LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (KTVE/KARD) — The Blue Umbrella is an extension of the Department of Human Services (DHS)/Division of Disabilities Services and is a shop in Little Rock, Ark. that showcases one-of-a-kind, handmade items by Arkansans with developmental and intellectual disabilities. 

The store opened its storefront back in 2019, but just launched its website on Monday, October 31, 2022.

The Blue Umbrella says, “Our mission is to celebrate these individuals who want to work and contribute to their communities while providing them a sense of pride and source of income.” Over 150 artists from all corners of the state make products to sell in the shop, with all the proceeds going directly to the artist.

Melissa Weatherton, Division Director of Developmental Disability Services at DHS, says, “These are real people that want to work, and enjoy working and take pride in what they do – they are so proud when one of their items is sold.” 

To find out more about The Blue Umbrella, or to shop their products, go to https://www.blueumbrellaar.org/.