December 13, 2018

Vista Member Turns Hobby Into Business

Vista member Nicole Martines proudly shows off some of her handmade duct tape accessories at the YASBIZ Showcase back in July, where she made her first-ever sale.

Vista member Nicole Martines proudly shows off some of her handmade duct tape accessories at the YASBIZ Showcase back in July, where she made her first-ever sale.

AREAWIDE — Duct tape is more than just an adhesive tool for Vista member Nicole Martines— it’s a creative art form. It’s also the foundation of her newly established business, Crafty Nicole, which she launched last month with the help of Vista staff.

Nicole, who’s long had a passion for crafting, recently started creating duct tape accessories after watching how-to videos on YouTube. She decided to take her hobby to the next level after Kristin Juaire, Vista’s manager of Quality of Life Programming, encouraged her to sell her crafty wares.

Using a variety of colored and patterned tape, Nicole creates large and small wallets, flower pens and hand-braided bracelets.

“The pens are my favorite,” said Nicole, a Clinton resident. “They take longer to make, but they are the most fun.”

Nicole made her first-ever sale on July 24, at the YAZBIZ Showcase hosted at Vista’s Madison campus. YASBIZ is a network of Young Adult Service programs from around Connecticut that help individuals with disabilities launch their own small business ventures.

Since the YASBIZ event, Nicole has sold out of her original inventory. She’s been making more pieces in her spare time— when she’s not hard at work with the Ventures Business Services cleaning crew.

Aside from her duct tape creations, Nicole also makes loom bracelets for fun. She even teaches her peers how to make them. Her other hobbies include gymnastics, golf and skiing.

For more information about Nicole’s products or to make a purchase, email Sharon Grogan at sgrogan@VistaVocational.org.

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