Love who you are
My name is Carlos Fred Martins (@fred.sismos). I was born in Brazil in 1979. In 1994 when I was fifteen years old, I lost my left foot due to a shark attack while I was surfing in my hometown, Recife. I had to adapt my life to my new condition. For twenty-two years, I was ashamed of being an amputee. I missed a lot of great moments during my time at the university because I refused to wear shorts in front of other people. A friend told me that I shouldn’t be ashamed of myself. That I should embrace the way I am. After that, I started researching online about people living with an amputation and found about Amputee Coalition of America. It was a game change for me. I decided to make a prosthetic without a cover and sharks painted on it. During my vacations, I was removing my leg to swim, something unimaginable before. I started just to ignore people staring at me always recurring to a simple thought: “Life is too short to care about what other people will think about me.”
In 2015, now living in Canada, I was working as a job developer assisting other individuals with disabilities in finding employment opportunities. It was the most challenging job I’ve ever had. The business community still has misconceptions about professionals with disabilities. Due to that, I came up with the idea of Tee Talent Apparel Inc (@teetalentinc), a clothing company that was created to promote the talent of people with disabilities in the workplace. We want to grow our business to be able to hire individuals with disabilities to work for our company and show to the society that we are extraordinary people that always find a way to get the job done.