A woman with Down’s Syndrome who was rejected from multiple jobs for ‘not being the right fit’ decided to take matters into her own hands and launched her own successful cookie business.
Collette Divitto, who is 30 from Boston, US, struggled to find a job after continuously receiving rejection emails telling her she wasn’t the ‘right fit’ for the company.
After over 15 rejections, Collette decided to turn her passion for baking into a business, Collettey’s Cookies, which has grown to be a huge success.
‘When we moved to Boston from my hometown of Connecticut, I applied for lots of jobs, including office jobs and part-time jobs working with kids,’ says Collette.
‘I had interviews which I always thought went well, but after a few days I would receive an email saying something along the line of not being the right fit for the company.
‘It was very frustrating for me, I was really upset, especially after it happened more than 15 times.
‘I didn’t want to just sit at home and feel bad about not being able to work. So I decided enough is enough and that I was going to do what I enjoy and make it into a business.’
At the beginning, Colette’s business started really small, but it has grown over time. She now has 15 employees working for her, and she rents a commercial kitchen so they can produce cookies on a much larger scale.
‘Since the launch of the business, we have sold over one million cookies,’ says Collette.
Collette admits that when she launched Collettey’s Cookies she didn’t know much about running her own business, but she has picked it up along the way and also attended some classes to help boost her knowledge.
She started off by setting up a website, making business cards, buying ingredients and learnt to do write invoices.
Now her company has grown, her main role within her business is managing her employees, however, she does still enjoy taking part in the baking process from time-to-time.
‘Since the popularity of my business has grown, we are now shipping all across the US, and even internationally to Canada.
‘We have also expanded our menu which now includes other flavours such as oatmeal and raisin cookies, peanut butter cookies and a healthy breakfast cookie. We have also added a gluten-free option so we can cater for more people.’
However, Collette’s famous original cookie that she launched her business with, which is called ‘The Amazing Cookie’, remains a favourite among her customers. It is a chocolate chip and cinnamon cookie.
Collette says that she and her team are constantly flooded with orders, they received around 300 orders each week.
‘I want to inspire others who also have disabilities to follow their dreams,’ she says. ‘My advice is to focus on your abilities rather than your disabilities.
‘My top tips for success are to work hard, be respectful of everyone, and never give up on your dreams.
‘I am very proud of myself and my business. I want to keep working hard and grow my company even further. One of my goals is to work with Ben and Jerry’s and have my cookies included in their ice cream. That would be amazing.
‘Another of my goals, which is really important to me, is to be able to create more and more jobs within my company for people with disabilities.’
Currently about half of Collette’s employees also have disabilities. She wants to grow her business and create even more jobs so she has the capacity to help more people.
‘I have experienced first hand how difficult it is trying to get a job when you have a disability,’ says Collette. ‘So I am very happy that I can make a difference and give employment opportunities to others who are having a hard time trying to find a job because of there disability.’
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