BY DEBBIE NAZARIAN, LEMONADE DAY NATIONAL DIRECTOR
Today, I want to introduce you to 16-year-old Katie Scholl. She first registered for Lemonade Day in 2014 when she was 9 and had just learned to ride a bike. Unfortunately, that bicycle was stolen off her porch and she was determined to get a new one. She registered for Lemonade Day at school and convinced her then skeptical uncle to help her build her stand and become an investor. Katie proved to be a hard worker and willing to go the extra mile to sell her fresh-squeezed lemonade. She hired staff, trained them, and paid them. She paid back her uncle for the money he loaned her and the landlord she “leased” space from for her stand location – a very busy car wash in town.
Lemonade Day Lubbock (Texas) leaders named Katie their 2016 Youth Entrepreneur of the Year saying she continuously beat her personal goals and she showed confidence, ambition, and a solid work ethic. She showed a thorough understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur and will continue to reach new heights.
Since then, she has been invited to attend a women’s conference where she prepared and served her brisket street tacos and lemonade. She met other businesswomen and networked “a lot.” She was also invited to a groundbreaking ceremony at the Lubbock YMCA and got to stand with YMCA leaders and local officials to turn the ground. Here is more from our conversation where Katie tells me how Lemonade Day has improved her confidence to run a business and be more outgoing.
“Follow the Plan and Learn Life Lessons From Your Lemonade Day Experiences
Like so many Lemonade Day entrepreneurs, Katie didn’t stop after buying her bike. She says the experience was so valuable for her that she decided to support various fundraisers for her girls’ basketball team and raise money to attend the Texas Tech Lady Raider Basketball camp on campus. She even helped a local teacher pay for school supplies.
She took two of the Lemonade Day lessons about Marketing and Profit and tested additional products by adding smoked brisket and pork sandwiches with her very own “Awesome Sauce” to her menu. In 2016, Katie took an even bigger risk and asked Uncle Larry to give her a loan to rent a flatbed trailer to make it easier to take her business around town. She quickly upgraded and bought her very own catering trailer! Last summer she was contacted to provide the concessions for the local recreation center five to six days a week. Katie says, “I think of myself as a full-fledged businesswoman now.” I wholeheartedly agree.
What Else Does Katie Do?
If you didn’t already think her days are busy enough, Katie is the front “woman” for a band she and her friends formed. They are invited to play at events around town where she also brings her catering trailer. The band got a big break from Dusty and Cory Caswell the owners of a local coffee and pizza shop, Krank Koffie Company, who hired the band and continues to book them on a regular basis. Katie tells me that Dusty is a real inspiration for her. “Dusty has shown me how hard work and a vision help you achieve anything,” Katie said. “Dusty ‘wanted it and made it happen’ in everything she has touched – the coffee shop, her photography business, and even her vintage travel trailer she ‘glamps’ in. She teaches me to never lose hope and continue to dream.”
What Katie’s Mom Thinks of Katie’s Successes
Katie’s mom, Kathy, told me that she is so very proud of Katie. She mentioned that Katie was always a responsible child who saved her money, but her Lemonade Day experiences have truly complemented her talents and provided her with additional skill sets and a drive for continuous improvement and new adventures. “Katie is always thinking outside the box. She competes with other adult business owners with ease and exhibits a maturity beyond her years. It’s important to her that she has a good, quality product no matter what it is. Katie has taken the curve balls thrown her way and ‘made lemonade out of them.’”
Katie’s Biggest Lessons Learned
What Katie Wants Other Budding Entrepreneurs to Know
“I am very proud of myself. Lemonade Day started as an opportunity to replace my stolen bike. I was determined and excited and nervous, but I never got scared. The Lemonade Day program and my mentors taught me so many valuable lessons. I took the information and coaching and ran with it. Now, I have so many new and cool opportunities in front of me. I never imagined I would run a business by myself and now I’ve found things I love to do and I’m having fun. I eventually want to open my own restaurant and will probably continue taking a food truck to local events. I’m often wondering ‘how much farther can I go.’ I can do this. I’ve got this!”
Yes, you do, Katie! Yes, you do. I can’t imagine anything getting in your way. We are SO very proud of you!
The Lemonade Day program, along with parents and mentors, helps kids with basic financial literacy vocabulary and applies that knowledge to the concepts of running a business. We provide the tools and resources, and the kids bring the drive and desire. Joe Daly, Senior Partner with Gallup and a Lemonade Day board member commented, “What’s really fascinating is that kids are born with tons of yeses and a lot of entrepreneurial energy from birth. But what is alarming, is that over a child’s educational career, that energy starts to diminish. Lemonade Day is an essential activity to keep that energy and spark alive.”
Registrations are now open at Lemonade Day cities across North America. Visit https://www.lemonadeday.org/find-your-city for more information.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to share this blog with others and share my contact information, email@example.com with anyone who would like to know how to help us provide our program to more children and youth or start Lemonade Day in a new city!