Gerry’s found his niche after learning the retail ropes

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NDIS participant, Gerry Groombridge of Kingston, who has a love for retail, has found his niche designing, making, marketing and selling products at Mosaic Support Services social enterprise, Made By Mosaic.

The proud 30-year-old, who has a mild intellectual disability, said he’s learnt so much from working at the social enterprise’s physical and online store, he’s confident it will ultimately lead to future employment in retail, a field he said he’s really passionate about.

A man with brown hair and a black collared polo top is holding up 4 bars of green soap for the camera. Behind him is a shelf with cards, candles and wheat packs.

“I love making things, selling them and talking to customers. I love everything about working here at Made By Mosaic,” he said.

“My speciality is my Lemongrass and Lemon Myrtle soap. My mum asked me to make them. She likes them, and they’ve been really popular in the shop and online.”

“At the moment I’m doing a computer skills program and a multimedia program, and I’ve been able to use my skills to do lots of jobs in the shop and to help others.”

“Now, I think I’ve practically learnt all there is to know about running a retail business. I could nearly do it with my eyes closed,” Gerry joked.

Vicky Hamblin, Mosaic’s Social Enterprise Coordinator and Charissa Leitch, Program Development Coordinator, said Gerry has thrived since he’s been involved with the store.

“I’ve been working with Gerry for about three years, and over that time I’ve seen him grow and gain so much confidence, while building his social and work skills. It’s been wonderful to watch. He’s very capable and he’s a quick learner,” Charissa said.

“Now he’s capable of doing so many different activities with others or by himself. He’s gone from typing some emails to being able to develop, make and sell products, serve customers, and use his skills to do stock counts and electronic transactions.”

Vicky said she started as the Social Enterprise Coordinator 12 months ago, and she has put a real emphasis on participant involvement and skills development.

“Everyone really enjoys working in the store. They love the community interaction, especially when we take our stall to local markets. People are really interested and ask about the products and how they are made. The guys all love to share their stories.”

Vicky said Made By Mosaic is kicking goals in multiple ways.

“It’s a win-win situation really. We’ve got participants learning skills and knowledge they need to work in retail, or to run their own business, and sales are going up. We are moving in the right direction and that makes us all really happy” she said.