“Come to me with solutions, not just problems.” This is something I tell my team all the time. In our business, and our world, we encounter problems every day, but the question is – what do we do with the problems we encounter?
The story of Collette Divitto and Collettey’s Cookies is an inspiring example of turning problems into solutions, rather than focusing on the problem.
After graduating from a LIFE program at Clemson University, Collette spent three years trying to find a job. Interview after interview, she was told, “We enjoyed meeting you Collette, but we don’t think you’re a good fit for our company right now.”
Collette was born with Down Syndrome, and each organization she interviewed with saw her disability as a problem. However, Collette saw a solution. She decided to focus her time, entrepreneurial spirit, and passion for baking on her business Collettey’s Cookies.
“I was not only determined to show everyone how capable people with (dis)abilities are, but my mission is to open production facilities across the country and employ thousands of (dis)abled people! ONLY 17.5% of people with disabilities were employed in 2015. Most people with disabilities live on poverty level.” – Collette Divitto
Since the inception of Collettey’s Cookies, Collette has sold 50,000 cookies (and counting!) She has now hired two other people with disabilities, and she sells her cookies across eastern Massachusetts and in Santa Monica, CA. And, she now has a customer in Charlestown, MA. (MK3 has ordered our first batch!)
We don’t all face the same challenges as Collette, but every day we face problems large and small. And when problems arise here at MK3, we try to embrace Collette’s attitude. We don’t let bumps in the road get in our way. We get creative and come to the table with solutions. Just like Collette.
By Joel Kaplan, Principal