A flower shop with a nurturing environment – ​​Daily Local

WEST CHESTER — Although Kati Mac Floral Designs caters primarily to the public, it also provides a welcoming workplace for six employees with developmental disabilities.

With a salaried team of four mentally disabled, and two interns, the non-profit store located at 36 S. High St., took possession on June 1, 2021.

Every employee performs every task in an environment where people with intellectual disabilities can learn and grow.

Elaine Scott watches her daughter Emily Scott hold a white rose at Kati Mac Floral Designs in West Chester. (BILL RETTEW- (MEDIANEWS GROUP)

“It’s a comfortable place where individuals can be supported and learn about the flower business,” said Elaine Scott, co-owner and manager of Kati Mac. “For some, it is difficult to find an interesting job.

“Not every employer will take the time to train or be patient with this skill set.”

Scott’s 25-year-old daughter is a new hire at the florist. She recently completed an associate degree from West Chester University through the RAM Initiative program.

Mother and daughter team Elaine, left, and Emily Scott work with roses at Kati Mac Floral Designs in West Chester. (BILL RETTEW – MEDIANEWS GROUP)

She was mum on what she was going to do with her earnings, while only saying she was saving money for a “special surprise”.

She said the job made her “feel special.”

Colleen Brennan is co-owner of Kati Mac. She particularly enjoys the environment where more than half of the staff, people with intellectual disabilities, can learn, contribute to the community and grow.

Scott and Brennan first met at a support group Scott started 24 years ago, Chester County Down Syndrome Interest Group. Both share a common vision of the workplace.

Years of fundraising led to the creation of the non-profit flower shop.

“We want our community to see how people with developmental disabilities can contribute to society in meaningful ways,” Brennan said.

The florist services everything from weddings to funerals. All employees contribute.

“It’s not just menial work, but important work for our success,” Brennan said.

“It’s so exciting to be part of someone’s special day,” Scott said.

The two intern employees are part of the Discover program, a partnership with the Chester County Intermediate Unit. Postgraduate students are allowed to stay in school for three years after turning 18 and graduating to learn and develop skills.

Interns attend the Transitional Living Program located on Gay Street, where they learn independent living skills.

“We have support from the post-graduation employment program,” Scott said. “It’s community-based and supports our mission.”

Christy Rainey is responsible for managing people with special needs. She enjoys the work, especially seeing the fulfillment received by the workers.

Salesperson Amy Smith enjoys seeing her colleagues interact with the community.

To contact Kati Mac, call 610-431-9414. For more information, visit www.katimacfloraldesigns.com or follow on Instagram @Katimacfloraldesigns.

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