Creator of Seanese- an A-wear-ness T-shirt company.
#Seanese #ItCouldHappen #GabisGrounds #Brewingempowerment
If you watched the show ‘Born This Way’ on TLC over the last few years, you may already know who Sean McElwee is. He went on the show, along with 6 others, to demonstrate that people with Down Syndrome are like everyone else. He shared his dreams, successes and challenges with us from December 2015 until December 2019.
In September of 2017, Sean and his mother, Sandra, launched his company ‘Seanese’. Their goal is to celebrate Down Syndrome in a fun and wearable way. He wants to raise awareness that being born with differences is ok. He has been donating 10% of his company’s profits to various charities that help families with Down Syndrome since the company’s inception. He is a believer in giving back to the organizations that have helped him and his family. Sean’s newest mission is the Welcome Baby Onesie Mission. For every shirt purchased, $1 goes towards purchasing onesies. The onesies are then donated to Down Syndrome Organizations for their new parent baskets.
The story behind his company’s name tells you a lot about Sean’s outlook on life. When he was growing up, his family would need to translate what he was saying to others. He and his family called Sean’s special speech Seanese. Years later, when Sean was thinking of names for his company, it seemed like the perfect way for him to express himself.
As President and Chief Creative Officer, the final shirt ideas and phrases come from Sean. Every shirt is designed with a message to make you laugh, Sean’s favourite thing, and to highlight his inclusive beliefs. Some examples of the messages he puts on his shirts are ‘Awesome is on the 21st chromosome’ and ‘How can you make a difference if you aren’t different’.
His positive outlook on life doesn’t stop there. He also works as a keynote speaker sharing the message that ‘It could happen’. Sean tells the story of how he has been able to live his dreams. He’s been on tv and started a business. He’s living on his own and travelling the world. Down Syndrome hasn’t stopped him and he wants others to know that it doesn’t have to stop them either.
Someone who shares his mission is Sean’s friend, Gabi Angelini, owner of Gabi’s Grounds. They are both on a mission to bring attention to how independent and capable, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be.
Gabi’s Grounds in working on empowering people with differences in another way. Purchasing one of her well-thought-out gift boxes or monthly coffee subscriptions will help her provide quality jobs for those with disabilities. She is saving up to open a location where she can employ those that would otherwise struggle to find a place to work. Gabi has plans to make it an inclusive place for the community to come together for fun events, like a dance party or karaoke, and nourishment for your heart, soul and stomach. Click here to see the coffee and gift options available. Buy one for yourself, send one as a gift or make a donation to their Go-Fund-Me account.
Written by: Jenica Veley, RVT