In Her Own Words: Catching Up with Danyarelie Mar Ruiz Coss, Lemonade Day’s National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year

Danyarelie Mar Ruiz Coss

 

We introduced you to Danya last Fall when we announced that she was the winner of Lemonade Day’s National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Limoneira. Her story was one of inspiration, determination, overcoming challenges, and being bitten by the entrepreneurship bug. I asked Danya to share an update with you on what she has been doing the last five months. You’ll be impressed.

Danya is a big dreamer with big ideas and big aspirations. Like so many Lemonade Day youth entrepreneurs, Danya wanted to earn money to buy something. In her case, she needed computer equipment for distance learning when the COVID pandemic hit plus, she wanted to give back to her community. After her mom registered her, Danya diligently used the Lemonade Day program lessons to learn all about running her lemonade stand.

She learned to create a budget, develop a marketing plan, find investors and a location to set up her stand. The pandemic forced her to pivot to online sales produced under sanitary conditions.

Today, Danya is a social media manager, a citrus grower, a youth philanthropist and looking into licensing her business. And did I mention her big goal is to become a professional tennis player! Where does she get all that energy?! We are so proud of her.

Read on to hear more from Danya.  

 

Hi! My name is Danyarelie Mar Ruiz Coss from San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. I am a 13-year student, tennis player, social media manager and entrepreneur. My aspiration is to become a professional tennis player and own a sportswear business.

I joined Lemonade Day in 2020, because I saw it as an ideal learning opportunity to become an entrepreneur. My inspiration to own and operate my own business comes from my grandfather, who is an entrepreneur.

My mother told me about Lemonade Day because she received information about the program at work. She works for Liberty Media, a sponsor of Lemonade Day Puerto Rico.

This information came at the perfect moment, because due to the pandemic, I was attending school remotely, my daily tennis clinics were cancelled, and I needed money to buy new computer equipment for distance learning.

Through the program, I learned how to prepare a business plan and budget, set aside money for operating expenses, and effectively market my product.

Under the name Lemonade by DM and More, I started my first business venture. My parents agreed to be my investors. I created a logo using teal and yellow, which represents optimism and joy. The biggest challenge was finding a location. Due to the pandemic, most stores, restaurants, and shopping centers in Puerto Rico were closed or operating at limited capacity around the time of Lemonade Day. Through the power of networking, a friend of my family convinced her father to let me operate my Lemonade Day stand in his own shop.

I owe my success to the people who believed in me and gave me the opportunity. My lemonade uses all-natural ingredients, with Vitamin C and other nutrients, and is made with lots of love. Due to the pandemic, I had to change the packaging. Instead of the traditional individual cups, I am using half-gallon and 16-ounce sealed plastic containers that clients can pick-up and take home. Each container has a positive message to motivate my clients.

The pandemic also required me to adjust the marketing and sales plan. Now, I take most orders by phone and social media than in person. In less than one month after opening the lemonade stand and using the proceeds of my first sales, I was able to buy a cell phone to receive and manage orders. Then, I bought computer equipment for schoolwork and manage social media pages for my Lemonade Day stand and Entreno ConCiencia, a Facebook page to promote the importance of science in sports training. In addition, I saved some of the proceeds, opened an account to finance operating expenses and donated sports equipment to a non-profit institution in Puerto Rico.

My Lemonade Day stand continues to operate. I just added a new lemonade made with passion fruit, which I started growing in my grandfather’s backyard. The profits from this flavor, which already exceed $300, will go to pay for my brother’s baseball trip to North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia.

During my time as an entrepreneur, I have really enjoyed meeting and interacting with other people, and I look forward to continuing doing it. Hopefully soon, I will obtain a permit to take my stand on the road and rent it for corporate events and parties.

 

Thank you, Danya. We can’t wait to see what comes next for you, and we are so honored to know that you will be a change for the world!

Registration for the 2021 Lemonade Day Season is open. We continue to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization guidelines for safe in-person options for lemonade stands, but remember, we launched Lemonade Day My Way last year which includes ideas for “virtual lemonade stands.” To find your city and register, click here.

We are always looking for new cities interested in organizing Lemonade Day in your area as well as sponsors. You will make a difference in a child’s life and the future of our country. Please feel free to share this blog with others and share my contact information, debbie@lemonadeday.org 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!

Thank you for reading. I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.  For more information about Lemonade Day, please visit www.lemonadeday.org.

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