Sending Smiles sarah December 28, 2023

Sending Smiles

Business Boom: Entrepreneurs with disabilities follow their passions to profits.

By Lisa Danford

A bright blue peacock, with feathers on full display, pops against a whimsical nature background. It’s one of Jakob Sidney’s favorite drawings.  

Sidney, 22, always loved sending and receiving cards. On a cold winter day in 2021, his mom, Jenn Jordan, suggested they make Valentine’s Day cards to pass time. “When Jakob was done, I laid them out on the table and was looking at them,” she said. “I thought, ‘there is something special here’ and wondered if we could sell them.” 

A young man wearing a black hoodie stands in front of a sign that reads "Cards by Jakob" and smiles for a photo.
Jakob Sidney stands in front of some of his card designs.

She found a printer to make 200 sets, and they opened an online store. The first run sold out in less than two hours. A second order of 500 sets sold out in two days and they launched his business, Cards by Jakob. “It’s been a goal of mine to create a life for him where he is able to be independent, have something of his own and do something he loves to do,” Jenn said. 

Sidney, who has autism, said he “loves helping send smiles.” His favorite part of the business is packing and shipping the cards, but he also likes keeping track of inventory. “His art is special, sweet, fun and whimsical,” Jenn said. “He works hard, and it’s important for people to understand that there is more to him than the eye can see.”  

He built a steady fan base online and through local art and craft fairs. “It makes me feel good,” Sidney said. “Your support fills my whole heart with indescribable purpose.”  

Recently, Cards by Jakob expanded into calendars, a children’s coloring book, and selling apparel printed with his designs. 

Find art, cards, cheesecakes, bandanas and more at Just Brew in Silverton, 6940 Plainfield Road. 

A young man wears a light blue sweatshirt that reads "Too cool to be typical" with a dog similar to Snoopy's "Joe Cool."
Jakob wearing a sweatshirt with his "Too Cool to be Typical" design. All photos provided.
A collage of two drawings. The top shows a
Jakob Sidney's drawings of a bright blue peacock and a tiger. His drawings are a key part of his business, Cards by Jakob.