Izzy Wheels: "If you can't stand up, stand out!"
Two Irish sisters, Ailbhe and Isabel Keane, have started a fashion brand for wheelchairs; “Izzy Wheels.” Isabel was born with spina bifida, which has kept her in a wheelchair her whole life. As a kid, she was disappointed that there were so few options to personalize her ride, she told Tech Crunch:
“Izzy Wheels are so important to me because they draw such positive attention to myself and my wheelchair,” says Isabel Keane, Izzy Wheels’ Brand Ambassador. “I am no longer seen as ‘the poor unfortunate girl in a wheelchair’ by passers-by. I am now seen as a stylish person with cool wheels. They really reflect the relationship I have with my wheelchair … Wheelchairs help, they do not hinder a person and now they do not hinder a person’s fashion choices.”
Izzy Wheels offers affordable spoke protectors with a variety of artistic designs, many of which feature pictures that move as the wheels spin. The most unique aspect of their design is that they attach to the wheel with Velcro, so they can be easily switched to match the rider’s outfit.
Ailbhe Keane, founder of the company, shared their vision with Tech Crunch:
“We want to give one of the world’s most underserved community of people the freedom to express themselves … Self expression is a right.”
As the demand for personalized art has increased, Izzy Wheels is preparing to launch ‘Be-Spoked,’ a digital platform where customers can build their own designs from a wide range of colors, prints, and texts. Customers may also be able to submit their own artwork.