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Hidden Gems: Meet Keiko Maasai and Julian Miller of Sad Clown Club

Today we’d like to introduce you to Keiko Maasai and Julian Miller. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Sad Clown Club was started by Keiko Maasai and Julian Miller, two disabled queers who used to suffer rather than compromise our aesthetics. Fashion has always been important to both of us, and your standard mobility devices can be boring! Nothing came close to fitting in with our style until we started customizing them ourselves. It began with a few keychains on canes, then suddenly, we were creating new types of accessories specifically for mobility devices. Now we even customize whole mobility aids! Having canes and crutches, we genuinely love the look of has made it so much easier to be good to our bodies. We found infinite joy in making our mobility aids our own, and Sad Clown Club was born of wanting to share that with as many disabled people as we can! Mobility aids can be whatever you want them to be, and we love to help people feel like their mobility aids reflect themselves.

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Nothing is a smooth road when you’re disabled, especially with a dynamic chronic illness! Everything is dictated by the hardly predictable whims of our health. It can be complicated to keep up with the expectations of social media as disabled creators, as the algorithms tend to favor a level of consistency that we can’t consistently achieve. Getting our work seen is most of the battle!

As you know, we’re big fans of Sad Clown Club. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
Sad Clown Club offers a wide variety of handmade goods, from jewelry to home decor, but what sets us apart from others is our mobility aid accessories! We’re committed to disability-inclusive and disability-centered fashion, especially for queer disabled people. Our shop is best known for our Stick Stacks, which are small beaded decorations sized for canes, crutches, and other aids. We also love making accessories to coordinate with those we make for mobility aids because details are everything! Nearly every cane wrist strap we design has earrings or a belt chain to match! If you’re a disabled queer person who feels like they are never seen in their totality, we hope we can help you feel a little more like yourself with what we do.

What matters most to you? Why?
Queer-disabled joy is of the utmost importance because so many of us grow up believing that it cannot exist. Too many people live with the idea that it’s better to be dead than gay, transgender, or disabled when, in fact, the love of the queer cripple community is more beautiful and joyous than you could ever imagine!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Julian Miller, Keiko Maasai

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