With a love of horses Bella has become her own boss, establishing three Ipswich equine businesses.
Since moving to Queensland two years ago, Bella, who has an intellectual and physical disability, has been making and selling horse treats, cleaning horse rugs and establishing a horse agistment business.
“I always wanted to start my own business and help out other people,” Bella said.
“I love to look after horses (and) make sure horses are safe, they don’t get hurt and want them to be happy in a safe environment.
“I (also) wanted to be my own boss and not have to work for other people, and I guess just be me.”
The 21-year-old is currently working with her mum, Emma, to promote her businesses further, including establishing a website and developing better packaging ideas for the horse treats.
“Marketing is probably going to be our big thing, that’s how I see the business going, and because it is pretty much in the horse industry, it's word of mouth especially for the agistment side,” Emma said.
“For the rug washing and the ‘Beautiful Bites’ (horse treats), I think the markets would be the place for that.”
Taking her businesses to the community, Bella took part in the Carers Queensland Be Your Own Boss Marketplace in Ipswich late last year.
The marketplace, held on International Day of People with Disability by Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program, was designed specifically to give people with a disability a dedicated space to showcase their microbusinesses to the public.
Bella said it was a great opportunity to take part and she learnt a lot from her first market stall.
“There was a lot of set up, like you do your own store, make your own name up and everything; I had to make a lot of biscuits, and that took forever. A lot of people already bought some (horse treats), but I’d like to go back to more markets,” Bella said.
“I got a lot of experience and with my anxiety I now realise crowds aren’t that scary, so if anyone of you out there want to (do the Marketplace), go do it.”
Emma said she also enjoyed the Marketplace and the opportunities it brought for her daughter.
“It was a really good opportunity for her to get an idea of what the market was like; it's not easy but it was good, and it was in a great position, and we had really good exposure,” Emma said.
“I think it's really important because it gave Bella a safe place to go and try it while being supported, not just being thrown out to the wolves in a normal market.
“Carers Queensland were fantastic, giving us advice and ideas on what to do.
“And for us, we need a bit of guidance in it too because we've never done markets and it's a bit daunting for us at times as well.
“Carer’s Queensland’s support has been amazing. I really enjoyed the day and I thought it was fantastic.”
Bella is hoping she can take her agistment businesses even further, installing an arena at her home.
“We’re hoping with the agistment we can, in time, install a proper arena, and then hopefully we could have clinics and Bella could get some further education in being the lead handler, working alongside the coaches that could come for clinics,” Emma said.
“Therefore, it would be more of a drawcard for people to agist their horses here. They could use a proper arena, and Bella would then obviously maintain all that as well.”
When Bella, who is also a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant, isn’t with her horses and working on her businesses, she accesses support workers to help develop her life skills and to get out into the community.
“Bella’s goals are generally being social, being able to work in public and going out into the public because she gets quite anxious out in public,” Emma said.
“They are also working (with her) through her horses because they are such a therapy for her; without them it would be a very different story. It’s not just the fact she wants a business but it's what keeps her sane.”
“They help me ride, they help me focus on my riding. It keeps me going really,” Bella said.
Bella received assistance to implement her NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Ipswich region.
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or email@example.com.