Handcrafted Leather Beer Accessories – Asheville, North Carolina (828) 575-2215 [email protected] | M-F 9-5 EST
Oowee® Products in Asheville Making a Difference
The integration of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder into workplaces with typical peers enables them to build relationships outside their immediate families and circle of support and to develop a sense of greater connection to the community in which they live. Recently, one of the Autism Society of North Carolina’s longtime partners, Oowee Products in Asheville, successfully transitioned its employees with ASD to on-site workers, making an even bigger difference in their lives.
Gabriel Hargett founded Oowee in 2009 with a mission to produce quality goods that were responsibly manufactured and sustainable in the United States. Oowee makes beverage accessories out of wood,
metal, and leather that can be branded with companies’ logos or an image of choice.
By 2011, demand had picked up for the company’s first product, the leather pint-glass sleeve, and Hargett began looking for employees to help with production. He was strongly committed to providing employment for individuals who were differently abled and recognized that Oowee’s manufacturing process involved very structured tasks, making it a good employment opportunity for those individuals.
In the Autism Society of North Carolina, Hargett found a collaborative partner with a mutual mission to provide meaningful work opportunities to people who often have limited options. ASNC joined with Hargett in his efforts to ensure that the production systems that were created by the company were accessible and understandable to all employees he would hire, including those with ASD.