Hailey Hertzman and Katie Vonder Haar had a dream for their lemonade business in Louisville, Kentucky, earlier this year – and they had the courage to pursue it. Their courageous pursuits as young business owners have earned them recognition locally and nationally. After being named Louisville’s Entrepreneurs of the Year in May 2017, Hailey and Katie entered the Lemonade Day National Entrepreneur of the Year competition. This past weekend, Hailey and Katie were honored in Houston as Lemonade Day National Entrepreneurs of the Year.
Accompanied by their parents, Hailey and Katie were treated to an all-expenses-paid trip to Houston last weekend to attend our Lemonade Day National City Directors Conference where we officially recognized them for their sweet lemonade sales success. The girls, who are in sixth grade, enjoyed meeting Michael Holthouse, National Lemonade Day founder, at a welcome dinner last Thursday. And on Friday, Hailey and Katie proudly shared their sweet Lemonade Day success story before a room full of caring adult mentors that included their parents and approximately 50 Lemonade Day U.S. City Directors and National headquarters staff. Hailey and Katie explained how they generated over $570 in lemonade sales on Louisville’s first Lemonade Day, which was hosted citywide on April 29. They donated $330, a portion of their profits, to their designated charity partner Cedar Lake Lodge.
“We are very proud of these two young women,” said Lauren Coulter, Lemonade Day Louisville City Director. “They developed a solid plan and worked it, marketed their product and showed that kids can develop and run a small business, giving back to the community at the same time. Hailey and Katie deserve this honor and they are making not only the Lemonade Day organization proud, but all of Louisville proud, too.”
The Award-Winning Lemonade Day Back Story - In Their Own Words
Hailey and Katie worked for several months to establish their lemonade business, Tropical Tiki Hut. They developed and tested their product, completed a business plan, established a budget, found a prime location, and marketed and promoted their product, learning basic business concepts and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
“We learned that a business plan is important because it prepares you for everything you need to know to make your business successful,” Hailey said. “Our business needed a fun name to stand out, and we thought Tropical Tiki Hut sounded happy and tasty. A slogan helps people remember your product so we came up with ‘A smile in every sip,’ and we were on our way from there.”
“You know what they say in business: ’Location, Location, Location,’” Katie commented. “We had to find a high traffic grocery store where we could get our product in people’s mouths so Kroger was a great place for us to set up our shop. It was easy for us and easy for our customers.”
These young partners also learned about product testing as they experimented to get the right, not too sweet and not too sour, lemonade recipe. After landing on their recipe, they knew they needed pricing to be just right so that they could make a profit. Getting the word out was going to be a key to their success, too.
“We created a Facebook and Instagram account and got permission from our school principal to include our Lemonade Day plans in our weekly online school newsletter to help drive business,” the dynamic duo explained.
“Winning this award is a huge honor, and we are very grateful to be selected out of the thousands of kids that were competing,” said Hailey, with Kattie adding: “We learned so much together, and the best part was that it felt great to give back. We hope this is just the beginning of our entrepreneurship in the community.”
Hailey and Katie executed their business plan to perfection. They utilized the Lemonade Day curriculum and resources, and they celebrated by spending, saving and sharing their success. Please join me in rallying 75,000 kids in the U.S. and Canada to participate in the Lemonade Day experience next year with the fun and success that these young ladies did earlier this year.
About Lemonade Day:
Founded in 2007 in Houston by Michael and Lisa Holthouse, Lemonade Day is a non-profit program dedicated to teaching every child across North America the business and financial skills that are key ingredients of entrepreneurship. By learning these skills early in life, children are better prepared to be successful, financially healthy adults. Through our fun, hands-on program Kids K-5 are empowered to start their own business—a lemonade stand—and to experience the ability to earn money, using 100 percent of their profit to spend, save and share based on their goal. For more information, visit www.lemonadeday.org.
Katie Vonder Haar (L) and Hailey Hertzman, winners of National Lemonade Day Entrepreneur of the Year Award, with Steven Gordon, National Lemonade Day President
Hailey Hertzman (L) and Katie Vonder Haar work their award-winning Tropical Tiki Hut Lemonade Day Stand in Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville’s Hailey Hertzman (L) and Katie Vonder Haar, winners of the Lemonade Day National Entrepreneur of the Year Award