July 5, 2024

Youth 'small business' concept thrives in Raymond

By Kendra Raymond

With temperatures climbing into the 80s recently and our thoughts wandering to all things summer: barbecues with family and friends, days near the water, and staying cool, what better way to find refreshment than a visit to a kid’s lemonade stand? Or how about a friendship bracelet or two? Raymond residents are in luck; several such small business stands are sprouting up all around our community.

Raymond children Addy and Olly Neal 
showcase their friendship bracelet
inventory at a roadside stand near
their home.

“Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert said, “If life gives you lemons, don't settle for simply making lemonade - make a glorious scene at a lemonade stand.” Even if you aren’t a lemonade fan, stopping in at a stand can be a positive experience for all involved. Why not take a minute out of your busy day to visit with the young entrepreneurs, give a donation, or make a purchase? Likely, you won’t regret it. Beyond buying a great product, you might just learn something new, make some new acquaintances, or even end up with a treasure you never knew you needed. Plus, it’s a great feeling to support youth development.

A set of young businesspeople in a Raymond neighborhood seem to have the system streamlined pretty well. The brother-and-sister duo can frequently be seen set up at the mouth of their driveway selling the most delicious ice-cold lemonade and sometimes packaged snacks. They have great signage and a lot of curb appeal. Customers are always impressed with their impeccable customer service skills. Plus, the youngsters are polite and friendly. What’s not to like?

At another location along the route, people often come across an industrious young lady and her younger brother selling some well-made loom band bracelets. Knowing that you can never have enough friendship bracelets, many make the stop. The bracelets are presented well, and in a variety of color combinations – something for everyone’s taste. I am always impressed with the proprietor’s commitment to maintaining an inventory, handcrafting skills, making change, and her polite and efficient interactions with the customers. Seems like a win-win to me.

“The best part about my bracelet business is hanging out with my brother,” said Addy Neal. She added that her three-year-old brother Olly is a great addition to the bracelet stand, lending a hand with setting it up. “He also yells, ‘Bracelets for sale’ which makes people stop,” she said. Their father Jake Neal agrees that the kids make a great team. He said that he is proud to see them working together.

In a different area of town, an iced tea, lemonade, and baked goods stand serves as a fundraiser for a local animal rescue group. The seller said that he’s been running the stand for a couple of years and that all money raised goes directly to help animals. He said that every little bit helps, and he drops off the donations about once a month.

“Lemonade Day” is an innovative program designed to support youth in starting their own lemonade business. It aims to develop skills in the areas of problem solving, communication, self-esteem, goal setting, philanthropy, and math.

The Lemonade Day website says: “Starting a lemonade stand can help kids develop important entrepreneurial skills, such as financial management, marketing, and communication. Through this experience, children can learn to create a business plan, set prices, manage inventory, and promote their product. These skills can be applied in future endeavors and serve as a foundation for a successful career in business. These are all key in knowing how to start a lemonade business.”

The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) website is filled with resources to support financial wellness in youth and provides education and programs to help parents teach kids about healthy use of money.

To learn more about getting started with a lemonade business, visit the Lemonade Day website: https://lemonadeday.org/blog/how-to-start-a-lemonade-stand

Visit the FAME website to access resources to help kids learn about money: https://www.famemaine.com/financial-wellness/grow-your-students-or-childs-financial-wellness/elementary/ <

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