If you’ve visited a Blossom booth at one of our many regional events, you’ve most likely encountered our crew of budding entrepreneurs. Each one of these talented team members is part of the Quest Kids Academy Work-Study Program and crucial part of Blossom’s success! The program offers a learning opportunity for high-functioning students ages 16-22 with developmental disabilities. The main goal of the program is for students to learn new skills through the utilization of real work tasks to prepare for future employment.
There are six students in the program so far, but the goal is to expand in the future. Students learn how a business is run through their help with Blossom. They understand that working collaboratively as a team is necessary to complete recurring Blossom tasks such as product and packaging inventory, wrapping soaps, labeling products, and restocking soaps at Eola General in Orlando.
The biggest skill the students are learning is communication. As an executive functioning skill, it is transferrable to any job (and life in general), therefore invaluable to the students. When they ask for clarification during a new training, that’s when it is apparent that they have successfully acquired a new skill.
Dylan is a student in Quest Kids Academy’s Work-Study Program. “I do Blossom tasks with Ms. Frances and Ms. Lauren. I can help students fold Blossom shirts. I like wrapping Blossom soaps! I can also take inventory. I can count Blossom soaps to make sure that’s the right amount. I enjoy learning how to count Blossom soaps because it makes me feel like a counting expert,” Dylan said.
With the help of these magnificent, hard-working students, Blossom is as successful as ever! Learn more about Quest Kids Academy here.
At Blossom, it’s the people on our team that make us a successful venture. James is a vital member of the Blossom team! He has been with Quest, Inc. for three years where he has expanded his skills by working with Blossom.
James’s specialty at Blossom is soap making. He also counts each bar to make sure proper inventory is accounted for and stored correctly. James has recently tried his hand at sales at local events where Blossom exhibits. “I like selling the products and talking to people about our soap and the ingredients,” James said. His favorite part of the day is when he and another Blossom team member, Rob, go on a coffee run together!
James has been hard at work making all of our artisanal products and gift baskets before the holiday season. His favorite Blossom scent is Coffee Vanilla! James says he has fun every day, and we certainly see it in his positive personality!
Thank you, James, for being such a valuable member of the Blossom team!
This holiday season, give the gift that gives back! We now offer holiday gift baskets perfect for that special someone who loves handmade, artisanal products. These baskets come in a variety of sizes and are customizable to match everyone’s favorite scents.
Our holiday gift baskets range from festive to jolly with the amount of products that you can choose in a basket! Not sure what to pick? Our most joyful basket includes 6 total Blossom goodies! Blossom holiday gift baskets can be customized to include different scents, or even your favorite Blossom scent in everything offered!
When you shop Blossom, all proceeds from your order automatically go back to Blossom to support meaningful work opportunities for the individuals with developmental disabilities that create our products. Spread a little holiday cheer with Blossom! Take a look at the full variety of gift baskets here.
If you purchase a holiday gift basket or receive one as a gift, share the joy by tagging us in a picture on Instagram orFacebook!
At Blossom, we encourage everyone to work hard to accomplish their goals. That’s why Nathan (pictured left to right: Nathan and Austin), a student in Quest Kids Academy’s Work-Study Program, has been so successful with Blossom! He is the go-to guy to help answer any questions that our customers have at our sales events. He is always enthusiastic in explaining everything there is to know about our many artisanal products.
Nathan has a lot of goals with Blossom. His biggest goal is to one day become the “President of Blossom”! He has been working very hard to prove he is capable of handling all of the tasks that are assigned to him. He was recently promoted to “Lead Trainer” where he trains and assists the rest of the students in the Work-Study Program with their special tasks. Nathan is thrilled about his new promotion and has high hopes for the future.
“Now that I am the Lead Trainer of Blossom, I can help my friends in Quest Kids Academy’s Work-Study Program do the tasks I know how to do. Training is sort of like offering help before anyone makes a mistake! It makes me feel proud! This is one step closer to becoming the President of Blossom! During the new task training session, I helped my friend Austin with the new inventory system. It was pretty amazing! I gave Austin clear directions and he did great! I also trained him how to do quality control and how to count the soaps the fast way,” Nathan said.
Nathan’s ambition with Blossom is inspiring and we’re happy to have him on the Blossom team!
We’re always looking for new ways to share our products with the community. Blossom had an amazing experience as an exhibitor at this year’s Southern Women’s Show – Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center on September 26th-29th!
By Nathan H., Student in Quest Kids Academy's Work-Study Program
Last school year, I started a new class at Quest Kids Academy called Work-Study Class. In Work-Study Class, I learned that I have to meet expectations for my job to get paid. That means that I need to pay attention during new task training, ask for clarification, complete my tasks just like my supervisor taught me, and ask for feedback after I complete a task. If I have old tasks, I have to manage my time and complete my tasks without help. My Work-Study class supervisor, Mrs. Frances, taught me how to work in job environments.
One day, I went to an important meeting with Mr. John Gill, Ms. Erica, and Ms. Brooke. After the meeting, my classmates and I started working on the Blossom project! We got tasks like wrapping soaps, inspecting soaps and checking quality control, taking inventory, updating the Excel inventory spreadsheet, and restocking soaps at a neighborhood store called Eola General.
A couple months ago, the Blossom website launched. After the launch, we got orders through the roof! People felt excited and were ordering soaps like crazy. I asked my mom share the website on Facebook with her friends and our family. After she shared the website, her friends and our family shared it with their friends and family and so on…
Over the summer, I wanted to help Blossom soar! I asked Mr. Rob if I could have training at Quest Training Center-Orlando (QTC-O), and he said “yes!” Mr. Rob said I could be the first official Blossom employee on the payroll! I felt so excited that I almost fainted. I had to get some training from Mr. Mike. He taught me how to plug the inventory on the back end of the Blossom website. He also taught me a new way of counting soaps that was different from how Mrs. Frances taught me.
A week after my first shift at QTC-O, I got my first paycheck! I felt so excited! I’m currently saving up for a Scar stuffed animal from The Lion King. I want to work every day and get more hours. The more hours I work, the more money I get! My plan is to save up for things I want, like stuffed animals, soundtracks, Legos, and video games.
My future hope is to work at QTC-O. I want to work there because it’s exciting and fun to go to work. I want to become the president of Blossom. I can achieve this by working hard and getting more hours in at QTC-O. I should also have a nice but strict leadership. I have to learn how to run a company. Finally, I will help new employees when they start working for Blossom!
At Blossom, we are committed to helping our community as well as the planet. That’s why we use seed paper to wrap each individual 5oz. bar of soap.
The idea of using seed paper blossomed from the mind of one of our soap team members, Candice. She brought up the idea to the team and it was rooted in our minds! “What kind of seeds are inside the seed paper?” you ask? Wildflower seeds! Buy a bar of soap, plant the paper and watch your wildflowers grow! Or, buy several bars of soap and plant a whole garden of wildflowers!
We grow all-natural herbs in our pesticide-free Blossom garden. In a unique attempt at helping the environment, Kelly, our Blossom mastermind, came up with the idea to use a rain barrel to water the plants in our garden. When it rains, the barrel collects the water and then gravity transfers the water into the garden beds to water our herbs. Less water wasted and happy, healthy plants. It’s a win-win!
We strive to make a difference in our planet’s health. Our eco-friendly use of seed paper wrappers and rain barrel provides a “less plastic, less waste” kind of mentality to packaging and gardening. We’re always looking for new ways in which we can update our production to help the environment. We hope other companies follow our example.
You can help the environment, too! Join us by planting your seed paper.
Instructions on how to use the seed paper (also located on every seed paper wrapper):
By Frances Torres, Resource Specialist at Quest Kids Academy
I knew my boys were ready for a challenge. They needed a project which would allow them to showcase the skills they had been learning in Quest Kids Academy’s Work-Study Class. I just wasn’t sure how to provide them with this opportunity. I knew that if an employer saw my students asking follow-up questions during new task training, asking for and applying feedback, and working together, that they would get a chance.
I’ve worked at Quest for almost 10 years and there are two things I know for sure- we are always looking out for talent and encourage the individuals we serve to pursue opportunities as they arise. But, if an opportunity does not present itself, we create one. I knew that if I kept talking about my students, their skill set, and hopes for the future, that we’d get the project we needed. And that’s exactly what happened!
After a very important meeting with Quest leadership, the boys walked away with Blossom packaging, inventory, and art tasks. Each student was placed on a team based on their preferences and strengths. Every task was meaningful and directly contributed to the overall look and quality of the product.
From the start, the boys understood this project was special. They took ownership over every task, from managing an inventory spreadsheet in Excel, to making sure the Blossom logo was centered just right on the soaps before sealing the wrapper. Blossom was their first job and they were loving every minute of it.
Throughout the school year, the boys taught us all a wonderful lesson. A job is so much more than the tasks you do every day. A job provides you the opportunity to become a better version of yourself. It’s not just about packaging and counting soap bars, inputting data in Excel, or working the Blossom stand at an event. It’s about being part of a bigger team. That’s what they love. The sense of community and acceptance. Not only are they learning meaningful skills they can carry for the rest of their lives, they are valued members of team Blossom.
At least once a week, I get this question: “Do you think I will get a full-time job at Blossom?” I love how they are thinking this way. I love how after taking on this new challenge, they believe that anything is possible. I can’t wait to see what the future brings.