New Local Startup “The Awesome Company” Embraces Differences
Over the years, Jacquie Mahan has undoubtedly made herself no stranger to the Columbus small business community. An Upper Arlington native, Mahan came back to Columbus after finishing school to open the widely successful Mahan art gallery, once located in the Short North. About a year after the gallery’s closing in fall of 2010, Mahan opened her Body Pure Pilates and Wellness Studio.
In an effort to merge her passion for both creativity and helping others, Mahan approached long-time friends Meghan Klein and Kathy Borkowski with a business idea — one of incredible positivity, simplicity and immense power.
Mahan’s idea was inspired by the notion that awesomeness is everywhere. Anything can be awesome.
“I wanted a way to celebrate what somebody thinks is awesome,” said Mahan. “Somehow create a way to celebrate whatever you think is awesome and a way to empower yourself.”
Consulting with Klein, the two birthed “The Awesome Company.” The goal was to create a business not only committed to providing fresh, modern design goods, but also one aimed at celebrating the small things in life through embracing all kinds of people itself.
Following the decision to move forward on the business, Mahan met with Borkowski. She’s the former owner of “The Learning Spectrum,” a school for children with autism. Mahan and Borkowski met five years ago, when Mahan’s son began attending the school.
“I still felt that there was a piece missing from the business,” explained Mahan.
Borkowski explored the idea that The Awesome Company be a business that employs adults with autism. From then on, the decision to employ and embrace all individuals on the autism spectrum through The Awesome Company was a natural one.
“We wanted to celebrate what makes everyone unique in their own awesome way. That’s why our team is to be made up of all kinds of people,” said Mahan. “We’re specifically seeing the amazing qualities that people with autism have and using it in the workforce to build our business.”
The Awesome Company will launch online on Black Friday, where all of the 100 percent organic Ohio-sourced goods will be available for purchase.
Mahan has made the company’s commitment to use 100 percent organic goods part of her mission. The company will go so far as to box their items only in entirely recyclable packaging.
Customers will have the option of choosing from a tote, tee, pillow or print in the awesome library, which has predetermined items of awesomeness. They can also choose an awesome item from any of the four items under the website’s ‘Design your Awesome’ tab.
While the company’s current focus is just getting on its feet, Mahan expressed great interest in opening an employment facility in the spring of 2017.
The facility would welcome all individuals on the autism spectrum for potential employment. There would also be on-site volunteers helping to improve the work environment for adults with autism via coaching, specialized work specifications and more.
For more information, visit www.theawesomecompany.com.