By: Lo Kidd, Content Manager
Our #OpportunityAZ campaign has been a success with 7 Pop-Up Parties celebrating entrepreneurs we love, tons of gratitude posts and over $5,600 raised to ensure Equity through Entrepreneurship. But at CO+HOOTS Foundation, #GivingTuesday is less about how much we raised (although we always appreciate your generous financial support) and more about highlighting the amazing individuals within our community, including the lady boss behind Candoable.
Have You Met Lisa Dalton?
Not yet? Let us introduce you to the innovative force that is Lisa Dalton, inventor of Cando labels and CEO of Candoable. Her reusable semi-circular plastic labels slide onto containers, with braille molded into the front face and engraved text on the inner face to help users quickly identify goods in the pantry. Now on the market, her innovative solution overcomes an everyday obstacle for 285 million visually impaired individuals worldwide.
A custom brick maker by trade, Dalton lost her corporate job after a stroke in 2015 weakened her fine motor skills and started her first entrepreneurial venture, The Brickerie, during her rehabilitation. Searching to expand her work as a brickmaker, the innovator joined Gangplank, a community-driven coworking and makerspace in Queen Creek, where she found her passion for 3D printing and was inspired to create Cando labels.
Yes Can Do
At Gangplank, Dalton met and started dating Bryan, “a busy single dad, Ph.D. student, and software engineer” who lost his sight after a motorcycle accident at 18. One day, when trying to help him write a grocery list, Dalton shuffled the cans around in his pantry to determine what he already had. What she didn’t realize was that moving anything in the pantry scrambled the entire memorization-based system which allowed him to tell a can of green beans from a can of chili. Trying to amend her mistake, Dalton researched what other systems might be easier for Bryan to implement, realizing the only systems available were single-use, time-consuming and often expensive.
Dalton became determined to invent a system which would overcome this “unnecessary limitation to independence that Bryan, and others who are visually impaired, face every day.” After several iterations, Dalton printed the first set of Cando labels, an apology gift for ruining the organization in Bryan’s pantry which simultaneously disrupted a barren innovation environment.
Just Getting Started
After Dalton’s first full set of Candos were successfully incorporated into Bryan’s kitchen, her passion became sharing her innovation with the visually impaired community. Almost immediately, Cando labels received positive responses from users. While displaying her prototypes at the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona state convention, two participants even insisted they buy the display labels for their own kitchens. Dalton remembers, “witnessing their excitement over Candos, and hearing from so many people how overdue they felt they were, was pretty dang electrifying.”
Candos are already being used in home kitchens, and will soon be labeling the fridges and pantries in training kitchens and classrooms at SAAVI Services for the Blind in Phoenix. Several designs are now available, including labels for food cans, beverages, and medicine bottles. As her business grows, Dalton is “excited to develop the labels further, to expand the types of labels offered and to continue working to get them in the hands of those who need them.”
By supporting CO+HOOTS Foundation, you support the entrepreneurs in Arizona like Lisa Dalton, who make incredible strides toward overcoming pressing problems. This giving season, give back and celebrate entrepreneurs who improve our community because supporting local entrepreneurs builds opportunity for everyone in Arizona.