Self-Employed Showcase – HS Warriors in the Workplace

hidradenitis suppurativa work employment

We all know that HS can affect us in our working lives. The unpredictable nature of HS can make us call in sick unexpectedly, or need to go home early. This can start to be problematic and impact us professionally. It’s not fair. It is really tough, and for those of us who work, we face similar challenges. There are some of us who simply cannot work due to the debilitating impact of HS, and that is so hard to accept. We all have to adapt to our lives with HS, we don’t really have much of a choice. But the good news is that we can adapt. We are still important and valuable in our society whether we are working full-time, part-time, whenever we can, or if we are unemployed. We matter.

The Showcase

The purpose of the self-employed showcase is to feature HS warriors who have figured out how best to adapt so that they can be self-sufficient and manage their HS and work in a way that suits their needs. Most of us will have experienced doubts over our ability to work at some stage in our lives. And this is normal, but these doubts don’t have to become a reality. Please be introduced to our first HS warrior in the series – Stephanie Carter from Carter’s Cookies in Toronto.

Stephanie’s HS Story

Stephanie Carter

“I first developed HS at age 13. It wasn’t until I developed a large abscess, which put me in the hospital, that I was diagnosed at age 21. Luckily when I was sent to a clinic for wound care the lead physician was an HS specialist. I have been with the same clinic now for just over a decade, and my HS is very well managed due to a combination of medical therapy and surgery. ”

College and Work Life Before Starting a Business

” I went to college for Baking and Pastry arts. I always worked in kitchens and bakeries and was working at a cupcake bakery in Toronto then I got too sick to continue. The heat and humidity was not an environment HS does very well in. I was in and out of hospitals for some time before starting my business Carter’s Cookies”

Carter’s Flower Cookies

Carter’s Cookies

“Carter’s Cookies makes custom specialty cookies for all occasions, whether that be favours for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, gifts for hotel guests, etc. I have always loved the decorative aspect of the baking world. Originally I wanted to make specialty cakes, but I found that the lifting, and stress of a strict timeline to be too overwhelming. I needed a job where I could determine the hours and how much work I was taking on. Cookies seemed like the right fit for me. Beautiful and delicious.”

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Adapting to Work with HS

“Having worked in bakeries before I knew that I had to avoid, heat, humidity, and stress on my body. Cookies are fairly simple and can be done in stages. Baking is very quick so I’m not constantly standing in front of a hot oven. And the stress on my body is minimal as I sit down to decorate rather than stand for hours and hours at a time. ”

Carter's Mickey Mouse Cookies

Advice to Anyone Considering Opening Their Own Business

“You never know until you try and you don’t have to be a major success overnight. Start small. Let it grow on your terms. The benefit of working for yourself is you get to determine what your body can handle. ”

You can follow Carter’s Cookies on Instagram or Facebook. Make sure you do – her cookies are AWESOME and sure to brighten up your day. Carters Cookies supplies cookies in Toronto and surrounding areas – you can contact her through her social media channels if you want to place an order. You won’t be disappointed!

If you want to share your experience of work or self-employment please let us know, we love to hear from you.

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