IOWA CITY, Iowa – A University of Iowa student is defying the odds after she lost part of her left in a car crash in May 2018.
Just eight months ago, Erica Cole’s life changed in a blink of an eye.
“I was T-boned, and my left leg was crushed so badly that it was beyond saving,” Cole explains.
But, she wasn’t upset about losing part of her left leg.
“The first time I cried about my leg was when I got my prosthetic, because I thought it was going to be a lot easier to walk on a prosthetic than it actually is,” says Cole.
Now, she’s decided to make the most of her struggle.
“People are going to look at it, so why not make it something cool,” Cole comments.
Her company is called “No Limbits” where she makes 3-D print prosthetic covers for amputees. With fashionable designs, she wants amputees to be proud of how far they’ve come.
“I used to make stained glass, so that’s where I got the idea to make a stained glass looking cover,” remembers Cole.
And the design is simple, it just Velcro’s right over the prosthetic leg.
“The amount of time and energy and dedication she has put into her idea, to see a student business grow that much in just a couple months really is very impressive,” says Kristen Tobert, a Communications Specialist at John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa – also one of Cole’s mentors.
Since she has started her company, Cole has seen a difference on Iowa’s campus.
“I noticed it started changing the conversation,” says Cole. “It went from ‘what happened to you?’ to ‘Oh my gosh, that’s really cool’.”
Something really cool that wouldn’t have been an idea just eight months ago.
“It’s kind of like a pair of glasses like you need them, but they can be fashionable as well,” says Cole.
Cole graduates in May and plans to grow her business after graduation.
She now has 50 pre-orders she is working on before her website launches in April.