Special Products is a social enterprise founded in 2012 to provide practical opportunities for young adults with disabilities to gain practical job skills and real life work experience in a workplace catered to help them learn, grow and thrive.
We sell a variety of overstock products, as well as produce some of our own creations, with this purpose in mind.
Special Products has the privilege to work with an amazing network of educators, para-professionals, interns, volunteers, parents, and other organizations that all share the same goals and passions as we do! These people and groups go above and beyond to create meaningful relationships, opportunities, and experiences for those at Special Products and throughout our community as a whole.
After 20 years with 3M and Imation, Mark switched gears to open Special Products with Holly, getting his master's in Public and Nonprofit Administration in the process. When not at Special Products, Mark is a coach for the local Special Olympic team, the St. Croix Valley Lumberjacks and on the board of directors for the Valley Friendship Club.
Holly comes from 3M and Imation with a diverse background in supply chain, operations, and IT. When not at Special Products, Holly is co-owner of Stillwater Olive Oil Company and is also a coach for the local Special Olympic team, the St. Croix Valley Lumberjacks
Kim started as a volunteer at Special Products in 2013 and now heads up the screen printing department. When not at Special Products, she works as a graphic designer.
Haley has worked and volunteered with Special Products from the very beginning. She is a master at recycling and is always willing to offer assistance or an encourage word to others. When not at Special Products, she works at MSS and is an active athlete the local Special Olympic team, the St. Croix Valley Lumberjacks.
Sarah has worked with Special Products for over three years, excelling at running screen press orders, testing refurbish electronics, and participating at outreach events. When not at Special Products, she works at ESR and enjoys watching TV.
Alex has volunteered since we opened our shop in 2013. She always comes in with a smile and is ready to help with whatever is thrown at her. When not at Special Products, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her partner Sandy and her family.
Pete volunteers his expertise in e-commerce, as well as video production and is always willing to help clean around the warehouse. When not at Special Products, he works as an A/V tech.
Gavin knows his e-commerce as a shipping and production intern. When not at Special Products, he is a student at UW-Madison.
Benny brings great knowledge of electronic refurbishment, testing and welding as a production intern. When not at Special Products, he is a student at Century College.
Kelsey can be found most of the time decorating and planning as a events and outreach intern. When not at Special Products, she is a student at Inver Hills.
Resident shop dog. When not at Special Products, Beau likes to go on walks with her owner Hannah.
Resident shop dog. When not at Special Products, Tulo likes to bother her big sister Beau (well, she does that at Special Products too).
It’s no secret why we founded Special Products. One of our daughters, Haley, is a happy 20-something young woman who also happens to be developmentally disabled. When she graduated from high school, there were limited, and often highly competitive, resources for her to learn job skills and get her ready for life after high school. We knew there were many more young adults in the area in a similar situation and would benefit from program like this.
We started working with the Stillwater Area School District Transition Program in 2012, and opened our work facility in Stillwater, Minnesota the following year. Since then, we have also collaborated with other programs, such as ESR and Midwest Special Services. We do a variety of work here, anything to build a job experience for our trainees. It is great to see the workers' pride grow when goals are set and accomplishments are made. It brings a smile to our faces when they say they had a “great day” at Special Products.
You have the opportunity to purchase products from many companies. We hope you will consider Special Products and other companies like ours and make a difference in the lives of others!
Mark and Holly Arps, Founders