Ailbhe & Izzy Keane

Fee Band

Frustrated that wheelchairs are so often purely functional rather than reflecting the personality of the person using them, Izzy and Ailbhe took a college design project and turned it into a global brand. With the aid of social media Izzy's Wheels has become an international business, working with top designers and brands, and inspiring many with their message "If you can't stand up, stand out!"


Isabel (Izzy) and Ailbhe Keane are the founders of Izzy’s Wheels, a business that has grown from a college project, via social media, into a global brand. It’s a story that says as much about modern business as it does about diversity and the power of ideas.

Both Izzy and Ailbhe were often frustrated that Izzy’s wheelchair, rather than the bright, outgoing person sat in it, was what people noticed first. As children, they would decorate the chair for birthdays and Christmas. Whilst studying design, Ailbhe returned to the idea and created a range of colourful panels that fitted over the wheels without interfering with their use. Their work quickly became an Instagram hit. Realising that too often wheelchairs are utilitarian rather than exciting, dull rather than expressing the personality of the user, Izzy and Ailbhe saw the opportunity to combine art with entrepreneurialism. The result was Izzy’s Wheels, with the mission "If you can't stand up, stand out!"

Working with artists, designers and brands from around the world including Barbie, Hello Kitty, and Orla Kiely, Izzy’s Wheels have created a range of wheel covers that, like their creators, are both inspiring and vibrant. Designs span the colourful to the coordinated and have been sold in over 50 countries worldwide. They’ve also featured in the media from Vogue to TechCrunch to Good Morning America.

Izzy and Ailbhe share the story of their business, the values and passion at the heart of what they do, and the innovation and creativity that inspired something huge from little more than an idea and a social media account. They explore how a brand has to be authentic and engaging, as well as the power of a brand to change the world. The sisters have been listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, were the first Irish people to take charge of Instagram’s official story, and have received over a dozen business and design awards.


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