People living with disabilities can enjoy specialised bags and accessories, expressing their personality and creativity.

Creative duo manufactures specialised bags and accessories for wheelchair users that add more fun to their daily lives and enable them to express their unique personality and creativity through custom designs.

Nick Smit and Nicole Vergos are pioneers of a company that looks after the disabled community. The duo is the founders of Smergos, a company that manufactures specialised bags and accessories for wheelchair users. Established in 2012, and fully operational and registered in 2015, the company has secured a number of clients over the years. “We realised a business opportunity existed for us, the options available were poor quality products locally or insanely expensive overseas products,” said Smit.

“Just as people can dress up, customers now have the opportunity to ‘dress up’ their wheelchair bag through custom designs, images and tag-lines. Life will become easier and more fun. Our wheelchair bags are also designed so that able-bodied people can carry them just as easily. Not only do Smergos bags improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, but they also benefit their loved ones,” said Vergos.

Aged just six months, Smit was involved in a car accident that resulted in cerebral palsy and hemiplegia;  whilst Vergos was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a congenital disorder characterised by brittle bones that are prone to fracture. She is permanently in a wheelchair.

Being disabled did not stop the duo from solving a social problem faced by the disabled community. Their brilliant idea was endorsed by SAB Foundation which awarded their company with R400000 at the Disability Empowerment Awards, to expand their business with a goal to go global. “As our company grows, our ultimate vision is to take Smergos global within the next five to seven years,” said Smit.

An added advantage for the partners is that they have a sound understanding of the challenges that people with disabilities go through, and want to make a meaningful difference, “Our mission is to change the current mentality by giving our customers a platform to be heard, accepted and empowered,”Vergos said. She adds that “we want to make a tangible difference by offering greater independence, mobility and convenience to our customers.”

The duos ultimate dream is to manufacture their products in-house and create employment for people with disabilities. “Ultimately we intend to own our own factory which will house design teams, seamstresses and engineers. We want to empower people from previously disadvantaged communities and those with disabilities which we know will form a fundamental part of the business,” Smit concluded.

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