Turning a snippet of joy into a heap of happiness

 
 
 

Dave Schmidt cranes his neck to look up at the pile of boxes which has grown taller than him. Stuffed inside is the result of hours and hours of Schmidt’s hard work – making confetti. Since his first snip of paper, he loved it so much he couldn’t stop. “My only choice was to start a business,” Schmidt says. The satisfying sound of scissors on the page, the endless ways to turn a sheet into a million shreds, and the happiness it showers on others never gets old. “Although people sometimes underestimate me, I like to focus on how many people I have brought joy to instead,” Schmidt says.

People with Down Syndrome often face discrimination and difficulty in finding a job. But this entrepreneur decided to create his own opportunities. Schmidt began making confetti for his sister-in-law’s wedding two years ago. As his hands kept working, the tiny shreds that fell eventually turned into a mountain of celebration. His home filled up with so much cheer that he decided to share it with the world. Schmidt’s family helped him launch his own online store and within a week, heaps of confetti had been sold.

The booming success of Schmidt’s business has opened a path for him to contribute to birthday parties, baby showers, and just about every type of shindig. “You can’t be unhappy when you have a hand full of confetti,” he says. Schmidt started cutting up paper for his own merriment. Now, he spends every day creating joy for other South Africans with something as small as confetti. “You don’t have to wait for anyone to make your dreams burst into life,” Schmidt says.

Photos taken by Derryn Schmidt were used in the creation of this video.