Featured Entrepreneur - Meet Ezra
It was spring and 9 year–old Ezra, a Lego aficionado, had his eye on a Lego set. Thus, with the need for money on his mind, he agreed to work with his mother to learn how to successfully run an entrepreneurial business. The result: Top That Lemonade … his very own small business created with the skills and knowledge gained through his participation in the Northwest Arkansas Lemonade Day. Starting with his need to identify a lucrative location, Ezra reached out to the organization Main Street Siloam Springs, where the shop Creative Corner was offering their storefront to Lemonade Day participants and Ezra secured his location. His product concept for Top That Lemonade was inspired by a visit last spring to Top That Pizza in Tulsa, OK.
During his product development lesson, Ezra tasted fresh-squeezed, powdered and pre-made lemonades to help him determine the product to sell. Using the Top that Pizza methodology, he mixed different toppings with his lemonade to develop unique and flavorful offerings. His final lemonade topping selection included strawberries, blueberries, mango and pineapple. After the fruit topping was added to the lemonade, the customer was given the option of a complimentary dollop of whipped cream!
Ezra concluded that since his product was somewhat labor intensive, additional staff would be necessary. He hired a crew of family members to help him, thus both increasing his profitability and fun! For their efforts, he paid each $10 for their time. On Saturday, May 7th, Ezra opened up shop on the corner of Main Street in Siloam Springs, retailing the lemonade for $2 a glass. From his lemonade sale and tips, Ezra pulled in $145 on Lemonade Day. “We had friends come by and get lemonade” he said, “We also tried to attract business. My brother wore a sign over his body and danced on the street corner. He yelled, “You pick it, we top it! Top that Lemonade.” Ezra added, “I hired my cousin, Jonah, to also help me run my lemonade stand. He helped fill orders. When he got home, he told his mom, ‘Mom, this summer I’m going to do something with my life!’ He wants to start a business. He was very inspired!”
The last of the 14 lessons in the lemonade Day curricula highlights the importance of giving, saving and spending. Ezra chose to donate $30 to the Kenya School Fund in Africa, as well as deposit $9 to his savings account. And the Lego set? He had a wonderful time building it particularly knowing that he was able to buy it using his own funds!
“Selling lemonade and running my business made me feel responsible. I thought it was awesome to sell lemonade and really fun, especially since I had never run a business before,” he concluded.