CraftersForLifeStore

Made by Adults with Autism & Other Special Needs

Ivyland, Pennsylvania · 285 Sales

CraftersForLifeStore

Made by Adults with Autism & Other Special Needs

Ivyland, Pennsylvania 285 Sales On Etsy since 2016

5 out of 5 stars
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Announcement   Check out these great products made by young adults with autism & other special needs including products with artwork by our 3 amazing artists. Religious prints are part of The Sean Thomas Collection By Sean Biggs

Announcement

Last updated on Jul 16, 2017

Check out these great products made by young adults with autism & other special needs including products with artwork by our 3 amazing artists. Religious prints are part of The Sean Thomas Collection By Sean Biggs

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About

Started as a high school project… Looking for a better way to teach

The Crafters For Life concept was created by Joanne Curry, a speech language pathologist in a School District in Bucks County PA. In the Fall of 2014, Joanne wanted to work on a functional project where she could encourage communication in natural settings for her students. After being denied a grant for the program, Joanne used her own money to purchase the supplies. The lead teacher in the Autistic Support class, Cemantha Giulian, was enlisted to have her class in the project and the results were better than expected. Joanne developed the procedures that the students needed to follow to make different products. This would enforce skills required to follow directions. The next step was to encourage communication and vocational skills by selling the products that they made in class to the school. And the class sold a lot of products! Joanne was reimbursed for her expenses and the class generated a nice profit which was donated to a local charity.

These teachers did not want to see this program stop when the students turned 21, so they worked with parents of two of their students to figure out a way to have it continue. Together, they formulated a plan to keep and expand the skills program in the high school and then create the infrastructure to continue the program after graduation. Crafters For Life, LLC was started in May of 2015 with the purpose of handling all of the branding, marketing, ecommerce, retail sales, and sourcing of materials used to produce the products. Crafters For Life is also tasked with partnering with existing Non-Profits who run adult day programs that could incorporate the crafts program. The adult members served by these non-profits would be paid an hourly wage by Crafters For Life, LLC for the time they spent working on products.

Mission:

Crafters For Life empowers students with Autism to create quality products for sale, with the goal of transitioning them into contributing members of a self-sufficient work force.

The goal of Crafters For Life is to teach students the skills to make the quality products sold under the Crafters For Life brand. Upon graduation at age 21, the students would then transition into an existing adult day program and continue to make the same products under the same Crafters For Life brand. Crafters For Life hopes to generate the sales that would employ a lot of individuals with special needs because nothing is better than the look of satisfaction from receiving a paycheck!

Shop members

  • Mike & Terri Grant

    Owner

    We started the company for our son, Dylan, who has autism. After realizing that job opportunities for Dylan would be scarce, our goal is to generate a paying job for Dylan and others with special needs doing something that is real.

  • Dylan Grant

    Production / Sales

    Dylan will age out of high school in 2019 at which time job opportunities will be scarce as he is non-verbal with autism. Dylan enjoys making the different products as well as going to the craft shows to sell the products

  • Sean

    Artist

    Sean produces many of the artwork that we use on our coasters and greeting cards. Sean has also produced a number of amazing religious works of art that are available in prints as part of the The Sean Thomas Collection By Sean Biggs.

  • Nicole

    Production / Sales

    Nicole is a resident of Bucks County, PA. She is on the autism spectrum and suffers from memory issues, however her outgoing personality has made her a top sales person at craft shows and a valuable member of our production team.

  • Kevin

    Artist / Sales

    Kevin will age out of high school in 2020. He has contributed amazing fire ink artwork that we use on our products. In addition, Kevin's outgoing personality helps him to be a very effective sales associate at craft shows.

  • Jack

    Production / Sales

    Jack aged out of high school in 2016 and has participated in Crafters For Life from the start. Jack makes products including custom orders as well as works craft shows.

  • Conor

    Production / Sales

    Conor is Jack's younger brother. Like Jack, Conor also contributes in production and sales. Conor's attention to detail allows him to tackle some of the more painstaking tasks in some of the products.

  • Brayden

    Artist

    Brayden is a remarkable young man on the autism spectrum. While he is our youngest artist, his "If it rains..." artwork that Brayden did at age 7 is our single top selling piece of artwork!

  • TJ

    Sales / Production

    TJ is also a resident of Bucks County, PA. He is on the autism spectrum, yet has a gift for connecting with customers. TJ is a sophomore in college studying culinary arts/

  • Julie

    Photographer

    Julie is another resident of Bucks County, PA. She is the first photographer to join our team. Her keen eye has contributed some amazing shots that are used on coasters and greeting cards.

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