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Local Boy Scout turns a hobby into a thriving business

Bottlecaps that could've been destined for the dump are turned into decor thanks to 16-year-old Brent Normand II.

NEW ORLEANS — A local 16-year-old is on a mission to raise money for Boy Scout Troops, and he's doing it one bottlecap at a time. 

Brent Normand II's art is now being sold in a Metairie boutique, NOLA Forever By K. 

Bottlecaps that could've been destined for the dump are turned into decor thanks to Brent. 

“I know people are willing to buy a crab because Louisiana," Normand said. 

Brent started making the art after COVID-19 hit. 

“When I was being homeschooled I had almost no idea what to do with myself," Brent said. 

His mom, Lisa Normand, said the pandemic was especially hard on Brent.

“He’s like I have no purpose," Lisa said, "And that’s not what you want to hear your child say. Especially a child on the spectrum. We said you have all these bottlecaps you’ve been saving, let’s do something with them.”  

Brent has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of Autism, so the family calls the business "Spectrum Art".

“Me and my dad usually cut the wood and stain the wood," Brent said explaining the process, "While me and my mom usually figure out the patterns and where to put stuff.”  

Now mom can't 'bottle up' how proud she is of her son.

“I’m really proud of him," Lisa said, "He stepped up on enjoying what he does and he’s saving money for certain trips for the boy scouts which are expensive.”  

You can help by buying the art or bringing bottlecaps to the NOLA Forever Boutique located at West Metairie Avenue and the Clearview Parkway. 

“You can get 10 percent off anything in the store if you bring bottlecaps for Brent," Karen Bordelon, the boutique's owner, said.

Brent is also working towards something he said only 4% of Boy Scouts ever accomplish - Eagle Scout status. 

“To some they probably wouldn’t know what kind of significance that would mean, but for my case it would probably mean a lot," Brent said. 

In the meantime, he still needs badges he hopes to get through "Spectrum Art."   

Brent said the badges he needs are Personal management and entrepreneur. 

His mom said Boy Scouts has been more than a hobby. 

“It’s actually a life lesson," Lisa said, "That’s how I see it. Because they do learn so many things.”  

His badges prove there's no cap to his potential. 

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