What would you do for love? Would you move to another state in order to be closer to the one that has your heart? Perhaps, you would close down your steadily growing business just because you could not bear the fact of being without the one you love. Is this you? Well, maybe not, but this is exactly what Tim did for love.
Tim Harris was the owner of a restaurant called Tim’s Place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tim is a very unique person. He is the first person with Down syndrome in the country who owns his own restaurant. Tim’s business was a huge success in his community.
Although Tim loved owning his own business, it turned out he loves Tiffani Johnson more. Tim and Tiffani met at a Down syndrome convention where their “meet and greet” blossomed into a love thing. Tiffani, who also has Down syndrome, lives in Colorado. In order for the two to be together, Tim decided to relocate to Tiffani’s state.
Love must be a strong element to make a business owner, especially one with a disability, cause him or her to walk away from a successful venture. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging the capabilities of person with a disability who owns a business but I know through personal experience that most things we set out to do can sometimes be twice as challenging than people without disabilities. There’s a lot that goes into owning a business. Although more people with disabilities own their own businesses in today’s society, we still have a long way to go in the quest for inclusion regarding business ownership.
According to John Kitching of oecd.org, some barriers to a person with a disability owning their own business are consumer discrimination, the benefits trap and lack of confidence, just to name a few. http://www.oecd.org/cfe/leed/background-report-people-disabilities.pdf.
Still, with these barriers looking him in the face, Tim managed to find his niche in the restaurant arena in a community that welcomed him with open arms.
Quality of life includes hopefully finding the right person to love and building a life together. I sometimes believe society is blinded to the fact that people with disabilities want this opportunity, too. So, Tim jumped at the chance of leaving the world he knows to start a new exciting life with Tiffani and opening up a new restaurant once he settles.
Like the actor Tom Hanks said in the movie Forrest Gump, “Life is just like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” That’s a true statement but sometimes you just have to take a chance because it’s a possibility you might get something good.
I wish Tim & Tiffani much luck in their future endeavors and I’m very pleased to know that Tim is doing what he needs to do in the name of love.