“Throw kindness around like confetti.” It’s a quote I have heard countless times, before: it’s even in a frame in my office. And, these are two things that 31-year-old Dave Schmidt has in abundance: kindness…and confetti. Lots of confetti!
Dave was born with Down’s Syndrome, but he does not allow this to define him. When I ask him to introduce himself, he simply says: “I am 31. I make confetti. I love dogs and wrestling and sport.”
Logging onto Dave’s online confetti shop instantly puts a smile on my face, as I take in the happy, bright colours and – of course – Dave’s infectious grin on the home page. He started making confetti a few years ago after his sister-in-law Derryn, a photographer, showed him how. He made piles, upon piles, of confetti and his family soon noticed the undeniable joy this brought him. Derryn helped him turn his passion into a business, and Dave’s Shop was launched.
Dave has enjoyed the journey thus far, having sold a considerable amount of confetti. “I was not nervous launching my shop. I love it,” he says. “It’s been good. I am having fun, and I’m selling a lot of confetti!”
He lives with his parents in Glenwood, but Dave spends much time with his brother Mark, and Derryn, at their home in Simbithi. “He is a huge part of our family and we love having him at our house. He helps cook dinner, plays with his niece, Ellie, and our dog, Luna, and adds a lot of fun to our day,” Derryn shares. Dave is also fond of playing golf, and showing Ellie how to fish on the Estate. “He loves to cut confetti, and would do it from sun up, to sun down, if he could.” Everyone in the family helps with aspects of the business, but Derryn says Dave is (and loves to be) the boss. “He often reminds us of this, which makes us all giggle.”
What matters most to Dave, though, is spreading happiness. “I like to cut confetti with my ear phones in, and then I can watch videos on YouTube. I like sending my orders. Everyone likes it, and that makes me happy.” He has fresh plans for his business: “I want to keep making lots of confetti, and to add more colours. We want to try eco confetti soon; I am collecting leaves to test.”
Dave graciously shared a message of inspiration to anybody who may feel afraid to take on a new project: “Just do it, and have fun.” And, his rules for success are just as impactful: “wake up happy, and work hard, and always say thank you.”
Just like that.
You may visit Dave’s Shop here.