She’s breaking barriers, one stitch at a time! Chrysanthemum Chan is a self-taught seamstress and designer with a special focus in cosplay, designing costumes to represent specific characters. She also specializes in kawaii, a Japanese fashion movement. With a TikTok channel of over 380,000 followers, Chrysanthemum brings awareness to her disability and the ableism that exists in the cosplay community, using her voice to enact change.
Chrysanthemum resides in central Maine and has Tourette’s Syndrome/Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). Whether she is recording videos for her TikTok channel or designing a new costume, Chrysanthemum lives a busy life and needs a power wheelchair that can take her where she needs to go. Enter the Stretto Power Chair!
Chrysanthemum loves the narrow width of the Stretto. It was the deciding factor when choosing her power wheelchair, as she has a small house with narrow doorways. The Stretto Power Chair gives her access to many different places.
“I have been able to go places where a manual wheelchair was not ideal for me, like fields, rough terrain, uneven streets,” Chrysanthemum said. “It has really given me a lot of independence. I even went camping this year.”
Along with the Stretto’s ultra-narrow width, Chrysanthemum loves iLevel® technology. Before iLevel, she relied on her fiancé to get things for her that she couldn’t reach. Now, Chrysanthemum can elevate her motorized wheelchair seat up to 12 inches and easily reach the microwave, cabinets and the stovetop. iLevel also comes in handy when she is shopping.
“I can go into a store by myself and raise up when I need something that is on a higher shelf, without having to ask for assistance.”– Chrysanthemum Chan
Her Stretto Motorized Wheelchair with iLevel makes a huge difference in communicating with people as well. When she spoke with others, people used to get very close to Chrysanthemum and stare down at her.
“When I am raised up, people now give me space and don’t have to stare down at me,” Chrysanthemum said. “I am also approached more in public settings.”
Although she has become an international, award-winning cosplayer, winning eight “Best in Show” awards, Chrysanthemum is just getting started! She strives to learn new sewing techniques and has a special interest in corsets and adaptive fashion.
“My latest costume won best in show in the master’s category at a convention in Canada,” she said. “It was a gorgeous ball gown I designed based on one of my favorite video game characters.”
In addition to her interests of fashion and cosplay, Chrysanthemum plays the flute, guitar and loves to sing. She enjoys getting outdoors and interacting with nature.
Being an advocate is extremely important to Chrysanthemum. She uses her platform to educate others about her disability through videos, encouraging discussion among her followers. She works with a group of friends to incorporate the use of mobility aids in the cosplay community. In addition, Chrysanthemum reaches out to conventions and asks about wheelchair accessibility, providing information on how to make cosplay events more wheelchair accessible and inclusive.
“I believe that everyone should have the ability to go wherever they want in the world and not be restricted or judged, and to be able to do the things they love,” Chrysanthemum said.