Cerebral Palsy Can’t Keep Haverhill Woman From Running Scarf Business

By Mike LaBella
The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) 21 year old Shannon Molloy is an entrepreneur who doesn’t let any physical limitations get in her way, although those limitations do pose a challenge to daily living.

HAVERHILL

Neither a wheelchair nor having to communicate with an electronic device stopped Shannon Molloy from launching her own business.

She’s the chief designer and decision-maker for “Shannon Mary Sunshine Original Scarf Designs,” a home business she started with help from her mother, Jeanne Molloy, a kindergarten teacher at the Comprehensive Grammar School in Methuen.

From her home in Haverhill, Shannon Molloy designs and sells scarves online and at these four area retail shops: Unique Designs at the Mall at Rockingham Park; Sisters We Three in Newburyport, the Village Pharmacy of Lynnfield and Positive Images Gallery in Haverhill.

She also sells her scarves at area craft fairs, which Shannon loves to attend.

“She’s been doing this since April,” Jeanne Molloy said. “After she creates a design, we scan it and send it to the company in New York City, and they send fabric samples and Shannon decides which ones she likes.”

An engaging, intelligent young woman who happens to have cerebral palsy, Shannon Molloy, 21, is an entrepreneur who doesn’t let any physical limitations get in her way, although those limitations do pose a challenge to daily living.

She has limited use of her arms and legs, but she finds ways of grasping various tools such as paint rollers and sponges to create her designs. She’s nonverbal for the most part, but she can communicate using her eyes. She’ll look to the right to indicate “yes,” and to the left to indicate “no.”

But she has a greater ability to communicate words and phrases with the use of an augmentative communication device called a “Tobii.” A head switch activates words and phrases that are spoken by a synthesized voice.

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