Australian wheelchair users can now add a personal touch to their 'wheels' thanks to an Australian-first product launched earlier this month.
Launching with an initial 15 designs, Push Hubs have been developed to showcase wheelchair users’ individual personalities. Whether you’re an animal lover, a Frida Kahlo fan, an Australiana connoisseur, or just have a thing for dinosaurs - Push Hubs allow manual wheelchair users to put their personality on their wheels and wear their style with pride.
Designed and manufactured with the same functionality in mind as all other Push Mobility products, the hubs also protect wheelchair users’ fingers and hands - and look great while doing so.
A “perfect fit” is how co-founder of Australian giftware brand La La Land, Elie Azzi, describes his business’ collaboration with Push Mobility.
“We felt like the collaboration was perfect because it is something functional from Push Mobility and something inspirational from La La Land. The marriage of the two is perfect because it brings into someone's life both something beautiful and something functional.”
Founder and director of Push Mobility, Shane Hryhorec, is equally as passionate about their teams’ collaboration and believes “the two companies have brought their strengths together”.
Supported by almost a decade of friendship, Mr Azzi says the pair have always had plans for a collaboration.
"We've always discussed what we could do. When this opportunity came up we thought ‘perfect’.”
A wheelchair user himself since 2007, Mr Hryhorec understands the importance of having a chair that reflects one’s personality.
“My first wheelchair was really heavy. It was black. It was bland. It did not represent me as an individual. I thought we needed more choice. We need better wheelchairs for people.”
Motivated by his own experience, Mr Hryhorec founded Push Mobility in 2013 to offer people with disabilities better quality equipment with more attractive designs and better functionality.
“I wanted a company that made sure every single wheelchair was a chair that people would love and connect with – not just tolerate because they had to,” he says.
Always looking for new products to introduce to help others, Hryhorec was keen to collaborate with Mr Azzi to bring Push Hubs to life.
“I am excited because people can personalise their wheelchair and let their personalities shine through.”
As co-founder and creative director of La La Land, Mr Azzi hopes his artworks for Push Hubs will bring “a lot of happiness and a sense of individuality” to those living with a disability.
Just like choosing a different outfit, Push Hubs allow individuals to change the look of their chair and wheels, he says.
“We’re really trying to create something that will enable people with a disability to feel more individual and unique.”
Mr Azzi co-founded La La Land in 2009 with the hopes of providing a platform to support and celebrate local artists and illustrators. From humble beginnings in a Sydney garage, La La Land has grown to become one of Australia’s most beloved giftware brands.
Launching with a “very small range of greeting cards”, Azzi says they slowly but surely expanded to a variety of gifts and homewares including plates, cups, bags, notebooks, and accessories. Designed in-house by local artists, their mission is to inspire happiness and creativity with all their artworks.
“The idea is that we are creating artworks that really invoke that magic or that spark you feel when you open a gift.”
Many of the Push Hubs feature Australiana-inspired illustrations. Describing their design style as “fashion-forward”, Mr Azzi says the artworks created uniquely for Push Hubs fit a very large portfolio of ages, genders, sexualities, interests and styles.
“There is something for everyone.”
Mr Azzi says one thing he most appreciates about Push Hubs is their power to shift the focus from the disability to the individual.
“One thing Shane said that really resonated with me is that it creates a great conversation starter. It moves the focus away from the disability and to the chair and how cool it looks!”
As someone who is always looking for what will create joy and inspire happiness, being involved with Push Hubs means a great deal.
“It emphasizes and pushes even further our purpose and our brand’s purpose to inspire happiness and creativity to absolutely everyone,” Mr Azzi says.
“For us, it is an opportunity to really help Australians with disability stand out and feel inspired with beautiful artworks.”
Mr Hryhorec agrees and is proud to be launching a product that celebrates and reflects wheelchair users’ individual personalities.
“I hope people realise a wheelchair is more than a mobility aid and that it can be something of style and something to be proud of.
Browse the Push Hub collection here.