(WSVN) - She is starting a small business to inspire young children in school. It’s a nice thing to do, but what do you do to get the business going and protect yourself? It’s why one wannabe entrepreneur contacted Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Yvette was a teacher for 25 years, but it was never just a teaching job.

Yvette Thomas: “I just love kids. I love, love, love teaching.”

When she retired, she kept tutoring students who needed assistance.

But as the kids head to school every day, Yvette still has the desire to inspire the kids in the classroom.

Yvette Thomas: “I wanted to create inspirational T-shirts to encourage kids.”

Then she put together the slogans for the young children.

Yvette Thomas: “My number one favorite is ‘Never give up, keep trying’ and ‘Bullying, it’s not cool.’ Another one says that ‘I am loved.'”

Then Yvette turned to backpacks, dreaming of the good the slogans could do at an elementary school.

Yvette Thomas: “Could you just imagine a school full of backpacks with children just motivating each other?”

She turned to a website that would print the children’s shirts and backpacks, but the price they had to charge was too high, so Yvette said, take out most of her profit.

Yvette Thomas: “Yes, so if it takes for me to cut back on my percentage, I’m willing to take that.”

She won’t get rich, but Yvette wants to enrich the minds of young students.

Yvette Thomas: “You don’t have to be the next, you know, Michael Jordan. It’s OK to be yourself. Just be the best you that you can possibly be.”

But her question is about herself: How can she and her small company be the best they can possibly be?”


Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Legally, the first thing every small business owner should do is incorporate with the State of Florida. This protects you and allows you to write off your expenses. Then you need to get the word out, either through social media, list your website and contact the schools. For example, the PTAs to get them to buy shirts and backpacks for children.”

To incorporate her business, Yvette can hire a lawyer, or anyone can do it themselves. The state has a website for you.

Yvette has her T-shirts on sale at the website Etsy.

And to attract customers, you can set up your own Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. You can use those to promote your business. Yvette is doing that now to link customers to her shirt and backpack website.

Yvette Thomas: “I’m excited about being an entrepreneur.”

Yvette is excited about creating her company, and like every good entrepreneur, filled with confidence.

Yvette Thomas: “I get motivated by the T-shirt, you know? ‘Never give up, keep trying.'”

Good luck, Yvette, and remember every business starts small. Publix had one store in 1930. Channel 7 went on the air for the first time in July 1956.

Start small, start growing.

And, by the way, the link to incorporate your business, or to look at Yvette’s shirts and backpacks, are at the end of this Help Me Howard.

A problem left you shirtless? Don’t be un-inspired. Start-up with us, ’cause we are motivated to help you.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

Create a Business

Yvette’s Website
Yvette has her T-shirts on sale at Etsy

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Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
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