Stephen Richardson knows what it is like to struggle.
Before opening PVO Clothing Co. at 1509 Mentor Ave. in Painesville, he was homeless.
While Richardson was “going through a lot in life,” he decided to begin a brand that sells “positivity on a shirt.” PVO stands for Positive Vibes Only.
“It was a reminder every day to stay happy,” Richardson said. “It started out as a 30-day positivity challenge to try to refocus my thoughts. It’s so easy to get down on yourself and be negative.”
Now, Richardson looks to give back to the community, particularly those who struggle. He has teamed up with Paula Price, founder of 100 Youth That Care, to hold a Winter Wear Drive. This will be the second year doing the drive.
“It just seems like what I’m supposed to be doing,” Richardson said. “I’m trying to give back and do something.”
Price said the idea generated from hearing about a Painesville elementary school student complaining of not wearing clean underwear.
“I started putting up boxes around Lake County and asking for donations for underwear, socks, t-shirts,” Price said. “PVO Clothing Company was my pickup.”
Richardson and Price teamed up to begin holding the Winter Wear Drive where Price said hats, scarves, gloves, coats, and all clothing specified for battling cold weather get donated to PVO Clothing Co.
“I don’t like to talk about something,” Richardson said. “I want to do it; I want to get started immediately. We’re trying to help keep kids and people of all ages warm throughout the winter time.”
In his store, Richardson said he has a rack for free clothing for those who desperately need it. Richardson has even turned away money for the clothes.
“People were trying to pay me for it,” Richardson said. “I would have to tell them ‘no.’”
Not only does Richardson hold the Winter Wear Drive, but he also does other giveaways and fundraisers for the community such as donating shoes as well as over 100 school bags with school supplies.
The Winter Wear Drive will go on until Feb. 15, but Richardson said it will more than likely continue until the weather gets warmer.