The holiday season was full of good cheer for vocational artisans at Special Tree who sold a record number of their handcrafted works at various local events. Holiday shoppers swooped up affordably priced furniture, ceramics, jewelry, birdhouses, cutting boards, and dried organic herbs – all handmade by clients through InPro Enterprises, Special Tree’s vocational rehabilitation program that helps ease individuals with brain injury and other severe disabilities back to work.
Clients and vocational support staff kicked off their holiday sales season at Re:Con, an annual conference for rehabilitation professionals in Michigan which includes a Micro Enterprise Mall for small local businesses. “This was our fifth year at the Micro Enterprise Mall so our clients have built up a large base of repeat customers,” said Rene Dell, Special Tree Associate Director of Vocational Services. Conference attendees purchased $800 worth of handmade items, an InPro sales record. “The clients always get such great feedback on their products,” she said. “Our booth has become so popular that conference organizers doubled our booth space at the Mall this year.”
In addition to a very successful holiday sale just for Special Tree staff, clients also had a unique opportunity to sell their wares at the D:Hive Small Business Saturday Bazaar held on November 29, 2014 in Detroit. “We had a great turnout with a lot of networking done with other small businesses around the metro Detroit area,” said Rene. InPro Enterprises also got some air time on WXYZ-TV, who broadcast an interview from the event with Joe Richert, II, Special Tree Director of Community Rehabilitation Services, and Daniel, a client in the vocational program. Watch the news clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlGx-S0J9Xg.
Now in it’s fifth year, InPro Enterprises helps clients to develop valuable job skills through meaninful work experiences. Clients work one-on-one with a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor who identify a client's abilities, interests, and goals to create an individualized vocational rehabilitation plan. InPro offers clients a wide range of hands-on, paid vocational job programs to choose including working in Special Tree’s on-site creative arts and woodworking studios, at our new greenhouse that provides year-round opportunities to grow and produce, herbs and flowers, and at an industrial operations center that provides light manufacturing services for local businesses.
“Work helps us all expand our skills, improve our health, and feel valued, respected, connected to others, and satisfied with all we do,” said director Joe Richert, II. “At InPro, our goal is to make that possible for everyone.”
To learn more, please visit InPro’s website at: http://www.inproenterprises.org/ While you’re there, be sure to check out the Products page where you can view and purchase artwork created by our clients in the art studio.