It started over 10 years ago, with only a paper shredder and a mission…to offer meaningful work to adults with disabilities. At that time, and still true today, employment choices for people coming out of school into the workforce are very limited. Though more traditional options such as labeling, packaging, and other contract work is available and a good option for many, it is not for everyone, and we knew more choices was better. People with profound disabilities are often overlooked as only having “recreational” options for activities, and unable to participate in paid employment. We knew there had to be a better way. Introducing these individuals to crafting, at first through papermaking and card making, gave everyone a chance to participate in a group setting on the projects and gain the opportunity to get a paycheck, regardless of how severe or mild their disability. The individuals in the programs embraced these activities so whole-heartedly, we decided to pursue a business.
In 2003 the company hired a full-time product designer to introduce new ideas to the product line. Within a year, the product line had grown to 45 different products, including scrapbooks, journals, bath and body items, and pet toys. Besides offering many more choices for daily activities to the individual artists, the overall quality improved with the inception of the Quality Control group, a group made up of quality minded individuals who were known for their attention to detail, and their interest in the saleability of the products. With the growth of the business, we also saw growth in the individuals….moving from just coming to work and “staying busy” to taking pride in the production of the product line, and connecting in a real way to the community through the sales of these products.
Before Studio 8 Ten was ever a glint in our eyes, these products have been sold all over Las Vegas at Farmer’s Markets and small crafting venues. In 2004, with the help of our friends at KVVU-TV- Fox 5, we participated in out first major craft festival, “Art in the Park” in Boulder City. Our sales skyrocketed, with our first customer coming to our booth before it was even completely set up! We have been a fixture at the event ever since, as well as participating in many others all-year round.
Studio 8 Ten is more then a gift shop, it is a testament to the hard work the individuals have put into every aspect of their business. It is proof that people with disabilities can do much more then they are often given credit for, and that they have the same types of dreams, goals, and talents as the rest of their community. Thanks to our Board of Directors, our Management, Support Staff, the Desert Regional Center, our friends at the United Way, and the numerous sponsors, friends in the media, artists, parents, and members of our community who make Studio 8 Ten a reality for these individuals everyday.Donate