Saying it with Erika: Business started by disabled teenager from Skegness takes off

An artistic teenager from Skegness with Muscular Dystrophy has started her own handmade card business while shielding in lockdown.

Erika Daisy Wrate designs and sells cards, prints and wrapping paper featuring her paintings.

The 18-year-old launched Handmade by Erika Daisy Wrate online earlier this year and sells cards, prints and wrapping paper featuring her paintings.

Erika says: “I came up with the idea after giving away my card designs to friends and family, who often told me they were so good I should start my own business.”

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Erika, who uses an electric wheelchair to get around, was born with congenital muscular dystrophy. Her muscles are weak and not strong enough to walk.

One of Erika's designs.

She found her passion for art while studying at Skegness Academy, and has continued to develop her skills while homeschooling and shielding on government advice.

Customers can either buy individual prints, cards and wrapping paper or sign up for a monthly subscription package, and they also have the option of donating to Muscular Dystrophy UK, which aims to improve the lives of those affected by more than 60 muscle-wasting progressive conditions.

Erika, who lives with her parents in Croft, near Skegness, adds: “At the moment, I’m painting a flower series and there is also the option to buy from my animal range.

"I’m always thinking of different things to paint and have found inspiration from some Lincolnshire visitor attractions, such as Skegness Natureland and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park.

Erika started her business during lockdown.

"Like many people in the UK, I have tried to make the most of being confined to my home in more recent months by keeping busy. As well as painting, I’ve also enjoyed improving my baking skills.”

People can order Erika’s work on her website Her Instagram handle is handmadebyedw

Erika is inspired by local attractions.