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He's Nonverbal, Has Limited Mobility. And He Runs His Own Successful Business.

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James Hall, better known as “Monnie” by friends and family, lives with cerebral palsy. The 55-year-old, who communicates nonverbally and has limited use of his hands, started his own business making beautiful wreaths out of mesh netting and craft supplies.

Wreaths solo

Photo courtesy of Brittney Ledford

Hall has always enjoyed working creatively. Before launching his business, he made wreaths as gifts for family and friends. Then, in August 2014, he decided to take his passion a step further. He drew up a business plan with his caregiver, Tanasha Taylor, designed business cards and created products to show people.

Hall and Taylor began promoting his business through his family and friends as well as the employees at Mosaic, the assisted living center in Urbandale, Iowa, where Hall has lived for more than a decade.

Wreaths with Tanasha

Hall with Tanasha Taylor, his caregiver and business associate. Photo courtesy of Brittney Ledford

One year later, Hall is involved in every aspect of his business, including shopping for supplies, making the products, and, after ensuring everything meets his standards, distributing them. He makes the wreathes on his own, with Taylor helping him on the details he’s unable to do himself. He recently developed a professional website, Monnie’s Wreaths, which he hopes will help him to eventually expand his business all over the country.

“My dream is to be on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show‘ and show people there’s [no reason] you can’t achieve your goals,” Hall told The Mighty in an email.

Wreath booth

Hall at his first public booth in Wes Des Moines, Iowa. Photo courtesy of Brittney Ledford

More than anything, Hall hopes his wreath business will help people to focus on what he can do rather than on what he can’t. He hopes his story inspires other people with disabilities to feel similarly about themselves.

“Don’t focus on your disabilities — you have plenty of abilities!” Hall, who’s also the chairman of Mosaic’s self-advocacy group, told The Mighty. “I believe everyone should be an advocate for themselves, whether they have a disability or not.”

Take a look at some of Monnie’s wreath designs below: 






Learn more about Hall’s story and his wreath business in the video below.

Wreath photos courtesy of Monnie’s Wreaths.

To see more of Monnie’s wreaths and learn how you can purchase one, visit his website.

Originally published: August 7, 2015
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