Developing Community at Creations

Developing Community at Creations

At Vista, we believe that a sense of community is what binds us together. In fact, those at Vista learn that it is possible to become active members of a diverse array of communities.

In this blog series, What does Community Mean to You?, we will be highlighting a few of the communities that our students and members take part in. We hope that by reading these stories, you will be able to learn about the valuable connections that our students and members make every day.

Creations, Vista’s retail store and employer of individuals with disabilities, is a vibrant part of the community along Boston Post Road in downtown Madison. 

The past 18+ months have brought many unexpected shifts at Creations—but also many unexpected benefits. A highlight during the pandemic was the design and launch of Creations’ new online store (, where many of the over 1,300 unique gifts featured at the store can also be viewed and purchased.

The online store allows our loyal customers (and those “googling” for “unique gifts that do good!”) to view and purchase our current offerings from anywhere. This new endeavor has allowed Creations to grow its customer base and—more importantly—spread awareness about individuals with disabilities to new supporters, near and far. 

Vista member and Creations employee Connor assisting customers

In our continuing evolution over this past year as an employer of Vista members, Creations began serving as a job assessment site for Vista students and members who are interested in developing their vocational skills in an active and vibrant retail setting. This has allowed us to impact even more of our students and members, preparing individuals for their future employment experiences. In addition, Creations continues to employ Vista members.

Creations Manager Lisa Allen explains that the shop is critical to the members who work there. “It really is an integrated work force here. What sets us apart as an employer is the development of our employees' skills,” says Allen. “It is very important for everyone to find their place in the world and to feel that they are making a difference and that is what this store does.”

Vista member and Creations employee Amanda ringing up a sale at the register

Vista member and employee Amanda said that she and her coworkers Connor and Courtney have made the store a vital part of their lives and one that provides a unique opportunity to serve the community. “Creations is like a second home for me,” says Amanda. “I get to learn about what the customers want. I like helping and being a hard worker.” The relationships between the employees of Creations and the local Madison community have been wonderful to see, especially as more customers have returned to in-person shopping at the store.

We love seeing Creations foster new connections and opportunities for individuals with disabilities!

Vista member and Creations employee Courtney arranging merchanside for a jewelry display

Creations is proud to support the lives of individuals with disabilities through its proceeds. This weekend is the perfect time to visit Creations and make your holiday season magical! November 26th and 27th are Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, a great time to support local businesses like Creations in the Madison area. Visit us at the store or online to enjoy 20% off all purchases. Cyber Monday is November 29th - snuggle up and check off your list from the comfort of home. Enjoy 20% off all online purchases.

More to come!