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Brownsburg 3rd-grader keeps busy running his own business

It all started in 2021 with a simple drawing by now-third-grader Lincoln Klepper.

BROWNSBURG, Ind. — While most 8-year-olds are busy playing with friends, Lincoln Klepper of Brownsburg is busy running his own business.

It all started in 2021 with a simple drawing by the now third-grader.

"I knew that everyone was cool, and I wanted to put it on a T-shirt," Lincoln said. "I begged for eight months, and it finally gave in."

By "it," he means his mother and father. Later that year, "You're Cool" became an official small business with Lincoln at the helm. 

"It just kind of blew up from there, so to speak," said Rob Klepper, Lincoln's father. "Everyone wanted to get a 'You're Cool' shirt, because everyone is cool, if you ask Lincoln."

"We have T-shirts, stickers, thank you cards, pillows and a flag," Lincoln said.

With business booming, Lincoln even recruited his 6-year-old brother to help.

"Kash is an assistant of mine," Lincoln said, "and he's my brother. I love him so much. He kind of helps me with the customers buying the T-shirts."

Credit: WTHR/Samantha Johnson
8-year-old Lincoln Klepper.

If you ask Kash, the stickers are the best purchase.

"They stick on you," Kash said, "and if they don't have a 'You're Cool' shirt, but they have a white shirt, you can just put it right in the middle."

Each item up for sale is marked with a couple of small letters.

"'By LK,'" Lincoln said, "which stands for Lincoln Klepper."

A year into the business, Lincoln now gives back to the community that helped "You're Cool" get off the ground. Lincoln donates to his school, Cardinal Elementary, and is even sponsoring an upcoming fundraiser.

"He just wants to help out his teachers and some of the kids at his school," Rob said.

Rob and his wife, Nicole, use "You're Cool" to help teach the boys practical skills, like profit and cost.

"You sell a shirt for $10, you don't necessarily get the $10," Rob said. "He understands that there's a profit in that, and that there are expenses and costs."

Credit: WTHR/Samantha Johnson
8-year-old Lincoln Klepper (left) and 6-year-old Kash Klepper.

Rob said Lincoln is part of all business aspects, from designing to packaging and shipping.

"For him to be engaged and wanting to do this at such a young age is pretty neat," Rob said.

Lincoln said his favorite part of the business is helping customers pick out their shirts, especially the "little kids."

"Sometimes for the little kids," Lincoln said, "I always give stickers out."

The Kleppers said the best way to snag "You're Cool" merchandise is to check out the website or social media.

"This shirt reminds you that you're cool and cool looking," Lincoln said.

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