11-year-old creates business, fights autism stigma

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-“Hello. My name is JW Hardin.”

JW was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age four.

“He was actually not able to hold a conversation at that time. He could say a couple of words, but he could not answer an open ended question,” said JW’s mom Amy Hardin.

Through a lot of time, therapy and miles on the road, JW is now a bubbly, talkative 11-year-old…and an entrepreneur. 

“He came to us and said he would like to have his own business, we of course, we tried to support any idea or initiative he has, because we know what it’s like to not be able to hear his voice,” said Amy.

Introducing Jockeys by JW. He hand paints jockey ornaments in any style or color a customer desires. Jockeys, of course, for Kentucky. 

“I may keep getting paint on my hands but it doesn’t matter, all that matters is having fun,” said JW. 

He came up with the idea after telling his mom he wanted to start making his own money. 

“I wanted to make some money to get some Hot Wheels. Because they’re 1000% my thing,” said JW.

His mom wants JW’s story to inspire others who have autism to never give up and follow your dreams. 

“A diagnosis does not define your child. It’s a part of them,” said Amy.

JW has big plans for the future of his company. 

“I’m gonna have over 20 employees, and I’ll sell 100 thousand ornaments and probably have 1 and a half million dollars,” said JW.