Here is an old article from our blog that we are reposting today...
Yes, 2016 is gone, guys, but we would not end this year without another amazing story shared here on our blog. Today we share the story of Ailbhe Keane and Isabel Keane that are working on their business called Izzy Wheels. It is interesting to see how more and more individuals with disabilities are getting connected to their entrepreneurship side. Tee Talent believes that entrepreneurship is a true form of inclusion and a genuine way to show to our society the qualities of people that are living with disability.
Let's learn a little bit more about Izzy Wheels:
What is Izzy Wheels?
Izzy Wheels is a platform for people in wheelchairs to express themselves. We have created a range of personalized spoke guards for wheelchairs so that users can express who they are. Our motto is ‘If you can’t stand up, stand out!’
What is your main goal with this business?
It actually didn’t even start as a business, that part came later. I am an art college graduate and in my final year, I wanted to design something so that my sister would feel more confident about her wheelchair. Isabel, my younger sister, was born with Spina Bifida and, as a result, is paralyzed from her waist down and has been in a wheelchair all her life. Growing up she was always very frustrated that there was nothing available for her to personalize her chair even though she spent so much of her life in it. She has a bright and bubbly personality and her equipment wasn’t a true reflection of who she was as a person. That is where I got the idea for ‘Izzy Wheels’. The designs got such an incredible response from the public that we decided to create a platform so that more wheelchair users could experience the happiness and empowerment that the spoke guards brought to my sister.
Who are your clients and what they think about your product?
My clients range from kids to adults and are girls and boys. I originally thought that my client base would be mainly girls, but since I launched my clients have been nearly half and half! The most special part for me is when users send me photos wearing their new Izzy Wheels and I love seeing the big smiles on their faces.
Could you explain a little bit about the partnership you have with your sister?
Isabel and I have always been very close. She has always been my best friend and we’ve always loved getting dressed up! She was my inspiration for Izzy Wheels. We work well as a team because she can identify the parts of her wheelchair that need improvement and I as the designer can use my design skills to improve on them. Isabel is also an incredible speaker so she is a fantastic brand ambassador for Izzy Wheels.
Do you think that the job market still has the wrong idea about professionals with disabilities or is it better than before?
People with disabilities can bring just as much hard work, talent and creativity to a workplace as anybody else. Diversity in a workplace is a strength and is needed in every team to ensure success. A diverse workforce will offer more creative solutions. Companies who ignore the ever-changing nature of a modern business will fall behind. We haven’t reached the level of equality that’s deserved yet but I believe we are getting closer all the time.
What is your favorite Tee Talent t-shirt?
My favorite t-shirt is Normal to Be Different.
Tee Talent Inc is a social enterprise that was founded to promote the talent of professionals with disabilities. We offer custom t-shirts, promotional products, graphic design services and public speaking services. Learn more about us.