The story of Self++ goes back to 2017, where founder and CEO Jonathan Laloz was approached by his close friend about getting her son, James* who is “Level 3” ASD, to work in the Finny Migs LEGO® store he runs. She was upset that a psychologist’s report stated that James would never be able to work or become independent, and that his IQ was below average. Having known James for his whole life, Jonathan didn’t believe the accuracy of the report, especially given the short amount of time the psychologist actually spent with James, and agreed to have him work in the store on a part-time basis.
James started off completing simple tasks, such as counting the pieces of LEGO® to be packed into orders and separating LEGO® pieces from their sets so they could be sold in the store. Over time, James expanded his skills and knowledge to a point where Jonathan was able to leave him in charge of the day-to-day operations of the store while he was interstate travelling for the business, in addition to training new staff on how to operate the business and handling anomalies with orders when they occurred.
In December 2019, Jonathan was participating in a brainstorming session with some other business owners he knew when he got the idea to start a new business to help others like James. Having a background in IT programming, Jonathan created the name Self++ as a play on the programming language C++, which is an improvement on the C programming language, where Self++ empowers people to improve themselves and achieve their goals and dreams.
* – Not his real name