When she couldn't find a job, Boston-based entrepreneur Collette Divitto took matters into her own hands.
Divitto, who has Down syndrome, always had a passion for baking. Earlier this year, she launched a cookie business called Collettey's and so far, demand for her âamazingâ baked goods has skyrocketed.
Divitto is not alone in her unsuccessful quest to find workâjust 35 percent of people with disabilities in the U.S. are employed.
"It's very upsetting to me," she toldÂ CBS. "It's very hard to find a paying job for people like me who have special needs."
Today, Divitto is a job creator. Since Dec. 1, she has received orders for more than 25,000 cookies.
Her goal is to soon begin hiring people with disabilities to help run her company.
âThat's my dream. It would be a great feeling to hire them," she said.
Her sister chimed in: âIt's so much more than her cookies. It's about getting jobs for everyone who deserves jobs.â
Divitto never accepted her disability, according to her mother, Rosemary Alfredo. When family members tasted her delicious cookies, they encouraged her to expand her circle of customers.
âWe kept telling her, âThis is a really good cookie. You could sell this,'â Alfredo said.
Based on the number of orders Divitto has gotten, it seems thousands of other people agree.
With startup funding from the Institute of Community Inclusion, which aims to ensure that people with disabilities can participate in community activities, Divitto launched a website and stocked up on ingredients.
Today, she takes online delivery orders and is looking for an investor. Divitto is also working on getting her cookies into major food stores.
"I haven't slept at all," she told CBS. "I am really amazed at the support for my company and my cookies."
She's already racking up tons of kudos from fans on FacebookââYou are REMARKABLE Collette!â one man wrote. Another woman posted, âI can't wait to try your cookies!!â
Don't even think about asking for the recipe for her cookiesâit's a secret!
[H/t: Good Housekeeping]