YesJCrewCane: J. Crew Called!

Posted on May 7, 2015

If you’ve ever visited my blog, then you’re probably aware that I have invested a lot of time and energy pursuing J. Crew. Using the mantra YesJCrewCane, I have spent the past 16 months asking them if they would sell a cane. It has been my goal, from day one, to ease the stigma of assistive devices. J. Crew seemed like the perfect company (the only company) that would ‘get it’. So I started emailing them. And emailing them. And emailing them. Relentlessly.

But reaching out to J. Crew over the phone never seemed like a feasible option. First, I am not a phone talker. Second, do you know how strange it is calling a multi-billion dollar company, asking to speak to the CEO?

Fortunately my friend Kate convinced me to try it. And last week I found myself dialing J. Crew’s corporate number. I asked to speak with Mickey Drexler. And I was put through to a voicemail. Given the amount of time I was put on hold (nearly 4 minutes), I didn’t find the voicemail box to be a failure.

So Kate made me promise to follow up. And yesterday I did. Again I was put through to the same voicemail box. Only this time was just a tad (ok, a lot) different. Ten minutes later my call was returned!

And this is what I can recall. The conversation was cordial, warm even. I now believe J. Crew understands that it is both about and about more than a cane. And they seem open minded. I didn’t get a yes. But I also very much did not get a no. This call feels like the start of a conversation. And yes, I may have said a lot of words in a very short period of time, but it how could I be expected to hold back? I have waited and worked for this day for a very long time.

To add to the insanity of the day, my partner and I are out of town. We’re in Hawaii. And this call came while we were sitting in a really bright red Camaro convertible (it was only a $12 upgrade!) with the rain beating down. And this is what happened when we got back to the hotel:

And this photo was taken about an hour later. I call it Beast Mode with a Bamboo Stick. (The bamboo stick is my au natural hand picked temporary Kauai cane).

Beast Mode with a Bamboo Stick

So thank you J. Crew. I’m so thrilled that I finally get to say it was nice chatting with you. It means the world.

And last but furthest from least. Thank you and you and you to every YesJCrewCane supporter. Please note that since this is not a yes, YesJCrewCane still needs your help. If you haven’t had the chance to do so yet, will you consider signing?


Please feel free to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. You can also sign up for my mailing list below. 

What Others Are Saying

  1. Nicki May 7, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Great job for sticking to this and trying new tactics! I know that takes a lot of strength. You should be proud of your efforts. Have fun in Hawaii!

  2. Anthony Ptak May 7, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Keep the conversation going. Great way to get the ball rolling Liz. Proud of your efforts.

  3. Andy May 7, 2015 at 6:30 pm


  4. Noam N. Kogen May 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I am most proud of you for sticking with this, Liz. Stick to the game plan and you’ll see results, even if they may be only incremental results. You should be proud of yourself. I can tell, based on your Facebook page, that your parents and family are also proud of you.

  5. Michelle May 7, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Wonderful news!

  6. Rebecca May 7, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    WOW!!! Liz, this is FANTASTIC. It reminds me of a quote Jenny sent me the other day…the harder I work, the luckier I get. I know how very, very hard you have been working on this and I’m so happy for you to be one step closer to your goal with JCrew, and to get the word out there that assistive devices CAN be fashion accessories, and just as desirable and craveable as glasses or a pair of shoes. You rock!

  7. Stephanae McCoy May 8, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Great to hear and wonderful way to begin the weekend!! Congrats!

  8. Kate May 16, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    You have to put that piece of footage on MCP. Its amazing- especially the entrance!

  9. Wendy July 4, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Liz congratulations on getting a response. I also have a neuropathy caused by an antibiotic that is commonly and widely used. Little has been done to stop production, as it is life saving and apparently affects relatively few people the way it has me.
    I need a walker to negotiate life, and cringe every time I look at it, let alone use it. Would love something festive that actually works well! You talk about the lack of research and development, where does one begin?

    • The Girl with the Purple Cane July 5, 2015 at 12:49 am

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Wendy. That’s the question I consistently ask myself. Where to begin? I have started by asking an aspirational retailer to sell a beautiful assistive product. Where would you begin?

  10. Jennifer July 26, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    I too walk with a cane from neuropathy. I’m in my 30s and have been dealing with this for 8 years. I love that you are pursuing large companies and trying to make canes “main stream” and designer. When you have a full order from J.Crew, you should go for more/different stores too because people are going to start using them as “fashion statements”!

  11. Anne Byrnes August 17, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    This is HUGE! Mickey Drexler must have listened to your voicemail. No one would have called back without his knowledge and permission. How fabulous that you stuck with it, especially as a non phone talker person. You are inspiring! Anne B.

  12. Sally Seneca August 27, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I would love to find more canes with color and style. I have used one for the past 3 years after having neuropathy for 17 years. I found an electric blue with a derby handle which is my go to cane. I also had one hand painted to represent LSU that is special to me. Otherwise it is hard to find canes in bright colors. I figure if I am going to have to use one then do it with style ! Don’t try to hide it show it off. I hope you are successful in your venture. I think there is a big untapped market for people who would like to use canes that will make a statement. Good Luck !!

  13. Pingback: This woman compared stroller shopping to wheelchair shopping. What she found wasn’t great. | PintVerse

  14. Pingback: This woman compared stroller shopping to wheelchair shopping. What she found wasn’t great. | Emergenturd

  15. Pingback: This woman compared stroller shopping to wheelchair shopping. What she found wasn't great. - Status Bomb - The Most Viral News from Around the Web

  16. linda sanborn September 23, 2015 at 12:09 am

    This is the coming trend–you and the world are on to a good thing. Check out Viktoria Modesta’s range of prostheses if you haven’t already seen them. They are sexy as hell! You can just Google her name and look at Images. She has a video, Prototype, that I think I first found on Upworthy, which is where I just found out about you–so kudos to Upworthy, too.

  17. Pingback: This woman compared stroller shopping to wheelchair shopping. What she found wasn't great. | Bullet Metro

  18. Pingback: This woman compared stroller shopping to wheelchair shopping. What she found wasn't great. : Sharing All This

  19. Marcie Weiler September 24, 2015 at 2:24 am

    Canes? I’m 64 years old and have been disabled just short of 64 years. I’m in an Amigo Scooter, I can’t stand. And I’m grossly overweight. I need reasonably priced (if you’re disabled, there’s not a lot of cash at hand), easy to put on, looks good, washes well, comfortable clothes. I understand one has to begin somewhere but a cane?

  20. Robin Craig October 22, 2015 at 4:16 am

    YES Keep fighting the good fight!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *