Collette Divitto may have Down syndrome, but she isn’t letting her disability stop her from running a successful business.
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Collettey’s Cookies is the product of a lot of hard work and determination. Divitto’s specialty, a cinnamon chocolate chip cookie, was perfected over the years while she pursued her passion for cooking.
After heeding the advice from family and friends, Divitto decided to start her own business selling her cookies. She purchased a website, stocked up on the ingredients, and even learned how to write invoices for customers. Things have been going so well for Divitto that she recently started taking online delivery orders through her website.
But things weren’t always so easy for Divitto. She told WBZ-TV in Boston that she faced many rejections before finally making the decision to open her own business. Often being told she had commendable qualities but simply wasn’t the right fit, Divitto said of her job hunting experience, “It’s very upsetting to me. It’s very hard to find a paying job for people like me who have special needs.”
After multiple rejections, Divitto took matters into her own hands and decided she would prove other people wrong.
“She’s never accepted her disability,” her mother, Rosemary Alfredo, remarked, “She’s kind of stepped into this role of trying to inspire and motivate other people.”
And Divitto has even higher aspirations than simply owning her own business. She wants her cookies to be sold nationwide, in the hopes that she can employ other people with disabilities.
“I want to help more people with disabilities. It would be a great feeling to hire them,” Divitto said.
Divitto already stocks her product on the shelves of one grocery store in Boston, and is currently looking for investors who can help her business grow to its potential.
Her mother says she is incredibly proud, and hopes she will be an inspiration to others with special needs.
“If there’s one thing or gift you can give any child, it’s that kind of strength," she said. "Because when doors have closed for her, she’s found a way around them or she’s found another door to open that might be an even greater path for her.”