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Scales Has a Bond With The Blue Umbrella

Date: 03/21/2019

Linda Scales is a member of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) central office staff. She helps run the Department of Human Services’ new gift shop The Blue Umbrella. 

The Blue Umbrella sells one-of-a-kind items made by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and offers employment opportunities to clients behind the counter, too. All the profits from items sold go back to the DDS artisans. Go to  https://www.blueumbrellaar.org to learn more about the store.       

Scales explains why she loves The Blue Umbrella and how it impacts her life on a daily basis.


DHS MATTERS: After all the work that went into starting The Blue Umbrella, what went through your mind during the grand opening?           

SCALES: I had lots of joy as I watched people shop for not only themselves, but also their friends and family.  They were all purchasing a story to share. Each time someone purchases a gift from the store, a story about the person who created that artwork goes along with it.     


DHS MATTERS: What do you tell your family and friends about The Blue Umbrella and why it’s so important?

SCALES: At Christmas I gave my family gifts from The Blue Umbrella. I shared the stories of the store and our mission.  My niece recently opened a boutique in Monticello and is now carrying one of our artisan’s soaps in her store.  I’m so excited that I was a small part of this new adventure for that artisan and my niece.


DHS MATTERS: What do you want to help The Blue Umbrella grow into and how do you plan to accomplish the goal?

SCALES: I want this to be an example for other states. I want people going back to their hometowns telling everyone about The Blue Umbrella. Recently, a man from Georgia came to the store. He was visiting a friend, who lives in Hot Spring County, who heard about The Blue Umbrella.

The man came to the store and purchased a gift for his niece. We placed his niece’s gift in a bag and also put our pamphlet inside. Each pamphlet offers a photo and profile of an artisan featured at the Blue Umbrella. So, now our story is down in Georgia. 

Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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