Belfair Elementary School Student ‘Shirts’ the Issue of Becoming an Entrepreneur with Unique T-Shirt Design Business
- February 14, 2011
Kyler Doutrive (left) and his mother, Cosha Hayes, show off an original T-shirt design at Belfair Elementary School
There’s a third grader at Belfair Elementary School who seems like any other student enrolled there. But beneath his maroon school uniform shirt, he hides something that makes him extraordinary. It’s a T-shirt featuring his own unique graphic design as part of his Kyler D Company.
At just 10 years old, Kyler Doutrive has begun his own on-line business selling graphic T-shirts emblazoned with his designs. Currently, the Skayte T-shirts, named for his fondness for skateboarding and skateboard-related clothing, are beginning to turn a profit for Doutrive and his mother, Cosha Hayes.
Hayes, who oversees the business side of the Kyler D Company through her own business, Bran Nue Productions, said they are starting to get large orders for groups instead of just individual orders for one shirt. In fact, the Baton Rouge Parish Police Department has contracted with Kyler D to create a design and have T-shirts printed up for two charity walks – eight shirts for the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk on February 19 and more than 100 shirts for the upcoming Heart Walk.
Although he’s inspired by skateboarding, Doutrive only has one full-sized board. He wants to buy more and expand his collections of “finger” toy skateboards. “I saw them doing skateboarding tricks on TV, and it looked like fun,” he said. “I’ve been interested in it for about a year now.” Hayes said Doutrive had wanted to do a clothing line for kids for awhile. Then his aunt came up with the name Skayte, which is emblazoned on his premiere T-shirt now. “I don’t think he expected to do a real business,” Hayes said. “He’s still kind of feeling his way through it. At this point, we have two designs for the shirts that he has drawn. We’ve sold close to 30 at between $10 and $11 each, but interest is growing. We’re just starting to see a profit.”
Kids and adults can order the Skayte T-shirts on-line for the price plus shipping costs. There will be more styles to choose from very soon, too. “I like to draw. I like coloring and creating things that no one else has done before,” Doutrive said. He’ll be adding some artwork with faces and characters to his T-shirt line next. Once he makes the design, a printer scans it in and has it printed on the shirts.
To kick off the business last month, the company hosted a lunch for friends and family, took promotional photos in front of his logo, gave out gift bags, arranged for basketball and other games for guests and had Doutrive sign autographs. He signs his posters all the time and keeps his Sharpie pen in his backpack. Next up: He’ll be designing stickers and decals for skateboards.
In the meantime, Doutrive attends school and helps draw, write and layout an original comic book, “Funny Chaps,” with his brother. “I want to be an artist one day. My daddy and brother like to draw, too, and we do on the weekends and in restaurants,” he said.
“I’m very proud of him – seeing him get publicity. It really says something,” Hayes said. “He wants to do this, and I support him and it took off from there.” In the meantime, all that money goes into a savings account so Doutrive can one day study art in college. For more information, log on to www.skayte.com.
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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