Updated: Feb 26
Feeling Stressed? Sienna Turton Can Help!
Vancouver's Sienna Turton has many talents! Not only is she a self-advocate, public speaker, and health and wellness mentor, she is also a talented artisan who uses her ability to craft one-of-a-kind stressballs!
Coming in many colours and designs, her stressballs have helped hundreds of people unwind and relax during and after a busy day.
We recently talked with Sienna, who has a rare form of cerebral palsy, about her flourishing stressball business, as well as her work in the community.
How did you get into making stressballs?
Sienna: My resource room teacher taught me. I started in grade 5 and have been making them for several years now.
How do you make them?
Sienna: I use balloons and rice. One stressball usually takes around 5 minutes to make.
I hear you have had some big orders
Sienna: Yes! I have had a number of orders for over 100 balls, including from schools and doctors. I have also had smaller orders from different organizations, like Easter Seals, and an MLA even has some of my stressballs.
How has your business evolved as you have gained experience?
Sienna: I have changed the way I package orders. I used to just package the balls together in a bag, but now I individually package each ball, including my contact info, and for larger orders I place them in a box.
What advice do you have for persons with diverse abilities who are thinking about starting their own business?
Sienna: Go for it! You will learn so much and improve as you gain experience. Making the decision to start is the most important step.
Stressballs are only one part of your work. Tell us more about your public speaking, and your experiences as a health and wellness mentor.
Sienna: I have spoken about my experiences and perspectives with a number of organizations and at several events. I also helped mentor UBC medicine, pharmacy, and occupational therapy and helped them learn about accessibility and working with people who have diverse abilities. An important thing to remember is that people with diverse abilities are all quite diverse and different from each other too! It does not matter if someone has a disability or not; they are their own person.
What is an issue that you find especially important?
Sienna: Accessibility! I attended the provincial consultations on accessibility legislation last year. So many barriers you can only see if you have faced the barrier yourself like I have, so it is very important that persons with diverse abilities are guiding the conversations on accessibility laws.
Thanks for talking with us Sienna. What are the steps someone should take if they are interested in purchasing your stressballs?
Sienna: The best way to reach me is email. Send me a message at email@example.com. Please give enough notice so that I do not have to rush your order.
Are you, or do you know, a person with a disability who is doing impressive things-whether it be a hobby, employment, school, or another pursuit? If so, let us know! Send an email to our Editor, Spencer van Vloten, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll showcase them to recognize their abilities and spread the word about the great work they're doing!