Making jewellery has always been more than a passion for Chrissy Fox.
The intricate work and focus required for every necklace, bracelet and earring allows Chrissy, who has autism, to enter a comfortable and creative space without any distractions.
Now, thanks to a team of supporters, Chrissy is turning her passion into a new business in Margaret River.
With guidance from APM Communities, a provider of Local Area Coordination services for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Chrissy has been awarded a grant to help her set up a micro-enterprise and learn new business skills.
As part of the NDIS Partners in the Community program, APM Communities help people with disability in several regions in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory to access support.
It was meeting Joe from APM Communities that helped set Chrissy on the path to her new business.
Through Joe, who attended one of Chrissy’s Artzability classes, Chrissy and art therapy coordinator Sky River, were put in touch with small business advisor Catherine Chilton from Elite PA who offered to volunteer her services to Chrissy.
They were also introduced to jewellery business owner Bianca Mason who offered to mentor Chrissy.
Together the team supported Chrissy in applying for a Nexus Arts Grant by DADDA, who help people with disability to access culture and arts.
Chrissy was successful and received a $2,500 grant to set up her own micro-enterprise.
“This is a success story of what can be achieved with collaboration from others in community,” said Joe, who is part of APM’s Community Capacity Building team and works with businesses and organisations to improve support and local services for people with disability.
Chrissy is now looking at growing her business with a new website and a regular stall at Margaret River’s local market.
“It’s fun,” Chrissy said. “I go into my own little bubble.”
Chrissy is also enjoying the independence and freedom of earning her own money after struggling to find employment due to her autism.
“I’ve never been able to handle being told what to do by anyone which makes it difficult to hold a job.”
Chrissy said she hopes to grow her micro-enterprise into a bigger business and earn enough money to not have to rely on support payments.
For more information about supporting people like Chrissy or accessing NDIS and other support for people with disability, contact APM Communities on 1800 276 522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.