There’s a very special feeling associated with opening the mailbox and finding a hand-addressed envelope with your name on it. You know it’s something special meant just for you. And Dianna wants each and every card she makes to carry that feeling.
As a Vaya Health member with an intellectual and/or developmental disability, owning a business and being able to control her own decisions is important to Dianna. Her microenterprise, D’s Notes, specializes in crafting handmade cards using various techniques, including ink stamping, stickers and painting. If there’s a holiday for it, Dianna has probably made a card to go with it. She also makes invitations, baby shower, get well, birthday, and congratulations cards. But there’s one thing they all have in common – Dianna’s happiness.
“It’s like she’s sharing her happiness with other people,” said Allison, her support staff. “I’ve seen her get really excited, especially when the holidays roll around and she gets to make new cards. And when she’s making them for a baby shower or something like that, she gets excited for the couple. I see that in the work she puts into the cards.”
Making cards is something she picked up a long time ago. She’s always enjoyed making art – from painting to woodwork – but cards are her favorite because they make other people feel happy.
“They love buying them,” said Dianna. “They like my artwork.”
The happiness put into them spreads to everyone involved. There’s just as much joy in picking out a card for someone as there is in receiving one, especially when they’re handmade. And when you buy one from D’s Notes, you get to give back a little piece of that happiness by supporting her independence.
“Like the rest of us, it’s our right and our privilege to work, earn our own money and support ourselves,” said Allison. “Just because Dianna is in a wheelchair should not automatically disqualify her from the same type of life the rest of us enjoy. Her being able to participate like everyone else is so important.”
D’s Notes are sold in restaurants and stores. You can purchase them at HomeGrown, West End Village and The Littlest Birds in Asheville.
View other Vaya member businesses and read their stories on our Microenterprise Directory.