Young businesswoman blooms despite disability
Owner and operator of Floral Oasis Designs, Vinette Cowans, is hoping that her business venture will be an inspiration to persons who suffer from various disabilities.
She told THE WEEKEND STAR that a few years ago, when she graduated from May Pen High School in Clarendon, she struggled to get a job. Things were even more difficult for the now 22-year-old who was diagnosed with polio that limited her mobility and resulted in her using a wheelchair.
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The virus is spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (e.g. contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
To pass time, Cowans said she attended floral arrangement classes.
"I really started the class because I was bored. Little did I know that I was going to fall in love with it as each flower tells its own little story," she said.
Floral Oasis Designs was officially opened last October, and Cowans said that her business is gradually growing.
"Like any other business, it has its ups and downs, but there are days when it's really profitable. I cater to just about anyone who need flowers for themselves, partners, offices, or persons who need them for funerals and weddings," she said.
The budding entrepreneur also stressed that being disabled doesn't mean that a person cannot be successful.
"Your circumstances do not define who you are, and at the end of the day, you can't sit down and feel sorry for yourself. One cannot let a disability determine the future that he/she will have. Despite who I am or who I have become over the years, I am going to rise above it," Cowans said.
"I want to use my business as a platform to show the disabled community that they can rise above people thinking that we are the minority, and I am looking towards employing persons who are in a similar position as myself. I just want all of us to have our preferred place in society," she said.