My 2022 started off with a bang, as I worked with the incredible Charity Leonard Cheshire, to share nine amazing businesses owned by disabled people, for their 12 Days of LC Project. This blog went live on the Leonard Cheshire platform on the 2nd of January 2022, but I wanted to share it on my platform too.
Massive thank you to Leonard Cheshire for bringing me in on this project. Please have a read of my blog below, and support these businesses owned by the most amazing disabled people - they truly deserve all the support!
My name is Caprice-Kwai, I’m a 20-year-old fashion student, model and jewellery designer from London. I have lived with a disability since the age of 10, where I have problems relating to my legs, and have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, Joint Hyper-mobility and Chronic Pain Syndrome.
I have recently become a business owner, where I have launched my own jewellery line that promotes self confidence and empowerment for everyone, despite age, race, ability or gender!
Fashion has always been a big part of my life, especially since becoming disabled because it has helped me express who I am and has made me feel much more confident within myself.
Accessories in particular, have played a big part in my sense of style throughout the years - they have allowed me to express myself, especially on days where I haven't been able to wear specific clothes that I like, because of the ongoing changes with my leg or when I haven't even been able to dress myself after surgery.
Fashion comes in all forms, shapes and sizes - a bit like us! I wanted to create unique pieces that will be able to make people feel empowered and confident, like they have done for me at some of my lowest points.
I personally feel that disabled businesses are not highlighted enough, so I am very proud to share nine other amazing businesses from a variety of different industries.
Anna Marie Hopewell - Founder of Organic Principles
Anna Marie Hopewell is the founder of Organic Principles, an Edinburgh based holistic lifestyle company producing natural, clean and conscious goods at affordable prices. Anna is a certified holistic therapist, with a passion for using therapeutic essential oils to create natural beauty & lifestyle products and a desire to help those with auto-immune conditions & long-term chronic pain conditions, find symptomatic relief using natural resources.
Mark Esho set up Easy Internet Services - one of the first digital marketing agencies in the Midlands in 2000. In 2004 he set up Easy Internet Solutions which is a web hosting provider. Mark has won numerous business awards and works closely with the DWP helping disabled people into work. He has recently co-founded a social enterprise called Access Rating and next year will be launching a foundation that will provide up to £50,000 worth of funding to disabled people wanting to set up in business.
InnaBox – Chronic Illness Gifts
Nikky is the owner, creator and maker of Innabox! All of her cute and quirky items are designed by herself, and some are hand assembled too. Nikky loves to design, as it’s her self-care and escape. She started her little business 8 years ago now. Nikky originally started at a bad time in her life, wanting to make some changes and find happiness.
She loves spreading joy through her work and giving a person that little giggle they may have really needed - It makes Nikky’s day when somebody can really relate to her work, so the recent chronic/invisible illness work she has created is very special to her.
Cup of Té
Cup of Té is a premier online retailer of loose-leaf organic teas and tea ware. Based in Ontario, Canada, they are dedicated to enriching lives through the experience of premium teas.
Their journey began in 2008 when founder Taylor Lindsay-Noel, an aspiring Olympic gymnast, suffered a devastating accident while in training that left her paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Driven to overcome her challenges and transform her situation into something meaningful, she launched Cup of Té in 2018.
WEIRD & DIFFERENT
“Weird and Different” was discovered by CEO Romereo Brown Jr. The reason Mr. Brown started Weird and Different is because he was born deaf in his right ear.
Being born deaf in his right ear, made his speech not up to par with others as well as getting picked on for the majority of his life. The famous nickname kids gave him were Mush mouth from the popular show called "Fat Albert''.
Due to having a hard time understanding young Romereos’ speech as a child -he instead put his best foot forward about his insecurities and started embracing them.
By his junior year in high school, he graduated as a speech therapist. Which was the main purpose why “Weird and Different” was created to influence people to be happy with themselves and to accept not fitting in with societies stereotypes.
On 15th October 2005 mother & daughter duo Clare and Amelia’s lives were flipped upside down when Amelia (aged 19) was involved in a quad bike accident & suffered a spinal injury, leaving her partially paralysed from the waist down. Five months after the accident, Amelia’s journey with crutches began.
The NHS crutches she used were very uncomfortable on her hands and unstable, they clicked and also made her look and feel disabled.
Using information, they gathered from incredible patients and friends, they researched, designed and sourced the first pair of Cool Crutches. Their crutches offer a high quality, safe alternative to NHS crutches.
Cool Crutches are lightweight, moulded to a left and right hand, solid, silent and most importantly robust enough to support a long-term injury or condition. They are also colourful and customisable to aid those suffering by cheering them up!
Eklektic Therapy is a business that specialises in gel manicures, and luxury custom made press-on nails. Eklektic Therapy was founded by Kelly Daley-Ward, who was diagnosed with Epilepsy and Fibromyalgia.
Due to her diagnoses – Kelly has built an at home nail studio, that allows her to work at her own pace because of her conditions.
Kelly’s main aim for Eklektic Therapy is to make others feel beautiful and empowered through her treatments and press-on nails. Kelly has been fortunate enough to craft custom made press-on nails for video and photo-shoots within the dance and modelling industries.
In 2022, Kelly will be taking her business to the next level and will be launching her press-on nails publicly, through her sister company @yourfairynailsister.
This Thing They Call Recovery
I first created "This Thing They Call Recovery" as a personal blog documenting my experience as a young adult with M.E. It's since developed into my freelance business, where I create digital content and physical products that raise awareness of how chronic illness impacts your life and not just your body. My work is colourful and youthful but ultimately honest, focusing on cultivating community and conversation above all else.
Not Your Grandma’s
Hannah is the founder of Not Your Grandma’s, and she believes that disabled people are so much more than what society tells us. Not Your Grandma’s is a community first and foremost.
When Hannah was diagnosed no one told her that she was disabled, no one told her how to use mobility aids and no one handed her a guide to handling it all. It was the disability community that saved Hannah and taught her to be proud of her disability.
Hannah shares amazing resources, to make you feel less alone in the disabled community. On the Not Your Grandma’s website you can find – Hannah’s podcast, the handbook where you can learn all you need to know about dealing with chronic illness and disability, and a shop where you can find amazing compression socks, accessories and so much more!
Click here to check out the other blogs featured in Leonard Cheshire's 12 days of LC Project.
Thank you for reading!