Collette Devitto says the secret to her company’s cookie recipe is love. It’s her way of pushing out all the haters in her life. “I think that all of that rejection for her made her say I’ll show them,” her mom said. The 26-year-old from Boston has Down syndrome.
The kitchen always makes her happy. So when frustration hit, Collette started her own baking business. At first only one grocery store would stock her baked goods. Now she has 4,000 orders to fill across the country.
Collette Divitto has been baking for friends and family ever since she was a little girl. As her passion grew, she knew her place was in a kitchen.
When she turned 22, she began applying for baking jobs all over the Boston area. The rejections began to take a toll on Divitto.
“Many people who interviewed me for jobs said I was really nice but not a good fit for them,” said Divitto “It was really hurtful and I felt rejected a lot.”
Divitto began to feel self-conscious about her Down Syndrome and wondered if that was the reason she couldn’t find a job.
Despite these rejections, she decided not to let them dissuade her from pursuing her passion.
With the help of her mother and her sister, the three of them set up a company with her called Collettey’s.
After the local news ran a story on Collettey’s, orders from local businesses poured in. By December of 2016, she had 10,000 orders to fulfill!
“My biggest success so far is how big my company is growing, which means I can start hiring people with and without disabilities,” Divitto says about her successful business.
Divitto’s mom, Rosemary, believed in her daughter’s talents, and explains that she never saw her as different from anyone else.
Divitto also has words for people looking to follow their goals.
“Never give up. Don’t let people make you sad or feel rejected. Stay motivated and follow your dreams.”
Collette is clearly a major inspiration to people with disabilities, and equally so to all those striving for success, despite their setbacks or circumstances.
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