Teen with Cerebral Palsy Launches “Unrealistic” Hot Sauce Business


Some entrepreneurs start their business to make a living. Others start a business to prove something to themselves and to inspire others.

Drew Davis is an example of the latter. The Saint Louis-area teenager, who has cerebral palsy, originally started his company, Crippling Hot Sauce, as a school project. But when he received a “b-grade” grade and was told his business was “unrealistic,” he was motivated to turn his vision into a reality.

Davis saved about $3,000 in startup capital over the years for Christmases and birthdays, and began by releasing his products in stores across the area before launching his own online store.

In a recent interview with The National Desk, he said, “And so I just decided to do it. And about 24 months later, we've sold over 178,000 bottles and donated thousands of dollars to cerebral palsy research. That's part of our mission, to show that anything is possible, no matter what situation you're in.”

In addition to inspiring others to pursue their dreams, Davis also ensures that the company financially supports important causes. Crippling Hot Sauce donates 5 percent of the proceeds from each sale to CP research.

Davis' personal story is also featured prominently on the company's website and marketing materials, which state, for example, “It's not the hot sauce that put me in a wheelchair. It's the cerebral palsy.” The company's logo features a hot pepper in a wheelchair.

In this way, Davis brings some fun and humor to the brand while also drawing attention to part of what makes the company special – its own history.

Every entrepreneur has their own background and challenges, and Davis' successful business shows that you don't have to shy away from those differences, but can actually use them to make your business special and inspire others in the process.

Image: thecripplingcompany.com