We’re in holiday gift-giving season! No matter what you celebrate, this is a time of year when money and gifts are exchanged en masse, so we thought what better way to help people make decisions on things to buy than identifying companies that support, hire, or are run by people with disabilities?
There’s so much out there, so this isn’t a complete list, but from art to food to subscriptions to more traditional gifts, we found some awesome stuff! Each of these businesses is run or founded by people with disabilities. Visit each website to read more about their unique stories!
Grace Place Art
These artworks are created by Grace, who works with her family to print, package and ship products, and sends a portion of the proceeds to organizations of Grace’s choosing!
John’s Crazy Socks
John has a passion for socks, an entrepreneurial spirit, and plenty of personality! This shop boasts an incredible 4,000+ pair of uniquely designed socks. Sales support the hiring of other people with disabilities who work with John to create and ship their socks.
Little Red Hen
Little Red Hen is a nonprofit organization with several locations serving children and adults with developmental disabilities. The store has a TON of items, from accessories to beauty products, to kitchen and dining, and even gardening! My personal favorite is the vintage inspired section, with some absolute classic gifts and games.
Poppin’ Joe’s Gourmet Kettle Korn
Joe has been the owner of Poppin’ Joe’s Gourmet Kettle Korn since 2005. Poppin’ Joe’s has snack bags in multiple quantities, including caramel and cheddar flavors!
Bitty & Beau’s Coffee
Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is a human rights movement disguised as a coffee shop, where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are valued in the workplace. It’s a place where diversity isn’t just appreciated, it’s celebrated. Bitty & Beau’s Coffee proudly employs 400+ individuals with disabilities nationwide!
Madam Clutterbuckets is a family-owned business that believes that neurodiversity makes our communities stronger and abilities always outweigh disabilities. They are driven by personal experience to spread awareness of the abilities of disabled adults and help decrease the workplace limitation stigma by creating employment opportunities that are built for success. They have a wide range of products, with some that are a bit PG-13 and maybe even R, but they sentiments and designs are great. There’s certainly something for everyone at Madam Clutterbuckets!
Smashing fashion with function, BILLY Footwear incorporates zippers that go along the side of the shoes and around the toe, allowing the upper of each shoe to open and fold over completely. Thus the wearer can place their foot onto the shoe footbed unobstructed. Then with a tug on the zipper-pull the shoe closes and secures overtop the user’s foot. It’s simple. It’s easy.
You might be wondering why universal design is so important to them. After breaking his neck from a three-story fall in October of 1996, our co-founder, Billy, became paralyzed from the chest down and lost the ability to move much of his body, including his fingers. Not only did he suddenly face mobility challenges, but daily tasks that he took for granted, such as putting on clothes, became much more difficult. The solution Billy was seeking for his own challenges grew into something bigger—it became a mission to create mainstream shoes that are functional, fashionable, and inclusive for everyone.
Mara Ladines is a Deaf, Asian, female business owner living in New York City. She has a small clothing store in Dumbo, Brooklyn called By Mara which features the “I Love You” symbol in American Sign Language. When By Mara launched in 2008, it had only two products. Today, By Mara has expanded into a countrywide business with 100 products on the line! These products are available online, in-store, and at various festivals.
Who doesn’t love cookies! Collette grew up in Ridgefield, CT, where she developed a passion for baking after taking classes in high school. After testing out several cookie recipes, she came up with an original cinnamon chocolate chip cookie that people really enjoyed. Because all of her friends and family raved, “This cookie is amazing,” Collette decided to call her recipe ‘The Amazing Cookie.’ In addition to ‘The Amazing Cookie’, Collette also offers peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and even dog biscuits!
The Squeaky Wheel
Disability writing, with a satirical lens. Think The Onion, but written by and for people with disabilities. Well, that’s Steven’s project, The Squeaky Wheel! It’s a terrific site that you can support through donations or subscribing to their Patreon, but they also have an incredible shop with some amazing items. Check out some of the hilarious but poignant articles, then head over to their shop!