Instead of getting discouraged when she couldn’t find a job after completing an academic career program at Clemson University, Collette Divitto decided to make one for herself: CEO of Collettey’s Cookies.
In 2016, Collette founded Collettey’s Cookies with the help of her mother, and has since sold over 550,000 cookies, making over $1 million in revenue. When discussing how she decided to start a cookie company, Divitto shared:
“I am really good at baking… It makes me feel happy.”
She also mentioned that she began baking at a young age, but that it really became her passion in high school.
“ I always loved baking, since I was 4 years old. From high school, I had been taking baking classes… It was a hard time for me. I had no friends, I didn’t have a social life. I got bullied, I got picked on. And that’s why I had been taking baking classes.”
Not only has Divitto found a livelihood, but one of her main goals is to provide employment for others like her.
“I really want to help these people who have a disability who can’t find jobs… There are 85 percent of people with disabilities who are unemployed… I know exactly the struggle because I was actually one of them who could not find jobs.”
Nearly 50% of the individuals employed at Collettey’s Cookies have disabilities, and Divitto has also started a non-profit organization, Collettey’s Leadership Program, to help adults with disabilities prepare to join the workforce and find jobs elsewhere. Divitto even donates a portion of all the proceeds made at Collettey’s Cookies towards the leadership program, because she is so dedicated to making the world a better place for individuals with disabilities. As she stated in a recent interview:
“No matter who you are, you can make a great difference in this world… Don’t let people bring you down … Do not focus on your disabilities. You only need to focus on your abilities.”