Secretary of State
Secretary Grimes Works With Teens to Start Businesses
Recently, two Kentucky teenagers registered their businesses with the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes walked them through the process and congratulated the entrepreneurs and their proud parents for their hard work and determination.
William Eliot Smith, a sophomore at Henry Clay High School in Fayette County, won the Secretary of State’s office’s 2011-2012 Essay Contest, and he used his prize money to start a non-profit, Dream Strings Inc. Joe Bremer, who is entering the 8th grade at Boyle County Middle School in Danville, registered Joe’s Bars & Suds, LLC, to sell his line of goat’s milk soaps.
“Young Kentuckians and small businesses help to form the foundation for our future,” said Grimes. “I’m really excited to see Eliot and Joe bringing the two together and proud to support their endeavors.”
In March, Grimes awarded Eliot $1,500 for writing the best 9th-grade essay about government regulation of speech in the context of elections. The prize money was provided by sponsors Houchens Industries, KEA Retired, Turner Construction, the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, and US Bank.
Eliot has always loved music, and he has been playing the electric guitar, on a hand-me-down from his father, for a few years. But Eliot was mindful that many families lack the means to buy instruments, and he wanted to find a way more students could be exposed to music and the developmental benefits it can provide. So Eliot set aside part of his prize money to start a non-profit organization to collect unwanted instruments, refurbish them and distribute them to students in need.
Eliot’s dream is on the path to reality. He has already collected several instruments, and Willcutt Guitar Shoppe in Lexington has agreed to refurbish them. The Salvation Army will help identify recipients and distribute instruments to them. Eliot is working on Dream Strings’ website, but in the meantime, you can call Eliot at 859-358-7151 to offer a donation or recommend a recipient.
Joe started goat farming and making goat’s milk soaps two years ago while living in Chicago. After his family moved to Danville, he honed his skills through the Boyle County 4H Club, where he is active in the 4H Means Business and Livestock clubs.
Joe is the only person who makes and sells goat’s milk soaps in Boyle County, and he already has a long list of loyal customers. You can buy the soap bars at several stores in Boyle County, and the Woodford Inn in Versailles buys small bars for its guests. If you prefer to shop from home, you can find a fragrance list on Joe’s Bars & Suds’ Facebook page and email or call Joe at 859-583-7536 to place your order. Joe donates a portion of his profits to local charities.
“It’s great to see young Kentuckians who are engaged in and supporting their communities and the state,” said Grimes. “With driven students like Eliot and Joe leading the way, I know Kentucky’s best and brightest days are ahead.”
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