Malia and Michael had their first experience with being little entrepreneurs last month by having a lemonade stand. Yes, the old school, classic lemonade stand. They participated in Lemonade Day in Salem, Oregon on May 19th.
I first learned about Lemonade Day last year when living in Texas. We stumbled upon it, really. Michael and Malia had just finished their last t-ball game and we were about to go home when we saw multiple lemonade stands at the nearby park. We decided to go check it out. To our surprise we discovered an amazing national event that promoted entrepreneurship! The purpose of Lemonade day is to prepare youth for life through fun, hands on experiences. It teaches youth how to start, own and operate a business. I was so impressed and knew that I wanted my kids to be a part of this event in the future.
So fast forward to the future–this year, I made it happen. In all honesty I had totally forgot about Lemonade Day until Eleanor Rose came out with their lemonade dress line– which was adorable! (Girl moms, if you haven’t heard of the brand click on the site and thank me later)! Anyways, seeing those dresses brought lemonade to the forefront of my mind which then caused me to think of Lemonade Day. This is how my mom brain works people!
The Breakdown of Lemonade Day:
So how it works is you go to the website and find the city you live in, or the closest one to you and register your child. This is a free event, and by registering your child your able to have access to all their resources. Lessons, tips and discussion topics are the three elements that consist in the series of emails they send– all the information given is informative and a great resource to have while guiding your children to success. There emails really break it down so that your child is able to think of all the steps needed to be a successful business owner! My kids didn’t fully benefit from the resources because I was late registering them and even more late starting with them, BUT I definitely will take full advantage next year of the tools and information that is provided.
Three days before Lemonade Day (Wednesday):
Like I said, I started late with my kids. Really. Late. By late I mean three days before Lemonade day. Yep, May 16th. That Wednesday morning after I dropped Michael and Malia off at school I headed to pick up some crates that I found for less than half the price they sell them for at Michael’s (craft store). I found the crates on Facebook Marketplace– score, right?! So Mason and I took a 40 minute road trip to save some money. We picked up the crates and then stopped at Home Depot to grab some nails and paint. Then we headed back home.
When the kids got home from school I told them that they were going to participate in lemonade day and then explained to them what it was. I then gave them each a sheet of paper and told them to think about and write down their goals. I told them to write down how much they wanted to make, how long they wanted to work at their stand, what flavors of lemonade they wanted to make, and what other items besides lemonade they wanted to sell. I gave them about 20 minutes to do this, because it was crunch time people. This mama waited to the last minute so of course I had to rush my kids. They had high hopes guys. Unrealistic, high hopes. Michael’s goal was to make infinity dollars and Malia being more realistic put she wanted to make 50,000 dollars. All in one day of working a lemonade stand. Needless to say I had to talk to them about being realistic and discuss how much they thought they could sell a cup of lemonade for. After several long dragged out minutes of trying to convince them to snap back into reality I finally broke through to them and they realized they were not going to make that kind of money! They talked amongst one another and decided they could make 500 dollars. Again, I had to talk to them and explain that they would have to sell 500 cups of lemonade (because they decided to sell their lemonade for $1 a cup) to reach their goal. With lots of explaining and going back and forth and me convincing them to lower their goal to a more realistic number they did. They set their new goal to $100. They both agreed that they wanted to work as long as it took to reach their goal. They decided they wanted their hours to be 10:30am to 4:00pm. They decided to sell bubble gum balls, homemade chocolate chip cookies, raspberry lemonade and classic lemonade.
Two days before Lemonade Day (Thursday):
After the kids got out of school I had them practice how they would greeting customers, we talked about the importance of having good customer service and being knowledgeable about the things they would be selling. We also looked up recipes for the lemonades they would be making. After doing that we went to a local grocery store and bought the bubble gum balls and ingredients to make the homemade chocolate chip cookies.
One day before Lemonade Day (Friday):
The day before Lemonade Day the kids got invited to go over a friend’s house. So after school we went over to their scheduled play date for a couple of hours. (Yes, I just had to fit more into this day)! On our way home from the play date I broke down the long list of things we needed to get done to be prepared for tomorrow. Right when we got home we hit the ground running. The kids changed into play clothes and started painting the crates. After painting the crates we all washed our hands and went into the kitchen to start making the lemonade. To prepare the lemonade the kids rolled lemons on the table so more juice would come out of them. We made some homemade classic lemonade and then made homemade raspberry syrup. Then we whipped up the batter for chocolate chip cookies and started baking. After a couple of batches had cooled Michael and Malia took two cookies and wrapped them carefully in saran wrap. They continued wrapping two cookies at a time until all of them were securely wrapped. By this time it was late and I was tired… and so were they. I sent them to sleep and stayed up longer picking up the kitchen, setting out their outfits, and organizing the things we needed to take with us the next day. I realized we didn’t have enough lemonade so my husband graciously volunteered to run to the grocery store to get some so we could have that if they ran out of their homemade lemonade. By the time he got back, I was exhausted and end up calling it a night.
The day of Lemonade Day I woke up early, dusted off my silhouette cutting machine and made a purple banner, and a floral banner that said LEMONADE. Earlier that week Michael had picked out the purple paper and Malia had picked out the floral paper at the craft store. Before I was done the kids woke up and starting getting ready. I finished the banners, we all ran around the house like chickens with their heads cut off and then managed to make it in the car to head to the location of their lemonade stand.
When we got to Salem and saw the location (which was suggested by one of the event planner for Salem’s Lemonade Day) my husband and I knew that our kids wouldn’t get a lot of sales setting up there. So we decided not to! Instead we decided to set up at the Riverfront Park in Salem. Which just so happens to be one of our favorite parks, and is a great location because of all the people coming and going on a Saturday. My husband set up their stand, I put up their banners and we all set up the lemonade, gum balls and cookies. Right after getting everything in position customers started coming. Yep, that fast! I don’t know who was more excited… me or the kids!
Michael (my husband) left to make a quick run to the local grocery store to grab some ice, gloves, and trash bags. By the time he got back they had made around 10 more sales. It was so exciting seeing their faces light up when people came to their stand. Everything was going great, the homemade raspberry lemonade was the top seller. The kids were enjoying selling and having fun counting the amount of money to give back to people. They were getting more confident in telling people about their lemonade and the things they were selling. I was able to just sit back and watch them do their thing.
Yep, everything was great- until we were stopped by the on duty park guard. He told us that we were not allowed to sell Lemonade at this park because they have paid vendors located at the park and they didn’t want business taken away from them. I understood, and was thankful that the guard delivered the message nicely. The guard allowed Michael and Malia to continue to sell items until my husband got back (he went to get us lunch). When Michael got back we packed up our stuff and headed to look for a new location. We ended up at Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park. This park is so cute, and also ended up being a good location. We set up and the kids got back to work. After about a dozen more sales they closed up shop early– so they could play at the park.
We ended up with only 3 things of cookies left and a gallon of classic lemonade. The kids made $86.50! Didn’t reach their goal, but they sure did get close. I loved the learning, fun, and interaction that came out of helping my children with their first lemonade stand. The kids still have yet to do anything with the money they earned. With the profits from their lemonade stand, Lemonade day encourages children to do the 3 S’s which are–spend, save, and share. I love this concept and Malia and Michael will be doing it.
My goal with helping my children do their first lemonade stand was to teach them how to set goals, how to work hard, and how to have good customer service. I know it’s just a lemonade stand but so much learning and life lessons can come with “just having a lemonade stand.” So if your kids have been begging to do a lemonade stand take the plunge this summer and do it! Put some time in prepping, and have fun. Below are my 7 tips to having a fun, successful lemonade stand!!
7 tips to Having A Successful Lemonade Stand:
1. Utilize the resources your given.
2. Start early (on time) to get the most out of it!
3. Let your children be creative.
4. If you can, make homemade lemonade (instead of store bought). Don’t let your kids take the easy way out!
5. Pick a good location (a location that will have a lot of traffic coming and going). Location plays a big part in how successful your lemonade stand will be.
6. Assess your child while he/she is running the lemonade stand and give him/her feedback– I know this may seem like a little much, but I did this with my children and I’m glad I did. I was mortified at some things I heard and saw my children do. For instance: One gentleman came up to my children’s lemonade stand and my son addressed him saying, “what do you want” — I definitely used that as a teaching moment and told him that is not how you talk to someone, especially a potential customer! Another example is when my daughter was handling the money and then tried to reach in the gumball jar and give her customer gumballs. Umm, no that’s nasty! Money has so much germs and then to touch an unwrapped gumball is a NO GO!
7. Have fun!!
Happy Lemonade Selling!! If you don’t get out this summer to sell lemonade then mark your calendars for Lemonade Day next year! Lemonade Day takes place in May. You will have to go to the website (closer to the date) to see what weekend the closest participating city to you will hold their Lemonade Day.
When life gives you lemons, make something with them and profit!! 🙂
Oh, and shout out to Poohbah (my dad) for coming up with the name!!