He is a graduate Ohio State University and is currently employed by Amerex Energy Services, Cleveland, Ohio.
Adam Rosplock, Esq – Director-Board of Directors
Mr. Rosplock is a practicing attorney in Willoughby, Ohio. A large portion of his practice is in non-profit corporation work. He currently serves as Secretary on the Executive Board and is past Treasurer and President.
Downs Designs® Brand:
Our Downs Designs® brand provides people with Down syndrome proper fitting jeans that are comfortable, easy to get on and off and stylish. Our jeans are more than just taking up a hem, we take design a step further. Our designs fit appropriately at the knees, have elastic waistbands with no button or zippers and there are no tags that can irritate the skin. Our unique "Dip Down" styles solve another major issue for those with Down syndrome. We promise that rolling up pant legs will no longer be a problem because each pair is hemmed to order. With our exclusive Try-On Service, we guarantee a perfect fit for all our customers with Down syndrome. We have future plans to provide other styles of pants, sportswear and more.
NBZ® Jeans Brand:
Our NBZ® Brand provides stylish jeans for men and boys who find manipulating buttons and zippers challenging. Research shows that the number of men and boys in this country with disabilities that affect their dressing is in the millions. Finding an attractive pair jeans with an elastic waistband and no button or zipper is nearly impossible. NBZ® jeans are made of soft, stretchy denim that are specifically designed to be stylish, comfortable and aid in independent dressing. We have future plans for more styles of pants and shorts.
Customer Service is Important
Located in Mentor, Ohio, we are a business founded on love. We pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service and desire to help you find the perfect fit. We offer phone and email consultations, as well as, a store for onsite shopping for our local customers. Are you unsure about what to order or how to measure? Call us! We are eager to help you and we also offer an exclusive "Try-On Service" (available to the Downs Designs product line only). When you place your first order we will call you first, and then send out two pairs similar in size to ensure that you get the perfect fit. They will not be hemmed so you’re be able to turn the cuff up to right length, send it back in a prepaid box and we will hem them to just the perfect length.
Looking Toward the Future
We have come so far since we started and we are excited for what the future holds for us at Downs Designs Dreams. The public's support has been amazing and we appreciate all your the words of encouragement. We have big plans for the future. Please help us spread the word about our business to your family and community groups. We are looking forward to meeting all of you in person!
Karen Bowersox - Executive Director
Jillian Jankovsky - Vice President of Design and Fashion Development
William Herron - Sales and Marketing
Chrissy Lorenzo - Social Media
Doris Jackon - Seamstress
Mary Sams - Shipping