Nineteen-year-old Gracie Jagler may have Down syndrome, but that doesn't stop her from running her own business, Gracie's Doggie Delights.
Most teens don't have businesses of their own, but 19-year-old Gracie Jagler is the proud owner of her own dog treat business, Gracie's Doggie Delights. She also has Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder which causes growth delays and intellectual disability. There are a range of degrees to which Down syndrome affects an individual's life; Gracie is toward the middle of the range, which means that while she can't live alone, she can do more than many people with Down syndrome can.
Gracie goes to a school which helps students to find appropriate employment, but Gracie's father, John Jagler, wasn't impressed with the types of jobs offered to his daughter. So when the owner of a local store offered to let Gracie work packing freeze-dried dog treats, it seemed like a good fit, based on Gracie's love of her family's three Schnauzers. But then John had a better idea and asked if the family could buy treats at wholesale prices to resell them. And Gracie's Doggie Delights began.
After less than a year in business, Gracie's Doggie Delights has experienced great success - rare for a startup, especially in that period of time. The business began in the family's living room, then moved to the basement when more space was needed. Gracie's Doggie Delights offers freeze-dried treats including chicken, turkey and lamb hearts, and beef livers. Gracie herself helps to package up the treats, fill internet orders, and take the treats to restock shelves at Watertown's Piggly Wiggly.
And through it all, Gracie is learning important lessons about how to run a business, while establishing her independence. She's also helping dogs, and customers frequently post pictures of their dogs on the business' Facebook page.
This video provides a great look into Gracie's business:
Want to support Gracie's Doggy Delights? Be sure to check out their website.
What do you think of Gracie's endeavors? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Images via Gracie's Doggy Delights
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