The Kindness Cause envisions a world where kindness, generosity, and helping others is the norm. We’ve put together a blog series that highlights incredible people that share our values and are making an impact in the communities they serve. Collette Divitto, owner of Colletteys, true to her company’s tagline, is “changing the world one cookie at a time.”
Born in 1990 with Down Syndrome, Collette knows firsthand the struggles that people with disabilities have. She made it her mission to have her cookie company create jobs for other people with disabilities. Her story has inspired many, and she has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, Inside Edition, BBC, CBS Evening News, ABC World News, People Magazine, and much other print and television media outlets worldwide. Collette has sold over 550,000 cookies to date and currently employs 15 people, several with disabilities. Collette also has a nonprofit called Collettey’s Leadership Org. where she mentors and teaches workshops for others with challenges. A percentage of cookie profits goes to workshops and educational programs.
The Kindness Cause recently had the opportunity to interview Collette. Read more about this inspiring businesswoman.
Hi, Collette! Your story has inspired many. What led you to start Colletteys?
I was born in 1990 with Down Syndrome and have been creating my own recipe for cookies for fun since I was very young! I graduated from Clemson University LIFE program and thought my life was going to be great. After three years of trying to find a job, I would get the same response…that “I was not a good fit.” This rejection was very disappointing to me, but I would not let it get me down. I had to find a way to make money so I could live independently. I was determined, so I decided to try to sell my cookies to a local market. They loved them and placed an order for 100 packages. That was in 2016 and I now have 15 employees and create jobs for people with struggles, and I have sold over 550,000 cookies.
That is truly amazing, and it’s good to see you successful at serving with radical empathy–one of our pillars at The Kindness Cause. How do you define kindness?
It means being respectful and caring for others. Being nice and putting others first sometimes.
You have made it a point to provide jobs to people with disabilities at Collettys and offer workshops for others to grow with Collettys Leadership Org. Why do you think inclusivity and positive-impact organizations are necessary for the marketplace?
Because God created all of us–not to judge one another or think we are better than anyone. We should always, always include one another and understand not to judge!
You have a strong presence online and have had lots of media coverage. As an influencer, how are you leveraging your platform for good?
I show people how a person with a disability has real meaning and purpose in the world and can be an amazing employee.
The Kindness Cause has a mission to provide an informed charitable shopping experience. As a conscious consumer yourself, why is it important to know what causes your purchases contribute to?
I like to support other people that have challenges or are supporting challenges in this world. That is the most important thing to me since I have experienced that myself and every day I am so grateful for people supporting me. So I want to do the same!
Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Can you share with our readers how they can support your good works?
Thank you! Check out my TV series on Peacock called Born for Business and my YouTube web series called "Underestimated."
Shop Collettys at www.colletteys.com