SASKATOON – Taylor Layton won a contest for entrepreneurs with disabilities last month and Global News caught the surprise moment on camera.
Layton, 20, has Down’s syndrome and struggled to find employment in her home town of Outlook, Sask., so two years ago she started ‘Taylor’s Curbside Recycling’.
For a monthly fee, she picks up customers’ recyclables every Monday and sorts the material for processing. The venture landed her a $1,000 prize in February after she entered the ‘Just Watch Me’ video contest and won.
Layton’s business has since grown by leaps and bounds from its humble beginnings of five customers to nearly 70.
The budding entrepreneur with a comical and kind personality had a real effect on people as thousands watched the story and offered their congratulations.
When Global News asked Layton what she planned to do with the money, she said she’d buy a trailer to expand her business and treat herself to some jewellery. After seeing the story, Lia Sophia Jewellery and Flaman Trailers stepped in.
The two companies were so impressed with Taylor they couldn’t help but organize a day that has become known as “Taylor’s Big Surprise.”
Layton’s parents recently fibbed, telling her they were making the one-hour trek from Outlook to Saskatoon to buy new rubber boots. Several surprises awaited Layton beyond her wildest dreams.
“I think her story is very impactful to anyone who sees it and it just resonated with all of us,” said Marcia Cota, Lia Sophia’s managing director.
Cota flew in from Toronto to present Layton with an incredible amount of jewellery on Tuesday morning.
“I love it, thank you so much,” Layton exclaimed while running her hand over glitter and beads of dozens of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings – the self proclaimed glamour girl relishing in the moment.
Tuesday’s event was hosted at Flaman Trailers on 71st Street in Saskatoon. The company was also moved by her story and also wanted to help.
“We decided to present you with a trailer to help with your recycling business,” said Mitch Flaman.
“We wanted to get something that was special to her so it’s being built right now by our manufacturer.”
The trailer will be ready in a couple weeks and will be painted green to commend the environmental element of ‘Taylor’s Curbside Recycling.’
The value of Tuesday’s surprise was beyond words for Layton’s mother Eloise Layton.
“I’m just so proud, so excited!”
“Everybody has the right to have a job, it’s just a matter of finding the job that’s right for that person.”
That’s a message Layton will soon be able to take across the country after Lia Sophia extended to her an invitation to its annual conference. The meeting and gala takes place this July in Toronto, with around 800 people expected to attend.
Lia Sohpia also asked Layton to speak at the event, a request she’s easily accepted.
This will be Layton’s first flight and will be capped off with the ultimate treatment including hair, make-up and wardrobe prior to her big presentation where she’s sure to steal the heart of the entire crowd while spreading the word about the ability of those with disabilities.