Georgia’s employment journey leads to the creation of a sensory-friendly bath bomb line.
Image: Georgia and her mum at their Witchy Bath Bomb stall with their bath products.
Georgia has started a magical business start-up with her mum and Young People's Employment Pathways (YPEP) employment coach, Eduardo, by her side.
Having your heart set on a job and not getting it is heartbreaking, and this is something people with disability who are looking for work have to face regularly.
Life Without Barriers’ Disability Employment Pathways provides young people with disability support to gain job-ready skills and find meaningful employment, and this includes navigating the emotional setbacks along the way.
Georgia is in the YPEP program. Together with Eduardo, her Employment Pathways Coach, she mapped out what her career goals were, what areas she was interested in and what skills she needed to build on.
“I’ve known Eddie for a while now. He's my employment pathways coach and he's been helping me to get my adult documents set up and to help me try and find a job.”
Georgia told Eduardo she wanted to work in a café – helping with food prep and making coffee, so Eduardo supported her to find a suitable role. He found a café that wanted to hire staff inclusively, and they wanted to meet Georgia. Things looked positive for Georgia.
“One morning, Eddie came by and I was expecting to get the job." Georgia shared.
"Eddie gave me the news that I didn't get the job. They said ‘We love your resume but we cannot offer you a position in the kitchen because that position was just filled. We can offer you a cleaning job.’ I just felt an overwhelming sense of rejection,” said Georgia.
Georgia found the setback extremely hard to deal with. It brought on feelings of anxiety; she did not want to leave her home, and at one point, found it hard to leave her room.
Eduardo teamed up with Georgia’s mum, Lesley, to help Georgia through this tough time. Then Lesley had a great idea.
“I completely just stopped looking for jobs. And my mum could see that. Mum was doing the bath products business and she asked me ‘Do you want to do this together?’” Georgia said.
Lesley added, “I had started the business for my youngest, who's got sensory issues - all three of my children are autistic. My youngest daughter seemed to like the concept of bath time as it was quite relaxing for her.”
Georgia took up the challenge and the products started to take shape.
“They are called Witchy Bath Bombs because they’re a bit witchy. Some are to do with seasons, the witch wheel of the year and the phases of the moon,” she said.
“My favourite one has to be the Amethyst Crystal Bath Bomb, the first one in my own little line I'm creating called 'Crystal Bombs'.
"It has shimmering bath crystals the colour of amethyst on top, mimicking crystals growing on top of it. I just thought of it from the top of my head, and I let my creativity go.
“I wanted to do bombs that relax me, like when I am having an experience of sensory overwhelm.
"The Crystal Bombs have a crystal embedded in them that you can hold on to and it is calming. The oils that are chosen are compatible with the crystals. Like, sandalwood oil is very compatible with amethyst crystal, and the rose quartz bomb is going to have Ylang Ylang oil extract.
"The smells and colours are calming and the way it feels in the water is really, really nice - it just adds a nice texture to the water, which I really like. When I am feeling heightened, they calm me. They work wonders,” said Georgia.
Eduardo supports Georgia on her new goal of setting up the business. He works with her on budgets, marketing, administration and creating spreadsheets.
“Eddie’s been helping me get my head around it all and helping me get set up. I'm pretty thankful he's helping out with this cause I don't really know much about small businesses and I’m a bit scared.
"I’m worried about starting this due to my lack of knowledge, but now I'm feeling alright with it now and I feel like I can do this, you know,” said Georgia.
“Georgia’s been taking responsibility and making this idea a reality. She sends me messages regularly saying ‘This is what I have been doing.’ We have done things like getting the tax file number ready.“ Said Eduardo.
As part of her launch phase, Georgia took Witchy Bombs to Life Without Barriers’ Hand-to-Hand craft shop in Newcastle Mall.
“Putting our products in the shop was a fun and positive experience,” said Georgia.
“Georgia was outside in the community, and she was happy to be there.” Eduardo added.
Eduardo also works with Georgia to grow her skills in other areas she will need throughout her working life.
“In the future, Georgia might think ‘OK, do I want to keep doing this?’ So we look at how we are going to set up goals after this experience.
"It’s about a career path and exploring what options are available. Before she wasn't in a good place, but now she has had time to process everything and she's getting back to a good headspace,” said Eduardo.
Eduardo found and helped Georgia enrol in a four-week recycling art program that gives her the opportunity to discover what she is good at in arts.
“I've always had a real interest in art. It's a really big hobby of mine. I think I was around 12 when I first started. I was in a really dark place because a family member passed away. I was grieving and I didn't really know how to express that grief." Said Georgia.
"So I just picked up a pencil and a notebook and started drawing my feelings out. So, yeah, since then, I've just been drawing.
“I kind of want to pursue art as a career at some point in the future. And the good thing about this art program is when you paint something, you have a choice to take it home or have it hung on the wall in the art program building or for it to be sold for like money and stuff.
"There’s a mini art exhibition and people can look at your art and buy it. That could be a start of a small art career for me, which I'm excited about and I'm willing to try out,” explained Georgia.
More here: Young People's Employment Pathways (YPEP)
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