San Clemente men with autism turn their love of sewing into a business

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KABC) -- Many of us have looked for new hobbies or things to do during this pandemic. For one local man and his friends, that new hobby has turned into a business.

Juan Garcia has a new passion for sewing.

The 22 year-old and his friends live with autism. Now, living through the pandemic, they have started a small business, making many things like aprons.

"I got a lot of calls from families saying you're giving me hope that my older adult will be able to do something," said their caretaker, Jennifer Tracy.

Tracy has helped them start Zuggyetc.com, their business which is based in San Clemente.

"It's not about me. It's more about them. I didn't think they would love it this much," said Tracy.

The business is not only giving Garcia and his friends an employment opportunity, but also is bringing together the special needs community, encouraging both social and communication skills.

"Why can't they have a business, why can't they do what everybody else does?" asked Tracy.

One of their customers was brought to tears after receiving a Día de los Muertos-inspired apron.

"Juan, I want you to know that you did incredible on this," said the customer.

And how does Garcia feel knowing people are buying and enjoying his work?

"Happy," he said.
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