After Getting Rejected From Every Bakery, This Baker With Down Syndrome Opened Her Own Shop

January 13, 2017

Collette Divitto has been baking for friends and family ever since she was a little girl. As her passion grew, she knew her place was in a kitchen.

When she turned 22, she began applying for baking jobs all over the Boston area.

Down Syndrome woman opens bakery
Collette Divitto

The rejections began to take a toll on Divitto.

"Many people who interviewed me for jobs said I was really nice but not a good fit for them," said Divitto in an interview. "It was really hurtful and I felt rejected a lot."

Down Syndrome woman opens bakery
Collette Divitto

Divitto began to feel self-conscious about her Down Syndrome and wondered if that was the reason she couldn't find a job. Despite these rejections, she decided not to let them dissuade her from pursuing her passion.

With the help of her mother and her sister, the three of them set up a company with her called Collettey's.

Down Syndrome woman opens bakery
Collette Divitto

After the local news ran a story on Collettey's, orders from local businesses poured in. By December of 2016, she had 10,000 orders to fulfill!

"My biggest success so far is how big my company is growing, which means I can start hiring people with and without disabilities," Divitto says about her successful business.

Down Syndrome woman opens bakery
Collette Divitto

Divitto's mom, Rosemary, believed in her daughter's talents, and explains that she never saw her as different from anyone else. "I never raised her looking at her as if she had limitations," she explains further. I just said, ‘We all have them. We all have things we're good at, and we all have things we're not good at.' You can call them disabilities. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. We don't focus on that."

Down Syndrome woman opens bakery
Collette Divitto

Divitto also has words for people looking to follow their goals.

"Never give up. Don't let people make you sad or feel rejected. Stay motivated and follow your dreams."

(h/t) shareably

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