Join Us in Supporting These Self-Advocates
NDSC is proud to support these enterprising self-advocates who have their own businesses!
Many have been exhibitors at our annual convention. You can learn more about each of these businesses by clicking on their logo.
Maxine creates beautiful hair accessories by hand, putting love and her signature “Sparkles” into every piece. Each artisan headband is a one-of-a-kind statement piece and by purchasing from Maxine you make a statement too.
Raquel Caramello, CEO of Raquel Beautiful, who has Down syndrome and was diagnosed with leukemia custom-designs jewelry and t-shirts, each with a special note that says “You are beautiful!” When you purchase an item from her, a portion of the proceeds goes to provide inspirational items for those that are struggling with challenges and to benefit charitable organizations.
Megan Bomgaars is a well-known self-advocate with Down Syndrome, an artist, and a rising entrepreneur. As a surface design artist, she creates original, one-of-a-kind textiles and fabrics by incorporating unusual techniques such as dyeing with ice, manipulating fiber reactive dyes, and the use of colorants.
Candidly Kind was founded in 2018 by a young entrepreneur who has used writing, drawing, and painting throughout her life to express herself. Grace Key is not only the creator of Candidly Kind but also the designer, the painter, she enters orders, makes labels for shipping, packages and ships orders, and also writes letters to accompany each order.
Trista Kutcher is an entrepreneur, influencer, artist, public speaker, and also the founder and CEO of Trista Sunshine Company. She creates hand-sewn bags, dog bandanas, and headbands with buttons for face masks.
Jacob is an advocate for the community and individuals with Down syndrome. He creates awesome, personalized hand-painted doormats
John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son venture inspired by co-founder John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome. John’s affinity for crazy socks paired with his love of making people smile made our mission clear: we want to spread happiness.
Something Extra Candle Productions is owned and operated by self-advocate friends They offer Soy wax candle creations with the goal of bringing owners peace and solitude – one candle at a time.
Employees of the Theater are known as Prospects, and we are encouraged to sparkle, shine, and transform our passions into professions. Approximately 75% of our workforce self-identifies with a disability, and we are committed to competitive and integrated employment.
Zofia used how God uniquely designed her, with Down syndrome (DS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) to become a Sensory Expert, Handcraft Artisan, and the Founder of my very own business, My Sensory Art. Zofia began creating and using sensory fidget wands in response to her own sensory needs in order to control her emotions and feel better about herself.
Taylor was born with Down Syndrome, together with her and her mom continue to discover the joy and healing power of creativity in painting different art creations on a blank canvas.
Charlie French lives in Dallas, Texas. He uses his imagination to be FREE, and paint whatever he feels like painting. Yes, he has Down syndrome but he doesn’t want to talk about that. He doesn’t want you to see that. He wants you just see him, Charlie French
Gabe is a self-employed business owner who is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He learned glass fusing while attending the Challenge New Mexico day program and has taken classes at Bullseye Glass Co.’s Resource Center in Santa Fe.
21 Candles is a small business in Wilmington, NC. Owned and operated by two individuals with Down syndrome, the business was founded to provide employment for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Chris May and is 30 years old. He has enjoyed taking pictures since he was in high school. After he passed my MCAS and graduated from high school he bought a D300 Nikon. Now he especially likes taking pictures of nature, landscapes, and animals. He also sells his photos at Cape Abilities Farm Market in Chatham and Dennis.
Connor Long is a global advocate, athlete, actor & speaker. He has been recognized by national & international advocacy organizations for his life-long work on behalf of people with differing abilities. Connor is available for Plenary & Keynote Speeches, Event Hosting & Emceeing, Conference Session Co-presenter & Panel participant, – stage, film & live performance, National Anthem, Advocacy – legislative testimony & public presentations.
Gabi’s Grounds Coffee Shop – 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.
Down for Doughnuts & our tagline is Made to Inspire. They will offer doughnuts, muffins, coffee & other assorted foods & drinks. e already have a relationship with a world-class coffee company that will set us apart from all others. Down for Doughnuts staff will consist of one full-time manager & 4-6 individuals with disabilities. The funds needed are for equipment & retrofit of a location they already have access to.
Howdy Homemade ice cream was founded on a steel conviction that the restaurant industry is about people first, then food. Tom and Manuel have worked with numerous special needs organizations to hire, train, and employ people with Down syndrome and autism.
A Little Something Extra Ice Cream is a mobile ice cream truck based in Dawson, Alabama. Founded by Michelle Norwood, the ice cream truck was created to provide a job opportunity for her son, Hunter, who has Down syndrome.
Collette, a young woman born in 1990 with Down Syndrome, was creating her own recipe for cookies for fun, but then decided to turn her passion into her own business and was determined to earn a living on her own. Collette’s employs 13 individuals with disabilities.
Joe realizes the value of good, hard work and is supported by his loving family. Poppin Joe’s Gourmet Kettle Korn can be found in Walmart, at fairs, craft shows, car shows, and other events. Poppin Joe’s™ is known not only for their delicious popcorn, but also their commitment to giving back. Poppin Joe’s Kettle Korn is involved in helping to raise funds for charitable organizations.