Woman With Down Syndrome, Who Was Rejected by Employers, Founds N498m Business

Woman With Down Syndrome, Who Was Rejected by Employers, Founds N498m Business

  • A 31-year-old woman who could not secure employment due to her disability was able to start a business that got her fame and fortune
  • Collette DiVitto began to bake when she was four years and has turned her hobby into fortune as her company now supplies major supermarkets with cookies
  • Her business has made over N490 million since it launched in 2016 and has continued to grow in leaps and bounds

After suffering several rejections by employers due to her genetic condition called Down syndrome, a 31-year-old woman has found fame and fortune creating her own business.

Collette DiVitto, who graduated from Clemson University in South Carolina, found it hard to get employment as a lot of the places she has sought for a job turn her down.

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Collette DiVitto and her business
Collette DiVitto and her business Credit:CNBC
Source: UGC

Getting started

She said she was ready to be independent, but found it hard to find a job, she told CNBC

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DiVitto said she started to bake at age four and when she could not find a job after graduation, she decided to try baking.

Since she came from a family of entrepreneurs, her mother, Rosemary Alfredo, decided to help her start something of her own by teaching her the basics of starting a small business.

The result is that DiVitto is the CEO and COO of Collettey’s, a sprawling bakery startup that sells cookies online at about 7-11 supermarkets in Boston, USA.

The company which is based in Charlestown, Massachusetts, has made over N498 million since it launched in December 2016.

Giant strides

She has employed about 15 people most of whom also have disabilities which she says is intentional so as to reduce the unemployment gap among people with disabilities.

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DiVitto says she personally trains her employees with disabilities and creates jobs for disabled people. She sees it as her mission.

Her mother, Alfredo started walking DiVitto through the logistical steps of choosing a legal structure, registering the business, creating a logo and a website. Then, DiVitto brought samples of her chocolate chip cinnamon cookies to a local Boston shop called Golden Goose Market.

Launching out

Here mother says

The market’s owner delighted, ordered 100 12-packs of cookies. “We’re buying 40-pound bags of flour, bringing them into our apartment, thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t know what’s gonna happen."

The following week, she and her mother secured space in a commercial kitchen, which gave DiVitto more cookie-making space.

Altogether, Alfredo says, it cost less than N8 million in out-of-pocket expenses to get the business off the ground — with most of that going to kitchen rent.

And then, as Alfredo puts it, DiVitto’s story became a success.

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DiVitto says she sold 4,000 cookies in her first three months of business, and more than 550,000 since launching. As of Monday, Collettey’s Cookies has more than 40,000 followers on Facebook, and another 28,000-plus on Instagram.

A leap in the dark?

Legit.ng reported that when passion calls, it does not matter what type of plum job you do, you get pulled in the direction of destiny.

Itoro Effiong-Bright has an interesting story about how she moved into the telecoms industry, first as a 9mobile staff before landing a lucrative job at Africa's largest telecoms operator, MTN.

Itoro tells Legit.ng that she was combining cooking with her job at 9Mobile and later, MTN, which leaves her tired as she heads to work on the days she would be on duty.

Source: Legit.ng

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