Cool new disability-related websites are popping up all the time, but one to definitely check out is bTizzy, a new online marketplace and community for artists and artisans with disabilities. With everything from handsome pens made from old bullets, to artisan olive oil, to jewelry, bTizzy is in many ways an Etsy for the disability community, only it offers much more. The site currently hosts a number of disability-oriented podcasts, event listings and resources. Perhaps more importantly, bTizzy makes a real effort to work with and help its artists and artisans. “We want to economically empower the disability community,” says Vanessa Lopez-Kopp, bTizzy’s director of communications. The site explains the origins of the unique name by saying it was chosen “Cuz we’re making such a big deal about disability we’re in a tizzy.”
That goal has been at the fore since the site was founded by Nikki Zimmerman, the mother of a child with a disability, this May. She saw the void of employment opportunities for people with disabilities and created bTizzy to help do something about it. bTizzy commissions work from artists and artisans and distributes their products. It also licenses artwork from people with disabilities to appear on marketable products. Visitors to the site can purchase individual products or subscribe to the pwdMEDLEY Club. The pwdMEDLEY Club is a subscription-based service, much like the popular Loot Crate, where you get a box of goods from the site’s artists and artisans on a regular basis (either every 30 or 60 days). The size of the box and the number of items in it are determined by how much you want to pay, from $25-$150. The boxes also contain info about the stories behind the art and the artisans. They make great gifts and are a wonderful way to support a deserving community.
Currently, bTizzy is working with around 30 artists and artisans, but Lopez-Kopp says they are always looking for more. If you are interested in selling your wares or art, or simply want to buy some beautiful and creative stuff, check out bTizzy.com. Also, Lopez-Kopp was kind enough to provide us with a small gift from the site to give away to one of our readers. Email me at email@example.com if you are interested, I will randomly pick a winner and ship you the gift.