We were thrilled to hear this week that Clare Edwards, inventor of the Trabasack, has been shortlisted for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2010 .
Clare’s aim is to create innovative products that are inclusive and useful to everyone whatever their age or ability. Her first design is the multi-award winning Trabasack, a laptray and travel bag which enables the user to eat, drink, work or play wherever they are by providing a flat tray surface.
Founder of easyjet, Sir Stelios launched the award saying ; “I am very passionate about encouraging an enterprising spirit throughout British culture. Helping to remove the barriers that disabled people face in business is an important part of this. That is why I was keen to establish an award which gives disabled people an opportunity to showcase their ability rather than have them negatively judged by their disability. I look forward to seeing the best of the entries and meeting the eventual winner.”
Clare, a wheelchair user since a car accident in her teens, explains : ”My biggest challenge has been to ensure that the volume, consistency and quality of work needed to create a successful business is achievable despite living with a disability. I have a strong internal drive and desire to be successful.
I have had to learn about marketing, sales, website design, manufacturing and logistics in a short space of time. Applying these new skills, whilst maintaining a professional standard throughout, is, at times, very tough.
We also have a child with severe epilepsy (Dravet Syndrome) who requires specialist care. It was my desire to help my disabled son access toys and switches that helped lead to the design of Trabasack.
I have focussed on my strengths such as design and creative work. Living with a disability means that you are always striving to adapt your environment to make life easier. It means you become a natural designer and inventor through your own needs.
My disability has been an advantage in that I have been able to create a “Design for all” product before knowing what that meant! “
Clare now waits to hear from the judges whether she will go on to meet Sir Stelios at a special judging lunch in London in October. We wish her the very best of luck.
To buy the Trabasack, click here