Lee’s Shop: The Little Business with a Big Heart Selling Products with a Story
By Lee & Francis
The proud owner of Lee’s Shop in Canning is Lee Van Amerongen. Lee is a young man who loves his church, likes fast food, music, and books. Lee is proud to be called “Uncle Lee” by his niece and nephew, and treasures the time he spends with family and friends. Lee is also a young man with autism and significant seizure disorder. He is non-verbal, communicates with an ipad and alphabet board, and needs support for most aspects of his life.
Lee is not your typical entrepreneur. He works in the shop with the assistance of Francis, his support worker. Lee and Francis are supported by a business planning team and the Community Association of People for Real Enterprise (CAPRE). Lee’s gifts, wants, and needs are at the center of the decision-making process for his business.
Being an entrepreneur gives Lee the opportunity to do work he enjoys and meet people he would otherwise not have the opportunity to meet. Going to the shop every day gives him a sense of purpose. Lee contributes to his community in a meaningful way and has the opportunity to contribute to his own financial well-being. This small shop has been on the main street in Canning for sixteen years and Lee has produced his own product called the Cookie Painting Kit for eighteen years now. Lee’s mission is to create memories that last a lifetime and his vision is for the world to be a happier place.
In the shop you will find soaps, candles, jewellery, knitted items, books, crotcheted blankets, quilts, ornaments, and other items too numerous to mention. If you are looking for something unique, Lee may have it. Ever heard of kindness hearts, stumpees, cow bone earrings, or baseball cap ear warmers? Many of the items you will find are in support of worthy causes such as Autism Nova Scotia, the VON, CAPRE, Applewick’s, Bee a Honey with a Heart, and international charities in Sri Lanka, India, and Africa. Kindness knows no bounds in this small shop where everything has a story.
We are proud to report the shop has undergone major renovations this past year and now has a new sign that better reflects what is inside.
Please do come by even if just to say “hi”. What Lee likes best about the shop is meeting new people.
To give Lee the last word, Lee says “I love my business and I love myself”.