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Lemonade Day builds young entrepreneurs

Matthew Elzemeyer of rural Richmond was 10 when he opened his first stand. Scout Wampler was 11. Both selected Richmond’s Depot District as their ideal location.

young elzmeyer & wampler at their first stands

Lemonade Day builds young entrepreneurs.

Two of the best examples are two Richmond area young men who used the Lemonade Day experience as a spring board into the world of business.

Matthew Elzemeyer of rural Richmond was 10 when he opened his first stand. Scout Wampler was 11. Both selected Richmond’s Depot District as their ideal location.

Elzemeyer did his research, advertising and secured a few items he could raffle off at his stand. Then he whipped up some lemonade.

Elzemeyer’s venture was a success, including profit dollars he donated to the Reid Foundation and the Cardinal Greenway Trail. He also made enough to put money back into a stand the following year.

Inspired by that experience and his interest in gardening through 4H, Elzemeyer began selling produce to a local market and at the Richmond Farmer’s Market. The money he made went back into his ventures.

“That first year (at Lemonade Day) really helped me a lot,” said Elzemeyer, now 15. “I wrote a business plan and have used a similar plan in the other things I’ve done.”

“That experience also taught me to handle money responsibly and not just save it but to look for better investments. It also taught me to be comfortable meeting new people. That was really important,” he said.

Elzemeyer’s future plans include going to college to study agri-business.

Wampler built a solid business plan and picked a strategic spot in the Depot District. But his secret weapon was a family recipe for lemonade, handed down by his great-grandmother.

He won Best Tasting Lemonade for two straight years and even rejected an offer when a company called asking to buy his recipe.

“I said no. I want to be known for something different; for doing something for my community and not just for lemonade,” Wampler said.

After his first two years, Wampler joined the Lemonade Day Board of Directors and served as a judge, helped with social media and with photography.

“It was super cool. Here I was this 13-year-old kid walking around with a clip board,” he said. “Instead of working on my own business plan I was working on a plan for the whole event.”

The top lesson Wampler learned from Lemonade Day is “you have to develop communication skills.”

“You are interacting with the public. You have to reach your audience and be as social as possible. People want to talk to someone who is outgoing.”

Oh yeah, and the photos he shot of all those lemonade stands has led him to start his own photography business in which he shoots weddings, engagements and senior pictures.

“I’m using the same set of guidelines today that I learned in my Lemonade Day experience,” Wampler said. “Lemonade Day was a lot more than a business experience. For me, it was a developmental thing. It helped me grow as a young person.”

“Lemonade Day is an investment in our children and an investment in our future,” said Fonda Wilds, Richmond Lemonade Day director. “These two young men are an example of a home grown experience.”

 

elzemeyer-today
Matthew Elzemeyer today at age 15

 

wampler-today
Scout Wampler today 

 

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