Article by John Brodie
Jessica is a thirty-something charming young woman with developmental disabilities that keep her perpetually a little kid in heart and mind. As delightful and filled with love as Jessica is, the drawback is that she requires someone by her side almost all the time. However, she, like other individuals with special needs, has the desire and capability to excel at things she is involved in. The ScentsAbility story is about how her mom, Bonnie Schmidt, came up with the idea for a candle making company that could employ Jessica and other individuals like her.
Several years later the company is still going strong; but instead of making candles in the house, they have a factory and a small store. ScentsAbility was approved as a nonprofit organization in 2013 and they have almost 20 young adults in their program. The company was recently awarded the Platinum Business Award from CareerSource Broward, given a local and state tribute and received a United States Congressional Proclamation that they have proudly framed in their store. ScentsAbility has also been featured on local broadcast station WPLG's Heart of South Florida segment. Most recently Bonnie Schmidt and ScentsAbility received “The Designer of Reality” Award for creating a vehicle to positively transform lives and provide a path to a satisfying and happy future for those associated with the company.
Here are some more thoughts from Bonnie: “With Jessica's success, we realized the potential for ScentsAbility to help other families. We began with Jessica's friends, and are now working on expanding our program to include other schools and organizations that assist those with developmental disabilities. ScentsAbility is not simply a business that sells candles - it is an opportunity to make a difference.”
“We hope that someday ScentsAbility will be the vehicle that helps hundreds, even thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities become more active, independent, develop discipline, and productive - and be proud of what they can achieve. We are so proud of Jessica and the entire ScentsAbility Team and we are well on our way to fulfilling our mission to "light the path to independence…one candle at a time:"
You can visit "Jessica's Candle Shoppe" and ScentsAbility at http://ScentsAbility.org. Thank you Bonnie Schmidt for being such a positively wonderful “Designer of Reality”.