Sweet success inspires entrepreneur to speak out about inclusion
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Wednesday, January 11, 2017 2:32PM MST
Sheena Small dreamed of owning a candy store ever since she was a young girl.
Sheena and her father were discussing her future while taking a drive in their truck one day and the idea was sparked.
“He said, that, hey what about a candy store? What about owning a candy store? And I said yeah, if I wasn't in my seat belt in the truck I would be like oh yeah, jumping up and down,” said Sheena.
The dream became a reality over a decade ago when she opened Sheena's Sweets n' such in High River.
Sheena was born with a condition called William's Syndrome, a developmental disorder that produces unique personality characteristics.
She is strong on social skills and enjoys dealing with customers and suppliers.
Sheena’s mother, Orvella, shares the retail space for her baby store called Small Things and she is proud of how her daughter has prepared herself for her business career.
“As parents we needed to support that so we worked with Community Futures and Sheena just flew. When she opened the store we knew it was what she wanted to do. She caught on very quickly to the cash register and the money and knowing what products she wanted in the store,” said Orvella.
Sheena has now become a spokesperson for inclusion because of her business success and she enjoys making speeches.
“I made all speeches in Toronto. I went to a conference in Toronto and I also went to a couple of interviews at, couple of speaking engagements at Inclusion Alberta in Edmonton,” she said.
Orvella was inspired to work with other parents to start a support organization called Foothills Snaps, which stands for special needs association for parents and siblings. She's had opportunities to share Sheena’s story around the world.
For making her dream a reality and showing what can be accomplished, Sheena Small is our Inspiring Albertan this week.
(With files from Darrel Janz)