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Abby | Fashion Icon Extraordinaire

Image is described in the body of the post.

Editor’s Note:

The following article, originally published on the Meet Abby Page is a work of fiction and is being republished to reintroduce her to our readers. As Abby’s role expands here on Bold Blind Beauty we felt now is as good a time as any for a reintroduction.

Going forward, 4 of our main series (Men In Motion, Women On The Move, B3 Magazine (formerly Blind Beauty), and Cane EnAbled) will be published monthly on Mondays). For example, Men In Motion will be published on the 1st Monday of each month, Women On The Move the 2nd Monday, B3 Magazine the 3rd Monday, and finally Cane EnAbled will be published on the 4th Monday. The balance of our content will be a mix of reviews, Q&As, and more.

Abby Fashion Icon Extraordinaire

“Blindness is not always obvious. For us to transcend barriers we must change the way we perceive one another. ” 

~Abby

Abby aka Abigale is a bold and stylish fashion icon who always walks in confidence with her white cane. Forever on the move, she reflects the beauty of her blind and visually impaired sisters worldwide.

A fashionista who radiates sophistication, Abby shares tips, answers questions and moderates discussions about beauty and fashion. Her vast experience and life adventures have given Abby the tools to help us change the way we perceive blindness. The goal is to improve humanity, one attitude at a time.

So what’s in the name Abigale?

Abigale’s name is a combination of ‘Abilities’ + ‘Nightingale.’ Reflective of her boundless Abilities and Nightingale–the small ordinary bird, known for its extraordinarily beautiful song. The Nightingale is also a symbol of freedom and joy for literary enthusiasts throughout time. 

Abby’s Fortitude

Abby became the fashion icon she is today after she evolved from imagination to an illustration of a woman of indeterminate age. Diagnosed with a rare eye disease that stole most of her sight, Abby did not let this set her back. Rather she embraced her blindness, accessed tools available for blind and visually impaired people, and moved forward with her life.

Global Adventures

After graduating from her Ivy League school in business and law, Abby landed at a prestigious global law firm on Wall Street where she advanced to managing partner. This would be enough for most women, but Abby felt there was more to life than just business. So she took a much-needed hiatus from the high-pressure corporate world and became an avid adventurer. Traveling the four corners of the world, Abby scaled mountains, sailed stormy seas, explored the deepest caverns, and strutted the runways of the major fashion capitals. Along the way, she met a diverse array of people from all walks of life, and even led a jazz trio as a popular singer!

In Her Spare Time

When Abby isn’t working or volunteering, she enjoys painting (yes, blind people can paint!) and spending time with Alexis, her retired guide dog. Abby and Alexis, an adorable Yellow Lab, live in a beautiful home decked out in decor from her world travels.

Putting it all together

With her incredible travel experiences under her belt, Abby was ready to combine her business and legal skills with her passion for fashion. She applied her knowledge to empowering blind women to be all they can be by joining boldblindbeauty.com. At Bold Blind Beauty Abby provides tips, answers questions, and moderates discussions on fashion and style.

Finding Abby

You can find Abby exclusively at boldblindbeauty.com the site which empowers blind and visually impaired women. Our commUNITY celebrates beauty, fashion, and style while connecting sighted and blind people. The goal of Bold Blind Beauty is to eradicate misconceptions about people living with blindness or sight loss.

You can join Abby in “Abby’s Corner” where discussions are always about fashion, style and being bold, blind & beautiful!

10% of all profits are donated to organizations who work to improve employment opportunities for people who are blind & visually impaired.

~Bold Blind Beauty

Abby Featured Image Description: 

Abby is holding up a teal dress on a hanger in her right hand. She is wearing a stylish black off the shoulder dress, black heels with ankle straps and a white hat with a black band with a loose end waving. In her left hand is her “gold” white cane.

Copyright: The Abigale (Abby) copyright belongs to Bold Blind Beauty and Abigale Style, LLC. The icon does not replace the nationally recognized white cane icon. 

Abby and her back story are a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious way. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or real events is purely coincidental.

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Bold Blind Beauty Reveals

2020 A Year Of Vision Image description is in the body of the post.

POSTED ON DECEMBER 7, 2019
BY CHELSEA NGUYEN
POSTED IN FASHION & BEAUTY
TAGGED BLINDNESSBLINDNESS AWARENESSBOLD BLIND BEAUTYEMPOWERMENT

“2020 A Year Of Vision” Campaign

By Chelsea Nguyen

Abby

Today we have a special guest visiting CAPTIVATING! who will be sharing some exciting beauty news with the blind community in mind. Abby the fashion-icon-extraordinaire of Bold Blind Beauty is with us and will be unveiling her new campaign called “2020 A Year Of Vision.

For those of you who don’t know, Bold Blind Beauty is an online community built on the premise that “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers.” Its main focus is the empowerment of blind and visually (B&VI) women and Abby is going to tell us what’s in store for 2020. So with that, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Abby.

Chelsea: Hi Abby, we here at CAPTIVATING! are so excited to have you here with us today. Before we get into your 2020 Campaign can you tell us a little about yourself?

Abby: Hi Chelsea, thank you for the introduction. It’s an honor to be here at CAPTIVATING! where you’ll be the first to hear about Bold Blind Beauty’s 2020 Campaign.

As you said, my name is Abby and I’m the fictional blind fashionista of Bold Blind Beauty. After taking an extended sabbatical from the corporate world I became an adventurer traveling around the globe. From hiking mountains to sailing worldwide, dabbling in spelunking and gliding down runways in the major fashion capitals of the world, I was sought out to run Bold Blind Beauty.

Chelsea: Wow Abby it is so cool being able to interview a fictional character as I believe you’re the first fictional guest we’ve hosted. And your accomplishments are extraordinary. How did you become such an amazing well-rounded fictional character?

Abby: I’m really more of a representation of real-life B&VI people who are doing the exact same things as our sighted counterparts. The only difference is those of us in the B&VI community do things a little differently by using adaptations. Being blind can have its challenges but then again life is challenging and while we have little control over the things that happen to us, we can choose how we respond to our challenges.

Chelsea: You know I’m really glad you brought up this topic as I’ve been an advocate within the B&VI community for a number of years now. I’ve learned so much as a result of the many friendships I’ve developed with those within the community and even developed nonvisual makeup application techniques which I teach as an image consultant. As a member of the beauty industry, I saw an opportunity to bring products and services to the B&VI. How did you get involved in the beauty business?

Abby: Good question Chelsea. I’ve always had a thing for advocacy and given my experiences when I began working with Bold Blind Beauty I was able to wholly tap into my fashion sense. Extending advocacy into beauty made sense to me because there are limited resources in this area for blind women.

Chelsea: It’s unfortunate that beauty resources are limited for the B&VI community. How do you think we can change this?

Abby: Chelsea, this is an excellent segway into the “2020 A Year Of Vision” Campaign. As part of the campaign, the “Triple B Stamp Of Approval” is a beginning that will address the dilemma of limited beauty resources for our community.

Chelsea: Oh, this “Triple B Stamp Of Approval” sounds intriguing. Please tell us more. How will it work?

Abby: Essentially, the “Triple B Stamp Of Approval” is a product review rating system to gauge the accessibility of a product or service. We have a team of Bold Blind Beauties who will test makeup and cosmetic products by our favorite brands in areas such as accessibility, pricing, packaging, user-friendliness, and then they’ll give an overall score, a Triple B rating!

Then each week I will host a weekly podcast highlighting the outcomes of the products tested, to help our community learn about the beauty options available to them.

Chelsea: This sounds so exciting Abby! The “Triple B Stamp Of Approval“ will help brands and companies reach a broader audience and become more inclusive. Can you give us a sneak peek at the system?

Abby: Sure!! It’s a rather simple process where:

  • 1 B = Needs Improvement
  • 2 B = Good
  • 3 B = Fabulous

Bold Blind Beauty will be collaborating with brands/companies to obtain products to test, in exchange for product reviews. The goal of this system is a mutual effort to expand brands/company’s reach to include the over 7 million B&VI adults of whom nearly 4 million are women age 16 and older.

We see “The Triple B Stamp of Approval“ as a unique opportunity for brands/companies to engage with members of the B&VI community and allow our voices to be heard.

Chelsea: What else do you have going on for the 2020 Year Of Vision Campaign? Can you share it with us?

Abby: Sure I can give CAPTIVATING! readers a quick overview of the campaign. First, since the year 2020 is almost upon us, we felt this is an excellent opportunity to bring awareness to blindness/sight loss. With this in mind, we’ve refreshed our branding for the year and in addition to our regular features (Blind Beauty, Cane Enabled, and Women on the Move) we are incorporating:

  • Abby’s Triple B Stamp Of Approval weekly podcast review
  • Men In Motion: A monthly feature published on the first Monday of each month.

Chelsea: It’s cool that you’ll be introducing your audience to B&VI men. Can you tell us what to expect?

Abby: Awe, Chelsea I wish I could but some things still need to be kept under wraps until the right moment arrives!

Chelsea: I’m disappointed yet excited to see what Bold Blind Beauty will bring us in 2020. Thank you so much, Abby, for sharing your news with our CAPTIVATING! readers. And folks to learn more about Abby’s journey, visit Abby’s Corner at www.boldblindbeauty.com/abbycorner.

Connecting with Abby:

Image Descriptions:

  • Featured Image – A simple black outline drawing of an eye on a white background. The iris of the eye is a teal-colored female symbol and the pupil inside the iris is a smaller gray male symbol. The eye is centered above the tagline “2020 A Year Of Vision.”
  • Fashion icon Abby is holding up a teal dress on a hanger in her right hand. She is wearing a stylish black off the shoulder dress, black heels with ankle straps and a white hat with a black band with a loose end waving. In her left hand is her “gold” colored white cane.
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Creating Change Through Creativity & Collaboration

2 Blind Chicks With Attitude mugs sitting on a desk. 1 shows the image & slogan and the other shows the tactile braille

Creating Change Through Creativity & Collaboration

Recently, someone asked me why I created Bold Blind Beauty; my answer was twofold—devastation and rebirth.

A Life In Ruins

Blind Chicks With ATTITUDE! Braille Mug

It was June 2009 and earlier in the year, I had my third and last vitrectomy to hopefully restore the sight in my good eye. I was excited because the successful outcome of this surgery could allow me to regain my driving privileges. Unfortunately, during the recovery phase, my retina specialist found bleeding at the back of the eye. The treatment plan called for Avastin an injection in the eye to stop the bleeding.

A couple of weeks later, my brother, son, and I went to Cleveland Clinic. The drive to Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute was about two hours but with renewed hope, worth the trip. After all, during my last visit two years earlier, they saved the sight in my bad eye by repairing my detached retina. The news I received during this trip wasn’t good.

When the doctors told me “we’re sorry there is no more we can do for you” I think I was in a semi-catatonic state. There was no reaction, no tears, no outburst—nothing. On the drive home, my mind could not grasp what I what the doctor’s told me.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I was as scared as I’ve ever been. I mean, I had big plans before all of this eye stuff happened. I received a promotion at work, bought a house, got married. My husband and I were refurbishing our home to sell it then build our own. Now I’m legally blind, do I even have a future?

Uncharted Territory

My problem-solving skills improved significantly during and after my new ‘legally blind status.’ There wasn’t a roadmap to follow for life after sight loss and I never felt more lonely. I had to make some tough decisions on how I was going to move forward the most significant was self-reliance. This meant a change in course by leaving my marriage, home, and beginning anew.

Even with so much support from my employer, co-workers and those closest to me, the strain of trying to find my groove got to me. Looking like I could see, yet couldn’t, was exhausting. While I may have looked like I was adapting I was struggling. Every time I used my white cane I felt like a beacon.

For a minute it seemed like my life was in ashes with the chaos that ensued. However, eventually, with the help of family and friends, I would connect with a low vision specialist and others who became my lifeline.

Newfound Strength With My Tribe

Have you ever felt like you don’t fit in? I sure have, most of my life actually. So it shouldn’t have been odd for me to be among the ‘too sighted to be blind but too blind to be sighted camp.’ Yet, my local blind community embraced me—I was home.

When I was asked to do a makeup presentation at our Pennsylvania Council of the Blind (PCB) annual convention I found my purpose. Beauty is not reserved for ONLY those who can SEE, beauty, REAL beauty knows no limits. Bold Blind Beauty—Real Beauty Transcends Barriers seeks to empower blind women while connecting sighted and non-sighted communities.

Collaborating with creatives like Jennifer Barrille, Laura Sottile, Jessica Marano, Kathy Keck and others is presenting a unique opportunity for Bold Blind Beauty. Our fashion icon Abby is stylish, she uses a white cane, and she’s changing the way we look at blindness. Working to make Abby and all of our offerings accessible is our goal.

Yesterday, I was able to upload our new one-of-a-kind embossed braille coffee mugs to our online store. The braille on each of these mugs is created by artist Kathy Keck of Loving Touch Connection

Currently, the design on the new mugs includes tactile slogans in braille on one side and Abby with text slogans on the other side of the handle. Literally, you can “Have Abigale at your fingertips to enjoy your favorite hot beverage; coffee, tea, or whatever it may be!”

Creating Change… Featured Image Description:

To the left of the mug’s handle is the phrase “Blind Chicks With ATTITUDE” in braille. The mug’s design includes fashion icon, Abby (in trio format) who are to the right of the handle. Directly under the trio is the slogan: “Blind Chicks With ATTITUDE.”

Abby is walking with her white cane in one hand and handbag in the other. The image is black with black heels and a stylish black dress made of panels resembling overlapping banana leaves. The dress panels gently curve from her nipped in waist to just above the knee. Her signature hairstyle is explosive.

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Easter Greetings From Abby & Alexis

Abby is on the job sitting cross legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.

Easter Greetings From Abby & Alexis

Abby with her signature explosive hairstyle is dressed in a teal tank top and gray exercise pants. She is on her knees hugging Alexis, a golden lab with a teal collar around her neck and an Alexis medallion.
Abby & Alexis image credit: Jessica Marano

On this Good Friday afternoon, I wanted to take a moment to wish you Happy Easter greetings. I’m relaxing and spending time with my baby Alexis. Even though at 55 pounds she’s hardly a baby, Alexis is my retired guide dog and hence my family.

A Little Interesting Tidbit About Alexis’ Name

From the Greek name Αλεξις (Alexis), which meant “helper” or “defender”, derived from Greek αλεξω (alexo) “to defend, to help”. This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Greek comic poet, and also of several saints. Alexis came by her name honestly as she was the most loyal guide dog a girl could ask for.

Our Easter Message

We wish you not to lose the beautiful Easter feeling of new beginnings. May this spring bring you new hope, new friendships, and new perspectives.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Featured Image And Abby & Alexis Description:

Abby is sitting cross-legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar). Her laptop on her laps has a teal Abby logo on the cover. Atop her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone. Her white cane is propped up next to her.

Abby with her signature explosive hairstyle is dressed in a teal tank top and gray exercise pants. She is on her knees hugging Alexis, a golden lab with a teal collar around her neck. And since Alexis has her own fashion sense she has a silver “Alexis” medallion on her collar.