Today’s episode is about disabled entrepreneurs. First, I talk with 3 sisters in business together: Mary, Hannah, Emma Layden about their business, love♡bili♡nyc, an apparel company that promotes disability awareness and empowerment. Next, I talk with Tinu Abayomi-Paul who runs a business called Leveraged Promotion and blogs various tips and resources for disabled entrepreneurs. Mary, Hannah, Emma, and Tinu share how they started their businesses and offer a lot of great practical advice if you are considering starting something or just curious.
Moore, James. (October 19, 2018). There is a record number of disabled entrepreneurs in the UK. This isn’t progress – it’s out of necessity. The Independent.
Spoonie Entrepreneurs (AskTinu.com)
Self Employment & Entrepreneurship (Office of Disability Employment Policy, US Department of Labor)
Small Business Development Center (US Small Business Administration)
Tinu Abayomi-Paul is a writer and a disabled entrepreneur who provides coaching services to other microbusiness owners.
After 20 years as an entrepreneur, 18 as a well-known marketing and Google expert, Tinu had an awakening. After being diagnosed with cancer, she had to take almost three years off building her business, due to having several chronic diseases prior to the cancer, which complicated her recovery.
Once safely on the other side, she realized other entrepreneurs, disabled and otherwise, could use the resources she developed to restart her life after cancer.
Emma Layden (b. 1995) is a NYC-based writer, who along with two of her sisters, lives with Multiple Pterygium Syndrome (Escobar variant). She graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts last May, with a BFA in Dramatic Writing (concentration in TV). She recently finished a young adult novel and is in the process of seeking publication. She has previously taken classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, interned at Andrew Lauren Productions, and now runs social media for love♡bili♡nyc, an apparel company that promotes disability awareness and empowerment. She currently freelances for a children’s anime television series. Her work often explores the intersection of disability and humor. Follow her on Twitter at @emmalayden!
Hannah Layden (b. 1987) is an artist living and working in New York City. Along with two of her sisters, she lives with Multiple Pterygium Syndrome (Escobar variant). She received a BFA in Printmaking and Painting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009, a MFA in Printmaking from Pratt Institute in 2012, and is currently studying cosmetology in NYC. She has been an Artist in Residence at AS | Epic Epoch Artists Studios Residency (2015), Vermont Studio Center (2016) and The Millay Colony for the Arts (2017). She is also the co-founder of love♡bili♡nyc, an apparel company that promotes disability awareness and empowerment. Her current body of work explores an intense understanding and dissection of what it means to be not only a woman, but also a woman with a disability. Follow her on instagram at @hannah.layden!
Mary Frances Layden (b.1992) is a young woman who, along with two of her sisters, lives with Multiple Pterygium Syndrome (Escobar variant). She previously led Community Engagement for A Leg To Stand On (ALTSO), a NYC-based nonprofit that provides free prosthetic and orthopedic care to children with disabilities in developing countries. She is also the co-founder of love♡bili♡nyc, an apparel company that promotes disability awareness and empowerment. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from NYU, and a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is currently getting her Master’s Degree in Disability Studies from CUNY’s School of Professional Studies. As a young woman with a physical disability and someone who has worked with both adults and children with developmental and physical disabilities, she is dedicated to working in the field of disability activism.
Support Disability Media and Culture
DONATE to the Disability Visibility Project®
Geraldine Ah-Sue, Audio Producer
Alice Wong, Writer, Producer, Interviewer
Cheryl Green, Text Transcript
Lateef McLeod, Introduction
Mike Mort, Artwork
Theme Music (used with permission of artist)
Song: “Dance Off”
Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp
“You Wasted My Time When I was Timewasting” by Podington Bear (You Wasted My Time When I Was Timewasting by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License)
“Raccoon Family Robinson” by Podington Bear (Raccoon Family Robinson by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License)