Tag Archives: Clothes

Love for 3eLove

When I was growing up, I never heard of disability pride. Disability was not something to be celebrated, but something to be fixed or hidden away. Thankfully, I had amazing parents who never let me believe that just because I had a disability, I was any less capable than everyone else. Even with their support, however, I felt alone; I didn’t have anyone like me to look up too and I often hated my disability.

Fortunately, I eventually learned to embrace my disability; even better, society is beginning to change. Children today have a lot of positive role models when it comes to living life with a disability. People like Josh Blue, who used his disability to carve his own niche in stand-up comedy; or Abbey Curran, who challenged conventional ideals of beauty by being the first woman with CP to compete in and place in the Miss USA pageant. They are showing people with disabilities, and the world, that living with a disability is no longer something to be ashamed of, but something to be embraced and celebrated. But it isn’t just individuals who are changing society’s outlook on disabilities; companies like 3eLove are also making a huge impact.

3eLove was started in 2007 by Chicago natives, Annie and Stevie Hopkins, as a way of promoting their unique symbol of acceptance. The wheelchair heart logo, as well as their social model of disability, encourages others to embrace diversity, educate society, and empower one another to love life. 3eLove may have started as a small Chicago clothing company, but it is now and international movement.

I discovered 3eLove a few years ago when I saw a wheelchair heart car decal on the mini-van driving in front of me. I thought it was neat and made a mental note to try to find out more about them. Later, when I googled “wheelchair heart,” I found 3eLove’s website pretty quickly and discovered that it was more than just bumper stickers.  They had everything, from key chains and water bottles to tank tops and backpacks. The logo alone had me wanting to buy right away, but the more I read about the mission behind the logo, I knew it was something I had to be a part of.

I started with a Proud© shirt for myself, then I bought one for my husband so that we could wear them in our one year anniversary photos. Then I bought one for each of my close friends and family for Christmas. Now, I have a whole proud army. This year, they even came out with dog collars so my dog could join the ranks.

I love 3eLove. It makes me so happy when I go on their Facebook page and I see a 5 or 6 year old smiling in their wheelchair sporting their 3eLove gear. I wish that kid could have been me; but I am glad, at least, that future generations have the opportunity to grow up embracing their disabilities, proud of whom they are and loving life.

Thrift Store Finds Made Cooler

“Re-furbished” top

Five years ago an amazing thing happened in my world. I was enlightened to the existence of thrifting. It may be a seemingly trivial thing to those with copious amounts of money, but for someone who lives on a fixed income, it has unhinged my world. Goodwill, Salvation Army, garage sales, rummage sales – give ’em here.

The sport, nay the art form of thrifting has been kept alive the middle and lower class masses for decades, helping up furnish our homes and help us look cool on the cheap. Where else can you find a pair of mid ’80s Guess jeans for only $10? Or an amazing sectional couch for only $200? Sure, it may be covered in cat hair, but that’s what lint rollers are for.

If only I has known how cool thrifting was when I was in college. Back in my crazy collegiate days, only new would do. Thrifting was happening, but not in my world. But now it’s 2013 and I as well as the entire world has changed. Thrifting is now cool, and that’s especially true for anything that’s been used or reused multiple times.

At 25 is when I discovered I could replenish my wardrobe each season for $50 while thrifting, and I haven’t looked back since. And oh my the tricks I’ve come across. Sometimes however it can be a hit or miss when thrifting, especially when you don’t try on things until you get home.

I never try on things in dressing rooms as a wheelchair-user. It’s just too hard. And sometimes, I can’t find the size I want. So I opt for a much more creative solution in lieu of disposing the item, or not buying it – I’ll just cut it or re-fashion it to still make it work.

YouTube gave me this idea years ago, and my thrifting finds have not been the same since. You can do so much with a pair of scissors, and even a little duck tape if you use a wheelchair. One of my favorite things to do is make a short-sleeved cardigan out of a long-sleeved cardigan by  chopping off the arms above the elbow, then rolling it up a couple times so you’d never be able to tell.

I also love to cut t-shirts into tank tops, one-shoulder tanks, even cutting a bigger neckline so it gives me more shape, and adding a cute scarf. And when you cut thrift store finds, you don’t have to stress about ruining them since the item was is cheap. $2 – $4 t-shirts with funny retro sayings are perfect for this.

And I’ll also use black fabric paint to cover up marks on darker clothing, or even use duct tape to make a shirt look tighter by taping the back closer together. There are a lot of cool fixes you can make to clothing when you can’t walk since hiding jerry-rigs is so much easier.

And when in doubt, a thread and needle can be your best friend, or your caregiver’s. And a solid laundry detergent is also a must too, since thrift store finds always carry that oh-so-lovely smell. A fresh scent dryer sheet can make a purchase seem totally brand new, and you can’t get better than that.

So if you haven’t given thrifting a full go, now is the time. Fall is almost here….it’s the perfect time to start thrifting for a cute coat before they’re all gone, or a football jersey if that’s your thing. Search online for a local thrift shop that offers different daily deals too. The stores that offer discounts each Monday are the best.

Truly anything, even my bedside rolling table, can be found while out thrifting. It has become my new, quite addicting, hobby.

Ok, time to head out thrifting again. bbiab.

Recommended Products

– Bounce Fresh Linen Dryer Sheets

– Quad friendly scissors to cut clothing

– Mini sewing kit

– Black fabric touch-up paint

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