I started my shop during one of the hardest times in my life. I was in a relationship with a fraudulent cheater, recently ripped off by a business partner and sober for the first time in 14 years causing the horrific experience of feeling the full effect of my mental illness and childhood for the first time. I also had to cope with movies, friends, AA attendees, everyone saying "family's all you need". I'd heard the saying before, maybe it used to be easy to ignore but my newly sober mind noticed it, and played it on repeat in my head every time I heard it.
All I had left was an Uncle and a Grandpa that I almost never spoke to. All the "friends" I considered my family were drunks that didn't care about me and I'd had to set them loose if I was ever going to stay sober. Unfortunately my mental health issues are too severe for me to have my own kids. Considering I started planning my family at 14, the year I was orphaned, I had a hard time coming to terms with this and "family is all you need" screamed louder and louder in my head as every day passed.
I knew if I didn't find a healthy way to make my life fulfilling I would have no reason to stay sober, or alive. So I stopped whining about what I'd never have, and focused on what I could have. I initiated a closer relationship with my beloved Grandpa and in return I've received a families worth of support from a single, amazing human being. My life goal was to be a philanthropist, but alcoholic me was a real ding dong and tried to get there buying lotto tickets and day dreaming of how I could help others with the money. Sober me is still a bit of a ding dong daydreamer, but a more logical one. I started this business with the goal of using the proceeds to start other businesses, each one will infinitely fund a specific charitable endeavor. I also get the healing benefit of helping others with my first business, plus donating 3% of profits!
I have big dreams of creating a self sustainable property with affordable housing and employment opportunities for my fellow people with Moderate to Severe Autism AND/OR Sensory Processing Disorder. As horrible as it is to be orphaned, no hardship has caused as many struggles as finding housing and employment that doesn't negatively impact my physical and mental health.
That is the reason I ended up homeless for 18 months while running this business. For years and despite many moves, I had issues with rentals becoming noisy after I moved in, impacting my ability to sleep, decompress or work in an ideal environment in my own home. On top of that I was pushing my self, working the kind of hours that could burn out anyone, in environments that were far from ideal for a person with Autism or SPD. I got to the point were I knew I had to quit one of my jobs; either the one that paid my rent or the business that could make me a philanthropist one day.
The choice was clear and I spent the majority of the next 18 months living in my small truck working in my storage unit late at night half the week, and the other half in a hotel making products and packing orders. Many years of poor sleep, the effects of living in public with a Processing disorder and long term autism burnout led to Psychosis, I still can't comprehend how I or my business survived. Fortunately I disassociated and can't remember most of it, but I came out the other side with a stronger understanding of severe mental health issues and this strengthened my drive to help those people someday.
April 2020, my beloved Grandfather gave me his first Stimulus check and I was able to bounce back from homelessness and primarily work from my new townhouse and recuperate. It took another year to move again, this time in a home with normal noise levels most days and after 6 years of hard work and ultimate sacrifice I now have a home and work environment that almost never causes a mental health crisis. This means I get to focus on my goals with more energy, time and clarity. I look forward to serving this planet, the animals and the humans more and more every year!