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YJA Intermediate: Grace’s creations, from the heart

Angela Lam  |  18 August 2020

Intermediate Section – Print

Runner-up: Angela Lam, Cabra Dominican College, Cumberland Park, SA.

Grace Lam is a young woman who sells handmade cards and gifts throughout South Australia. She was born with Down Syndrome and has hearing and sight problems. Anyone can see that Grace has not had it easy, but despite facing many challenges she has persisted. Her business is just one of many accomplishments. 

‘When Grace graduated, it was very difficult for her to find a job because of all her disabilities, so Grace decided to try to use her art skills to make cards’, said Monica, Grace’s Mum.

Grace started her micro business in 2017 while in school. Although she’s had difficult times, she never shies away from a challenge. An example of this is when she presented in a mini ‘Shark Tank’ hosted by the Unley Council in Adelaide. Although she did not win, she received an honourable mention. Grace recalled that one of the judges came up to her to congratulate her on her business. 

Being a business woman is very hard work, highlighted in the fact that Grace’s business has grown and changed over the years.

‘Because just cards often isn’t enough’, explained Monica, ‘so we had to diversify.’ 

Grace has since started making etched drinking glasses, candles and chocolate flowers as well. In 2019, Grace also approached a variety of Catholic schools in Adelaide, asking if they wanted some graduation, thank you or prayer candles. She has now made over 400 candles for six schools. From the money she makes from her business, she donates 20 per cent of profits to Tutti Arts, a non-profit organisation supporting visual and performing artists who have disabilities in Adelaide.

Not only is Grace a business woman, she is also environmentally aware and is doing everything she can to help our world. ‘Our materials to make the chocolate flowers are biodegradable’, said Grace.

The chocolate flowers Grace creates are chocolates wrapped around by crepe paper on bamboo skewers to look like roses or tulips. Grace cares deeply about our environment and is a noble and virtuous person.

Despite making candles and flowers, Grace’s cards are at the heart of her job. At the start, Grace’s micro business focused only on cards. Over the years her skills have improved and the complexity of her cards with it. Grace uses amazing techniques and loves to try new ones.

Grace is an amazing person. She celebrates every year, every person and everything. Grace shows everyone that people with disabilities are just as able as anyone else; just as smart, just as strong and just as wise. Grace always wants to help.

In the future, Grace wants to expand her business to help other people with disabilities gain employment. She wants to show others that everyone should be celebrated for who they are. This is why we celebrate Grace.

You can find the full list of Young Journalist Award winners here. 



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