Follow Up Monday

WSVN — Two business owners called Help Me Howard for a solution to their troubles, but it’s what happened after their stories aired that made it into a bigger story … on tonight’s Help Me Howard.

Ory is an artist. When we met her, she explained what kind of artist.

Ory Fernandez, www.gypsydreamsfacepainting.com: “I am a starving artist.”

Patrick Fraser: “Is there any other kind?”

Ory Fernandez: “No, unless you die, and when you’re dead, you’re good.”

As a single mom, Ory paints faces for a living, and to generate business for Gypsy Dreams Face Painting, she paid a franchise owner of The Coffee News $390 for ads in his paper in the Palmetto Bay area.

Ory Fernandez: “I would e-mail him and still call him, and nothing. He just disappeared.”

Turns out the owner lost his Coffee News franchise, meaning Ory lost her $390. Then her Help Me Howard story aired.

Gilbert Gutierrez, G Print, Inc.: “We print everything except money.”

Gilbert Gutierrez owns G Print, where they do print everything from banners to car wraps to 3-D business cards. He saw Ory on Help Me Howard and printed up 5,000 flyers for her small business … for free.

Gilbert Gutierrez: “She said it was too much, but I said, ‘It’s no big deal for us.'”

Ram Ramkissoon owns the Bistro Fusion Restaurant in Naranja and the Coffee News franchises in South Dade. He stepped forward to help Ory.

Ram Ramkissoon, Coffee News: ” I paid for that design, and then I put it in my three editions. I told her, ‘I will do 16 weeks free.'”

The ad has been in the Coffee News for weeks, a free paper with a distinct purpose, while your meal is being cooked.

Ram Ramkissoon: “It’s all light, easy reading stuff, to help you pass the time and make you feel a little relaxed while you are waiting.”

Ory Fernandez: “Then he put me in the Latin mix also.”

The owner of Menu Ads also stepped forward and put Ory’s ad in restaurant menus. Help Me Howard viewers called and hired her to face paint at their parties. So many South Floridians wanting to help Ory.

Patrick Fraser: “Were you surprised that people stepped forward?”

Ory Fernandez: “Yeah, ’cause sometimes I feel like you kinda lose faith in humanity. You know, like everybody is bad, and you can’t trust people. There are people out there that will help you.”

Ram says people shouldn’t be surprised he wanted to help. It’s nothing new for him..

Ram Ramkissoon: “Did you ever see that movie ‘Pay It Forward?’ I was doing that for years before that movie ever came out.”

Gilbert says his concern for others is one reason G Print is so successful.

Gilbert Gutierrez: “And that’s why we have a good reputation in business, because we try to take care of people and do it right.”

Nice people, helping a nice lady.

Ory Fernandez: “I wanna say thank you to everybody.”

But things don’t always turn out perfectly after a Help Me Howard airs.

Joey Rolon, www.funkysexycouture.com: “We are in business. Hopefully we’re here to stay.”

Joey Rolon owns Funky Sexy Couture, a business that was being devastated by a slow-moving Miami Beach project to replace a parking lot. By the time we interviewed Joey, three businesses near him had gone under. Then our story aired.

Joey Rolon: “We were making no money. Help Me Howard put us on the air. The next day we were extremely busy.”

But with the parking lot still torn up, Joey realized he couldn’t stay open. He closed Funky Sexy, and met us back at the now empty shopping center. Every other business was forced to close by the parking lot remodeling, which Joey said made no sense at the time and no sense now.

Joey Rolon: “But, if you look at the parking lot, they didn’t do absolutely nothing. Pretty much, it’s the same thing. They didn’t do anything.”

Joey is planning on re-opening a new and expanded shop while staying in business with his website. Since he had to eventually close the beach location, we don’t think we helped him. Joey says we’re wrong.

Joey Rolon: “I am very grateful to you guys to at least look out for us, because the city is definitely not looking out for small businesses.”

Patrick Fraser: “The city, of course, would disagree, but Joey will re-open soon, bigger and better, he says. And Ory is in much better shape than before we met her, because of people like you. So many people in South Florida are wonderful people who see a chance to help and step in. Thanks, everyone.”

Painted yourself into a corner? Need to construct a way out? Contact us. We aren’t rich, but we are generous … with our time. With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser 7News.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
E-mail: helpmeHoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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