Throw in a market for hand-cut confetti, a choice last name, and a desire to do good, and you get Leonetti Confetti.
Kylee Leonetti had always been interested in the confetti game, and had been playing around with the idea of a confetti-making company for some time. Then, three years ago, when her brother woke up from his coma after a drug overdose, she thought of finding a way to share her luck with other families who were also struggling with addiction.
At the time she thought, “Maybe there is a way that this confetti can give back.”
While Leonetti could have simply donated to addiction research, or done something less hands-on, she sought to fulfill a more specific need: employment for those in addiction recovery.
After going through rehab, her own brother struggled to find a job because employers felt that they couldn’t trust him knowing his history of addiction.
Unfortunately, recovery is only one element in the struggle against addiction.
Those who have formerly abused substances face discouragement and prejudice, even after they have gone through rehab.
In addition to incurring mistrust as a result of their pasts, they may also have gaps in their employment history, which may convince already-reluctant employers to deny them employment.
This leaves those in recovery at a standstill. While they wish to leave behind the world of drugs, they have yet gain entry into a largely sober world.
Over time, with nothing anchoring them to a sober lifestyle, they may relapse as they find it easier to turn to drugs than to discover new opportunities.
As a step towards bridging this gap between addiction and sobriety, Leonetti Confetti offers employment as confetti-cutters to women who are currently in recovery.
In fact, only women in recovery can apply for this position. As their website states,
“We’re currently only hiring clients or past clients of Wayside Recovery.”
The company is designed to give women in recovery an additional income and a normal routine.
“My life these days is very limited,” one Leonetti Confetti employee said. “Having this job makes me feel like a real human being again. I’d had a job my whole life and when I relapsed, suddenly I didn’t have one anymore. I feel like a real person again because I have a paycheck coming in.”
The company’s sole purpose is to help women in recovery, as confetti-cutters are the only ones paid for their services. Any profit made goes to their pay. Everyone else involved, including CEO Kylee Leonetti, works on a volunteer-basis.
Not only is this work as confetti-cutters accessible, but it is also manageable.
As it is mostly remote work, it is ideal for women in recovery. They can work from home while taking care of their families or while receiving treatment.
Employees must simply pick up a kit, complete the tasks listed inside, and return the kit when they are done.
While this is simple work, there is also a degree of responsibility required from employees. Paperwork must be filed in advance. Kits must be picked up and returned at a certain time and place.
There is also a degree of dexterity and concentration required in order to ensure all the confetti pieces are the same size and shape.
Employees also benefit from the informal mentorship of Kylee Leonetti, who regularly checks in on them.
“Right now we have seven part-time regulars that make confetti for us at home. Sometimes they relapse or disappear, but we have a good core of dedicated workers.”
While they represent a small, low-budget organization, they continue to grow in influence and acclaim.
Their confetti can now be purchased not only on their personal website, but also on Etsy, an e-commerce website specializing in hand-made goods, and Minny and Paul, a Minnesota-based gift box company.
“We’re making the world a better place with confetti,” said Leonetti Confetti on their Instagram page.