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.
From the beginning, Jessica took her commitment very seriously. She tirelessly worked with us to test different waxes, pourers, wicks, scents, labels and other materials to determine the most effective process to enable Jessica to work independently, efficiently and safely. Jessica quickly mastered the techniques of pouring and wicking, using the modified equipment, and each day we became more comfortable and skilled in color matching and applying proper amounts and types of scents. We were ready to start selling. Jessica’s stepdad designed and built a small kiosk resembling an old peddler’s cart with a sign reading “Jessica’s Candle Shoppe”. When Jessica saw the kiosk filled with her homemade candles, she proudly announced, “This is my candle shop”!
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:”