One Geraldton woman’s rare syndrome may stop her from talking and make walking a challenge, but it doesn’t hold her back from innovating, creating, and giving back to those who have helped her.
West Coast Door Mats business owner Ebony Sotiroff was diagnosed with Rett syndrome when she was a little girl. Life has served her many challenges, but her fortitude and loving support system allow the young entrepreneur to dream big.
Ebony, 20, and her mum Alli Sotiroff started the business to keep busy and make some extra money early last year. Now, they get regular orders from Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service, Geraldton Property Team and Geraldton Building Services.
Alli estimates the mother-daughter duo have made close to 500 mats since the project began.
Ebony is non-verbal, but Alli says she is saving to see more of the world once the borders open.
But she also plans to give back.
“As of the first of July, for every doormat we sell from now on, $1 per mat will be donated back to the Variety Club,” Alli said.
She said the charity had been a great support over the years, raising thousands of dollars to buy Ebony an at-home hydrotherapy spa.
To make the mats, they cut stencils from upcycled X-rays. Alli, or one of Ebony’s carers, assist as she applies heavy-duty paint to the mats, using a stencil as a guide. “Her physical characteristics are lacking, but she (makes up for it) in spirit, courage and determination,” Alli said.