MNSU grad creates clothing for people with down syndrome

Hellen Akinyi
Staff Writer

Xtra Apparel is an online clothing store made specifically for people with down syndrome owned by Kyle Voltin.

His brother, Brett, who is currently 31, has the disorder and growing up, he would often see the struggle his mum had to go through readjusting clothes for him as soon as they get them from the clothes store since none would fit him. 

He came with up with the name “Xtra” based on the fact that down syndrome is caused by the extra chromosome.

“I don’t think I’ll ever want to have a physical store with the business. This is something I am completely passionate about but it is also my side thing,” said Voltin. “I have a normal 9-to-5 job and a family to take care of, so it’ll be quite hard and also getting a physical store is actually very expensive.”

Voltin talked about him being just the head and the tail of the business at this point, which makes it even harder but worth it. 

One in four people with down syndrome also have been diagnosed with autism, so having the fabric as soft as they can to make it less itchy or scratchy in their bodies is one of the key elements of the whole brand.

He often makes orders based on the different sizes. His clients often call to place their orders and give the required measurement. 

This not only makes it easier for parents who have children with the disorder, but also affordable as they won’t have to spend extra money adjusting the clothes every time.

In the end, Voltin’s end goal is to be able to grow his business in more than one way, one way is for him to be able to provide an opportunity for everyone with the disorder to be able to make an income for themselves.

“My brother would love to be able to have a job that will give him income and for him to be able to take care of himself but he doesn’t get any opportunities given to him because of his condition,” said Voltin. “So, if someday I will be able to offer that to him and people like him, I will be very happy.”

Although he knows he has to put in so much work for that, he doesn’t mind doing that as this is something close to his heart.

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