July is Disability Pride Month

July is Disability Pride Month

Hi everyone!

I don't think anybody will disagree with me when I say that disabled people, including people with invisible disabilities, are extremely under-represented in many communities. And when we are represented it's very rarely in a good light - we're shamed as benefit scroungers in tabloids and politics even if we do work (not that being able to work is a signifier of your worth!), or pitied.

Well I'm here to take advantage of Disability Pride Month and shout out and celebrate some amazing disabled, including neurodivergent, small businesses and makers - with their permission of course! I won't be sharing that anybody's disability is because that would be wildly inappropriate so let's use this as a learning opportunity - it's never appropriate to ask what somebody's disability is unless you're their healthcare provider! Now we've got that over with - let's go!

In no particular order....

  1. This Thing They Call Recovery  is a brand run by Scottish graphic designer, Jenny, who makes eco-friendly tshirts, prints, bags and stickers that draw from her experiences living with of chronic illness. Some are funny, some are uplifting and some are cathartic - but they're all cool as hell. Jenny is also an inclusivity consultant, so if you're looking to make your business or event more inclusive, consider reaching out to her.
  2. Wobbly Bobbly Pots is a funky small business by Chloe, who makes brightly coloured clay wares like trinket dishes, planters, earrings and other accessories. They all feature the brands signature nervous face on them - proper cute!
  3. Revived by Ruby and Revivals by Ruby are two Etsy shops run by sustainable artist, Ruby (duh), who brings new life to old art, clothing and found objects. She's known for her speciality "oddball" oversized cardigans that she makes from odd found and donated yarn! No two are the same and I'm obsessed - I couldn't resist and bought one for myself!
  4. The Lady and the Laser Beam is exactly how it sounds - The lady, Jody, is a designer; and the laser beam is the the CO2 laser cutter she uses to make her designs! You can expect bright jewellery and homewares inspired by, in her own words "the Peak District, music, politics and pop culture". She accepts commissions too and made me a custom "Not a woman" brooch when my pronoun pins weren't direct enough ha!
  5. Neurodesigned  is a handmade fidget jewellery brand by Bex! This specialised jewellery is made from high-quality sterling silver and gemstone beads so you wouldn't be able to tell from looking at it that it's fidget jewellery.
  6. Disir Jewellery is an alternative jewellery brand run by the wonderful Nicole. She is skilled in wax carving which you can see from her intricate gothic architecture inspired designs that she's known for.
  7. Sofftpunk is an incredibly cool online shop run by Hash, a queer, trans artist of colour who makes bold artwork and apparel with a focus on intersectionality, inclusivity, community and fierce self-love. I'm proud to have a number of their pieces myself and can highly recommend them.
  8. DesignShedCymru is another Welsh company - this time making stickers, badges and cards celebrating diversity and inclusivity with a focus on queer joy and neurodiversity.
  9. Hagstone Art is a brand by Beau and Alice and together they make beautiful stationary, stickers, prints and more inspired by queerness, disabled equality, and inclusivity for all - all in a cute and colourful folk style!
  10. Crafted in Chaos, run by Meg, is a stunningly pink creative business! Her designs are in the form of prints, painted wood slices, 3D ghosts, jewellery, stickers and more! "Disabled Babes" is a collection she has which celebrates disabled diversity, accessibility and representation. Highly recommend!
  11. Glassy Femme is another Welsh glass artist - okay, I'm starting to realise most of my favourite small businesses are Welsh?? - with a flare for tattoo-flash designs and inspired by pop culture, books and magic. She also makes pins and stickers! I have a few of her pieces, including a custom piece in my jewellery studio which I adore. Go check her out!
  12. Angela Marie Nicholls is a resident artist at Long Eaton Art Room who paints the most gorgeous, dreamy portraits. Using deep jewel tones, contrasted by gold flourishes, the movement and emotion is impressively caught with each brush stroke. An artist not to be missed!
  13. Daze Made is a clothing a lifestyle brand by Daze, featuring her signature style witty political artwork. Hate the government and love equality? Daze has got something for you!

I realise that 14 is a weird number to end a list at - I was aiming for 10 but I just kept thinking of more cool small businesses!

This is my Disability Pride Month wish for you:
If you're not disabled I hope you will take the time to learn about the your loved ones chronic conditions/disabilities and continue to fight for equal access and representation for us.
If you're disabled I hope you remember to be kind to yourself and have some cake. It's Crip Christmas after all ;)

Love you all, bye!

~ Riley x 

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Thanks so much for writing such a great Blog Riley. Sat here clicking on all these links and discovering so many more cool small businesses! x

Jody Appleton

Instagram submission: Barrier Free World – www.barrierfreeworld.etsy.com – affordable 3D printed tools, aids and equipment made by Bradley.

Riley Wilde

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