A journey of Firsts.

Whether it is the first day of school or office, the first time you visit your dream destination, the first salary you receive or the first step you take towards your goals, holding on to the firsts of many things is important because they show us how and where we began. They are the lampposts which guide us towards better things in the future and help us see how much we have grown. People tend to remember the firsts for a long time, why shouldn’t they? It marks the beginning of something, and we all can agree that beginnings are beautiful.

Among the many more firsts to come, we are here to share with you some delightfully special milestones we accomplished in the very first month after the launch of Atypical Advantage.

Our First International Order
With God’s grace and the blessings of many, we delivered our first international order to California. A painting made by the extraordinary Karishma Kanan. Karishma’s journey as the contributing member of the society began in 2011 with her first solo painting exhibition titled — ‘I Can, You Can, We Can’. Since then, she has had 4 solo exhibitions and one auction in India and Vietnam and has donated over 135 paintings! Karishma’s work has been recognized and appreciated internationally. Besides being extensively covered by print and TV media in Vietnam, her early talent years were widely published across Indian media.

This letter of authenticity does not just represent the painting’s originality, but also expresses the genuine intention with which this initiative was started. The artist’s hard work and good hearted intentions are ingredients which make art truly, a masterpiece.

Our First Big Break
We were overjoyed to know that companies and individuals from far and beyond are recognizing the work that we are doing, and reaching out for assistance. A humongous brand — Crazon (name changed) contacted us as they were looking for people with disabilities to feature in their advertisement for Alexis on the device’s third anniversary. They told us that they had been searching for days on end with no fruitful result, and Atypical Advantage was able to help them with over 40 profiles to choose from, in a matter of hours.

This heartwarming email from the selected person’s mother was enough to send our team on cloud 9. Vineet (Volunteer-Atypical Advantage) very rightly told the team after we successfully helped Crazon, “We may not change a million lives, but the happiness of one is enough to keep us going.”

Our First Product Feedbacks
The store hosts a range of different products from mats, spices, rugs to soaps, coasters and trays. Buyers have been very happy and have extended their kind words to appreciate the work of the people who make such fantastic products. The first order of chocolates was delivered to Priyanka Pengonda and was devoured within minutes.

A yoga mat was also delivered to a buyer, and the feedback was amazing, they claim to meditate on that mat every day and the comfort of the mat has been appreciated.

Our First Commissioned Painting, closely followed by the second one too.
A vibrant map of India by Ajay Jayaprakash was commissioned in the very first week of our launch by none other than Atul Satija (CEO- Give India and Nudge foundation). He was immensely satisfied with the painting and appreciated the artist’s efforts. The second special commission, where the client has made a request for the painting of Radhe Krishna is a work in progress by artist Sushmita Dey, who has a hearing Disability. Her life’s first commissioned painting came through Atypical Advantage, and we’re here to celebrate their firsts too!

Our First Smiles
Ambassador of Sweden is being gifted this painting by tree millionaire Raj Mohan, made by the amazing artist Manas Arvind, who wrote this handwritten thank you note along with his artwork. This sweet and innocent gesture made the team smile and encouraged us to reflect on the nature of the initiative that we are a part of. It really makes one wonder how a tiny gesture/action can multiply itself to provide happiness to so many others.

Manas has never let his condition come in the way of him living life to the fullest. He is not just an amazing artist, he also likes to play tennis and loves to participate in quizzes. He had to cope with the challenges that a person with down’s syndrome has to undergo and overcome motor challenges as well. 
His mother helps him paint. She shows him the real object or a painting and they practice several different strokes that can make that painting come to life. He adds his special touch to all the paintings he does!

No matter how much we move forward in life, our firsts are always there to make us feel special and encourage us to take the leap and trust the process. We always look back on our firsts and feel giddy with happiness to see how far we have come. After a ton of surprises, new experiences and a lot of learnings, here we are, stronger and better than we were a month ago, more prepared and motivated to take the upcoming challenges and tasks head on.

Over 90% of corporations and individuals have not started their journey yet and we appeal to all of you to take your first step towards making our society more inclusive by hiring your first talent from Atypical Advantage for free. You can refer to this corporate presentation to know about our work or if you are confused on how you could help people with disabilities, visit this blog to know more.

Just like how we started with our first, we would like all of you out there to hire your first Atypical talent and buy your first painting or product made exclusively by people with disabilities by visiting here.

Atypical Advantage is Planet’s first Talent platform for People with Disabilities. Explore our website to hire diverse talent, shop for productsmade by people with disabilities, browse through exquisitely curated art. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, read more about us on our blog, sign up for mentorship, volunteer with us or feel free to contribute here.

Until next time,
Your Atypical Buddy!

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