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Working At … St. Coletta’s Shop

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Opened in June, St. Coletta Shop sells fused glass items (plates, coasters, bowls, jewelry) and hand woven items -- all made by individuals with intellectual disabilities. Pictured are directors Jennifer Douglas (L) and Melissa Davis (R) with Alexis Vineyard. Photo by Nina Tisara

<i>Keeping Shop is a regular feature of the Gazette Packet. To qualify, retail shops should be locally owned or operated; new, expanding, celebrating a significant anniversary or doing something otherwise newsworthy. To nominate your business or another business, contact Mary Ann Weber, editor, Gazette Packet,<a href=mailto: maweber@connectionnewspapers.com> maweber@connectionnewspapers.com</a>.</i>

<b>Owner:</b>

St. Coletta of Greater Washington

<b>Short bio:</b>

St. Coletta of Greater Washington is a nonsectarian, nonprofit organization serving children and adults with intellectual disabilities, autism and multiple disabilities. Founded in Arlington in 1959, St. Coletta now operates a school in Washington, DC, two adult day programs in Virginia and will open an adult program in Rockville in August.

Together these programs serve over 335 individuals from all over the Washington area. A leader in special education, the goal of our programs is to help each individual become as independent as possible and be a true part of their community. Our Old Town Alexandria location serves as an adult day program as well as a St. Coletta Shop. Some of the clients work in the neighborhood at various businesses. The St. Coletta Shop also provides employment and community integration opportunities for our clients. The shop sells fused glass items (plates, coasters, bowls, jewelry) and hand woven items -- all made by individuals with intellectual disabilities.

<b>Why did you choose this particular business?</b>

Not only do our clients get to make beautiful items, but they can then get the satisfaction of selling what they make. Many of the people we serve are very talented and this gives them an outlet for their talents.

<b>What have been the advantages and/or disadvantages of operating a

business in Alexandria?</b>

St. Coletta has always loved being in Alexandria. The community has been very welcoming.

<b>Key staff: </b>

Melissa Davis and Jennifer Douglas (Directors)

<b>Description of services and/or products:</b>

Fused glass items including plates, bowls, candle holders, jewelry, coasters. Also, hand woven items including placemats, napkins, table runners, shawls, scarves, etc. Special orders taken for both the glass and woven items.