Holiday Gift Guide
The holiday season is coming up and you might be wondering what to get for friends and family. It can be a stressful time trying to figure out where to spend your money and on what. We are sharing some of our favorite businesses that are owned by people with a disability or that support people with disabilities. Fewer than one in three people with disabilities are employed even though many do want to work. Many of these businesses are started by people with disabilities which helps them have an income, a job, and flexibility in their schedule and responsibilities. These companies also help to spread awareness, advocate for inclusion, employ others with disabilities, and donate some of their funds to organizations that benefit people with disabilities.
Everyone needs socks to stuff their stockings with and John’s Crazy Socks sells the best of the best socks. John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son social enterprise inspire by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks (“crazy socks”). Their mission is to spread happiness. Not only do they have great products, but they hire people with differing abilities and donate 5% of their earnings to Special Olympics. You can learn more about John’s Crazy Socks on our blog.
When the founder, Melanie, had a daughter with Down syndrome she started her company, Lost Valley Designs. The company creates unique t-shirts that are full of inspiration and awareness. You can shop for shirts that celebrate all abilities and even create your own personal shirt with your specific desired design. The company is run completely by Melanie while she balances therapy, doctor’s visits, and consultations with specialists for her daughter as well as caring for her son, Grady. Melanie’s son also has a big part in the business by designing some of the shirts that you can find on the website. You can buy a shirt for all ages, all interests, all abilities, well basically just about anything! You can read more about the company on our blog.
Candidly Kind is another t-shirt design company that spreads messages about happiness, peace, girl power, and kindness. The founder, Grace Key, is a young adult with Down syndrome. The company is full of gorgeous designs, inspirational apparel, and a smiling CEO. If you have someone that loves a good t-shirt, this is the shop for you. Read more about Grace and Candidly Kind on our blog.
We are Lions is a lifestyle brand that features artists with disabilities’ artwork on everyday products. Proceeds from each sale go to the artists that create the art and help to support arts and entrepreneurship programs around the world. They have beautifully designed t-shirts, phone cases, leggings, canvases, shower curtains, throw pillows, tote bags, and stickers. They have such a wide variety of designs, colors, and patterns on quality products that will last through wear and tear.
Shop for all of your holiday cards at Laura’s Greeting Co. Or purchase a pack for a friend. The cards are created by artists with special needs. The proceeds go to artists as well as covering adoption fees for children with special needs. The company started with a girl with Down syndrome named Laura. She always gave greeting cards to people, even for her own birthday. Spread the love that Laura created with one of her cards. We interviewed a co-founder of Laura’s Greetings Co on our blog where you can learn more about their story.
If you’re local to Indianapolis or visiting for the holidays, stop in to No Label at the Table and grab a delicious treat. No Label at the Table has a mission of employing people that are on the autism spectrum while making beautiful desserts and breads. Dine in or purchase a gift card from the store and gift to a friend. Read more from founder, Shelly Henley, on our blog.
Are you shopping for a pet lover? Better yet, are you shopping for your pet? Finley’s Barkery was started by two former special education teachers to create paid employment opportunities for people with disabilities while giving 50% of their proceeds to provide employment training, accessibility, health and wellness, and advocacy platforms for people with disabilities. They sell a variety of dog treats on their website. There is something for every pup!
Social Media Intern
Emma is a student-athlete at Purdue University majoring in Kinesiology. She has been involved in the special needs community for many years as a coach with Special Olympics Minnesota, and as a personal care assistant/respite sitter. She has worked in media, marketing, and journalism with various organizations. When Emma has some free time, she enjoys riding horses (she grew up doing barrel racing), baking doughnuts and cake pops (yum!), pursuing her new art interest (wood burning, painting, or drawing), or going for a long run in sunny weather (her favorite!).