ASD sons inspire mum’s new creative business
ONE Warwick woman is using a growing interest in recycled crafts to launch a new business and provide a bright future for her two sons.
Crafty Boyz, a handmade recycled paper project, was started when mum Emm Mann realised she wanted to teach her boys, who both live on the Autism spectrum, important life lessons.
Miss Mann makes colourful paper, perfect for cards and notebooks, from old paper and junk mail.
Her eldest son, known as Master E to buyers, had recently moved out of the stages of non-verbal communication.
Miss Mann found the arts and craft project was one of the few ways to help him calm down from meltdowns and frustrations of learning.
“When they had Covid lockdown, he wanted nothing to do with school,” she said.
“I would try with sight words and he would scream and throw stuff, so I started taking him outside to play tag, or count how many times a ball touched the ground.
“And I thought they couldn’t understand how you worked for money, so this may be a way to teach them money doesn’t just come to you.”
With boys ecstatic to be a part of the project, the sales process was sneakily helping teach them about maths and marketing in a way a classroom couldn’t.
“I actually let them see the accounts and show them this is the money — what we spend and what people put into our account when they buy the paper,” she said.
“I also have an inventory of book colours they go through and count stuff, and we do photo shoots and I ask them which picture looks better.”
Now, Miss Mann hopes she can build the business to the level where she can be self-employed to further care for her family.
“It is so hard as a single parent to find a job and study when I have to drop everything during the day to pick up my boy because he’s having a meltdown at school,” she said.
“If I’m able to build the business full-time, I can get it up and running, pick him up if needed, and get him to help me and calm down too.
“I do it just for them, to grow it with them so they add to it and put money away for college and those sort of things.”
To buy the handmade paper, contact Miss Man via the Crafty Boyz Facebook page.