By Jami Marsh, Director, Lemonade Day Greater Indianapolis
As the potential customer approached the bright, citrusy-green lemonade stand, Ben and Colleen signaled to Mom to hit ‘play’ on the boom box and out came the twangy-sounds of “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy,” their theme song. The song, coupled with their winning smiles and persuasive sales pitch, sealed the deal. Not only did they sell two cups of lemonade, but the customer left a generous tip to reward them for their ingenuity and great customer service.
Ben and Colleen are veteran participants of Lemonade Day, a free Greater Indianapolis area initiative that teaches kids how to start, own, and operate their own business: a lemonade stand. Kids sign up, get a backpack with the “Entrepreneur’s Workbook” inside, and they work through 14 lessons in entrepreneurship. Kids ultimately open up shop and set up their lemonade stands on one single day in May – Saturday, May 18, this year. They sell lemonade, turn a profit (we hope), and keep the money. We teach and encourage them to “spend, save, and share” their profits.
Brought to the area in 2010 by local inventor and entrepreneur Scott Jones, Lemonade Day is inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. Ben and Colleen were among the 15,000 kids in the nine-county region who participated last year. And these Zionsville kids are tough competitors. Last year, they placed second in the Lemonade Day Best Business Contest, one of several contests and workshops offered through the program, after earning a whopping $470 on Lemonade Day. What’s more, they actually covered their own start-up costs with Lemonade Day profits from the previous year. Thus, no loans or outside investors needed. Yeah, these kids are good.
You see, Lemonade Day is a family experience for the Carrs. Jon and Kristen, entrepreneurs themselves, encourage the kids to take Lemonade Day “to the next level.” Every year, they step up their game. Initially, once the kids decided on a theme and a name for their lemonade stand, Jon, owner of Five Stones Marketing, helped them create a logo. They stood over his shoulder, literally, and told him exactly how they wanted it to look. Then they created t-shirts. Jon’s brother, a musician, recorded their theme song. The whole family worked on building and embellishing the lemonade stand. One of the more important decisions Ben and Colleen made last year was choosing the charity to which they would donate a portion of their profits. They chose Riley Children’s Hospital in honor of their friend who suffers from juvenile arthritis.
Ben and Colleen are participating in Lemonade Day again this year, along with nearly 20,000 kids across the nine-county region. They are kids to watch. I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Lemonade Day Sign-Up Locations in Zionsville:
Hussey-Mayfield Public Library
State Bank of Lizton (Zionsville branch)
Web site: www.indianapolis.lemonadeday.org
Facebook: Lemonade Day Indianapolis
Instagram: Lemonade Day Indy
Lemonade Day Seed Fund:
Lemonade Day is raising money to start a Seed Fund, from which kids can acquire some, and possibly all, of their start-up capital for their lemonade businesses! Lemonade Day has raised $5,000 and is partnering with a company called Localstake to raise another $5,000. To donate to the Seed Fund, visit: www.localstake.com