By Autumn Aurelia: For Complete Post, click here…
A year has passed since I wrote my last Mighty Gift Guide and in that time, I’ve spoken to numerous makers and small business owners about the weirdness that has been 2021. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when many countries went into lockdown, there seemed to be an increased appreciation for shopping small and local, but as we moved out of lockdowns and physical shops started to reopen, that support has most definitely wavered.
As a chronically ill small business owner, I know, first-hand, how crucial the success of my business is to me. Sure, many small business owners can say that, but for so many of us living with a disability or illness (whether that be physical or mental) our businesses came about because we were unable to find a job in the more “traditional” way.
Physical health limitations aside, I’ve spent the past 10 years unable to leave the house alone due to complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and, as such, my partner (who also acts as my carer) accompanies me everywhere I go. (Imagine trying to find a job alongside your carer.) Factor in my regular flare-ups with endometriosis and fibromyalgia, it was quite honestly an impossible task trying to find an employer who would cater to my needs, which is why I decided the only way I’d be able to find a job was if I created one for myself.