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21 Entrepreneurs With Down Syndrome You Should Follow

We at John's Crazy Socks love support other companies. We wanted to share some companies that were also started with individuals with Down Syndrome!

 

 

 

 

1. 21 Pineapples When coming up with 21 Pineapples, we wanted something bold. Something that represents Nate's spunk and moxie. We chose 21 Pineapples. The number 21 represents the 21st chromosome. Our friends with Down Syndrome have an extra 21st chromosome. This is what makes them magical.Why pineapples you may ask? Not only are pineapples an expression of friendship and welcoming hospitality, but this beautiful fruit is adorned by its own exquisite crown. After all, don't we all deserve to wear a crown?

2.Candidly Kind: Grace Key is 23 years old and co-founder of Candidly Kind started March 21, 2018 by she and her mom, Carrie Key. Grace creates all the artwork and designs for all products. Grace has used writing, drawing and painting throughout her life to express herself. Ask any of her many friends or family and they will attest to receiving a special letter from Grace always filled with love and humor!

3.Austin's Underdawgs:   At age 21 he attended a vocational program at Eastern New Mexico University designed for people with limited abilities. Since Austin had never learned to read, he was not a good candidate for a Chef job, but he quickly learned skills to be an excellent Prep Chef in the University cafeteria. His love of food had him yearning to own his own restaurant. Some 16 years later, Austin is taking his show on the road selling “Underdawg Hot Dogs” in his Traveling Dawgmobile!

4.Collettey's Cookies:Collette Divitto was born in 1990 with Down syndrome. She grew up in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where she developed a passion for baking after taking classes in high school. After testing out several cookie recipes, she came up with an original cinnamon chocolate chip cookie that people really enjoyed. Because all of her friends and family raved, “This cookie is amazing,” Collette decided to call her recipe “The Amazing Cookie.” After high school, Collette attended Clemson University, and finished a three-year LIFE program in just two years. With characteristic sass and a strong drive to work hard and succeed, she moved to Boston, where she was sure she would find a paying job. Although she went on many job interviews that seemed to go very well, she always got an email saying something like, “it was great to meet you, Collette, but at this time we feel you are not a good fit for our company.”

5. Soaps by Zach:  Zach is a young adult who graduated from a transition program at Elgin Community College, IL where he continued his education and explored vocations.  He loves musical theater, swimming, has lived in Spain and walked the Great Wall of China. Zach loves science and working with his hands.  In 2020 he was furloughed from his job and his Day Program secondary to the pandemic.  Zach and his mother, a health care worker, put their heads together to develop a soothing natural soap that was a response to all the handwashing we are doing.  Life has been really challenging over the past months, but becoming an entrepreneur was the perfect solution to create and keep engaged. As an artisan in Project GOAT, Zach received mentoring and startup support through BeyondAble.org, and now has his own business!

6.DOGGY Delights BY Allison: Doggy Delights is a perfect business for Allison because she spends time in the kitchen mixing up her own treat recipes. She knows how important healthy food is for both people and pets. Her treats are sold frozen or freeze dried so no preservatives are needed. Promoting her business and selling the treats gets her out into the community meeting people and their dogs. She is an entrepreneur with Down syndrome, but she just wants you to know her as the best dog treat chef ever!

7. Gabi’s Grounds :mission is to EMPOWER the SPECIAL ABILITIES COMMUNITY to find their place in the world and ENJOY FULFILMENT in everything they do.

We promote equal access to persons with disabilities in our workplace. We create market value that includes everyone in an enriched community while providing great coffee and a unique customer service experience.

8. Gracie's Doggie Delights is operated by an enterprising young woman with Down Syndrome who loves dogs. An owner of three rescue miniature schnauzers, Gracie loves to give them treats. These are her dog's favorites and we hope they will your pet's favorites too.

 9. Matthew's Bonfire BBQ: For hundreds of years, bonfires have been built for celebrations and community gatherings, providing warmth to those coming together around them. The spirit of the bonfire embodies the creator of Matthew’s Bonfire BBQ – Chef Matthew Hessburg. 

Matthew’s passion in life is using food and fire to bring family and friends together with the dream of owning a barbecue restaurant featuring a huge fire pit to create the ultimate gathering spot.

With an instinctive love of cooking since childhood and training at the award-winning Haywood Smokehouse in North Carolina during college, Matthew was inspired to launch his first line of barbecue sauces – Carolina Gold and Blueberry Chipotle. 

10.Furnace Hills Coffee™ has a commitment to hire people with developmental disabilities. Our first employee, Erin Baldwin, has Down Syndrome. Although she faces challenges in how she lives her life in a number of areas, she loves to roast coffee and is doing a great job as well. That’s why our phrase, “Special coffee roasted by special people” is true. Our goal is to hire more people with developmental disabilities as our roasting company grows.

11.Brittany’s Baskets of Hope, Inc.is dedicated to bringing information, support, guidance, and hope to families that are expecting or have newly welcomed a baby with Down syndrome into their lives. 

We believe that all babies, no matter who they are or how they’re born, deserve to be celebrated and to know that they can achieve anything!

12. H-Bomb Tiesis a neckwear company inspired by Harrison (aka The H-Bomb). Harrison, who has Down Syndrome and Autism, has always had an affinity for bow ties, and he wears them often for all sorts of occasions. Harrison's parents created H-Bomb Ties to provide work training opportunity for Harrison, or other differently-abled individuals like him.

 

13.K Bee Candles.Hi! I’m Kayla, the proud owner of K Bee Candles.
The Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida started an Entrepreneur Academy. Where I learned valuable guidance. All candles are handmade by me in my home kitchen. My candles are made in small batches using 100% pure beeswax pellets. My beeswax candles are hypo-allergenic, great for people with allergies. Because beeswax candles clean the air and reduce indoor pollutants, they can effectively reduce asthma, allergies, and hay fever. Beeswax candles are the perfect choice for those of us who want a clean burning candle in our home.

14. Blake's Snow Shack: Blake Pyron has never been limited. Not by his community, not by his parents, and certainly not by his Down Syndrome. That’s why he rolled up his sleeves, stocked up on syrup and opened Blake’s Snow Shack for business in 2015. A life-long Sanger resident and bona-fide local celebrity, Blake’s inspirational story has gone worldwide, with national and international press establishing the Snow Shack as a can’t-miss stop on any Texas tour. After all, it serves up two amazing things: crazy delicious snow cones and Blake’s million-dollar smile.

15. Texas Sweet Heat Jam Companysupports the realization of personal potential in people with intellectual disabilities through God-centered training, entrepreneurship, partnerships, and community engagement."Our artisan jams are made with a creative blend of fresh chili peppers, fruits and a twist of fine-tuned culinary expertise. Most of the fruits and peppers used locally sourced and the few that aren’t, only wished they could be! Texas Sweet Heat jams are gluten-free, fat-free and so versatile in their use, you will find that these jams will become one of the hardest working jars in your fridge!

16.Special Sparkle™!Kelly is a young lady with Down syndrome and this company was created to assist Kelly in leading a fulfilled and productive life after school came to an end for her.  She loves fashion, style and bling, so what better way to express that than to create fashionable jewelry!  Special Sparkle is a mother/daughter team where we work together to design and Kelly makes all the jewelry! 

 17. Seanese: SEAN FROM BORN THIS WAY:  I want the world to know that having Down syndrome isn't that big of a deal. Especially new moms and dads because every baby should be celebrated and nobody should cry because they had a baby with Down syndrome. Parents, believe in your kids they are amazing. I have a project to provide free and low cost baby onesies to Down syndrome Organizations for their new parent baskets. $1.00 from every item ordered goes towards my new Welcome Baby Onesie Mission. I've already donated 10% of my profits to different non-profits. 

 18. Kindness Cafe + Play will challenge our perceptions, inspire us as individuals and transform our community. This group of amazing adults is excited to serve you! We are now open for indoor ordering and dining. And we’ll continue to offer our speedy curbside service, too. We’ve expanded our outdoor seating and just set up corn hole and chalk. Come visit us at Kindness!

19. Sweet Jordan's: This Baked Goodies and Ice Cream Shop is none like you’ve probably ever seen before because most employees will be just like me…special. I’m going to enlist some of my friends who are just like me in some ways, but we are very much the same in the fact that we have something to contribute to society and our lives have value and meaning, just like everybody else. So that’s what we’re going to be doing at Sweet Jordan’s, cuz you see “sweetness” comes in all forms and fashions and shapes and sizes. I dare you not to smile after getting a big ole’ bear hug from me and others like me and we serve you some of our cookies, breads and ice creams. So, it is my prayer that you will come see me and all of our special team members when we open our first location, late summer early fall, at the other end of Woody’s Pizza. Thanks for taking the time to read my story and I hope you have a blessed day.

20. Dance Happy Designs Back in 2012, Julia and Liv came to work at Emily’s store through Community Integrated Services (CIS). You see, Julia has Down syndrome. CIS helps people with disabilities find jobs, and Liv was her job support coach at the time.  The three of us became friends right away. We loved working together and didn't want it to end. We also knew Julia was capable of way more. Liv’s background is in art, so we set up a studio in the store's basement and taught Julia how to silk-screen her patterns onto canvas.

21: John's Crazy Socks! John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son social enterprise inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks, or what he calls his “crazy socks.” We're on a mission to spread happiness. Every day, we show what's possible when you give a person with a differing ability a chance. Over half our employees have a differing ability. 

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21 Entrepreneurs With Down Syndrome You Should Follow