Nothing tastes better on a hot day than a nice cup of refreshing cold lemonade.
Girls Inc. of Jackson County members capitalized on that idea and became entrepreneurs by running their own lemonade stands this summer.
Divided into four groups, the girls brainstormed ideas of how to make their lemonade the best, how much to sell it for, names and themes for their lemonade stands, job assignments for each “employee,” and where their profits should go.
Then, for several hours on four separate days in July, the girls set up outside the Girls Inc. building on North O’Brien Street in Seymour and took shifts selling their lemonade and reaping the benefits of their business decisions.
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Nationally, Girls Inc. partnered with the Lemonade Day project in 2014 as an opportunity to train young girls in entrepreneurship and teach them basic economic literacy and business skills. But Girls Inc. of Jackson County has been offering the program longer.
“We have done lemonade stands for the past five summers,” said Girls Inc. program director Kelly Royer.
Around 200 girls enrolled in this year’s Girls Inc. summer camp spent one day a week for nine weeks with staff working on their lemonade stand businesses, including planning, budgeting, investment, supply procurement, marketing and selling to meet demand and reach goals.
Dezi Klakamp, 9, of Seymour was part of the Butterflies team. They called their lemonade Butterfly Nectar and served it with special ice cubes made of frozen blue, red or purple Hawaiian Punch.
At just $1 a cup, it was a hit with kids and adults. They also sold bags of Fruity Pebbles cereal, which they labeled as butterfly food.
Through word of mouth, social media, posters and signs, the teams advertised the lemonade stand project, attracting customers including staff and members from the nearby Boys & Girls Club of Seymour and Seymour Middle School.
Each group sold at least 100 cups, Royer said.
“I guess people really liked our lemonade,” Klakamp said.
But she thought they would sell even more.
Although everyone got a chance to pour and serve, there were other jobs too, including taking and counting the money.
“I did the money when it was my turn, but when my mom came I got to serve her lemonade to her,” Klakamp said.
Running a lemonade stand is work, but Klakamp said it was definitely worth it.
“I learned that you can have fun no matter what you do at a lemonade stand,” she said. “And that we have to work together.”
The Butterflies ended up selling the most cups, but also had the most expenses, Royer said.
“So they ended up not having the biggest profit,” she said.
The Fireflies made the most profit by selling lemonade with Skittles candy to add flavor and color for $2 a cup. Customers could choose which color Skittles they wanted.
Other groups were the G.I.T’s (Girls Inc. Teens), who came up with a Disney theme and sold three varieties of lemonade including regular, grape and berry; and the Ladybugs, who sold Pixie Dust, which was regular lemonade or fruit punch for people who don’t like lemonade. As an added perk, the Ladybugs gave Smarties candies for people to add to their drinks to make them a little more sour.
In all, the four groups raised a total of $736. The teams got to decide how they wanted to spend the money they made.
“Each group decides what they’d like to do with their profits as part of their business plan,” Royer said.
The G.I.T’s decided to donate theirs to the Don and Dana Myers Cancer Center at Schneck Medical Center. The Fireflies chose to have a pizza, ice cream and movie party. The Ladybugs had a pizza party and made a donation to Anchor House Family Assistance Center in Seymour and the Butterflies had a gymnastics party.
Any leftover funds were donated back to Girls Inc., Royer added.
Jaelynn Chatman, 8, of Seymour was part of the Ladybugs team. She said the best part of the project was being outside selling the lemonade and making money.
“I learned how to count money and that it’s important to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,'” Chatman said.
The group sold more than 100 cups, which is more than Chatman thought they would sell.
This was Chatman’s third year to participate in the Lemonade Day project.
“It’s a good thing to do because we donate the money to charity,” she said.