Dublin-based sisters Ailbhe and Izzy Keane have always been very close. Born with spina bifida, Izzy has been in a wheelchair since birth, but neither she nor her sister ever let that define her.
The two put their heads together and came up with a brilliant way to express their creativity. Izzy, then a graphic design student, designed some circular works of art which the pair made into super-cool wheel covers, turning her wheelchair into a way to show off her personality and her talent. Once she graduated from college, they started Izzy Wheels to share their idea with other wheelchair-bound art lovers. Not satisfied with using exclusively their own designs, they also started commissioning works from artists from around the world.
“If you can’t stand up, stand out.” Izzy Wheels mission statement
As great-looking as the wheel covers are when they’re sitting still, Izzy got the idea to make the designs after the model of the zoetrope, the earliest form of animation. In other words, the designs look extra cool when they’re in motion. Part of the genius of these designs is that they are made to be easily switched out by the person sitting in the chair, so many of their clients own more than one. The covers come in standard manual wheelchair sizes, and the sisters plan to expand to include items suitable for electric wheelchairs in the coming months. A pair of wheel covers runs about $160 per pair, and proceeds are donated to The Irish Wheelchair Association.
All images property of Izzy Wheels.