When Harrison Brammell was little, he loved the tiny paper umbrellas used to decorate drinks in restaurants. Now that he is 9, he’s using the miniature parasols to dress up products at his own business, a drive-through lemonade stand on the neutral ground at Laurel and State streets Uptown.
“A regular lemonade is 25 cents,” Harrison said. “For 50 cents, they get a lemonade with an umbrella and a strawberry.
“I call it the fun cup.”
Harrison, a third-grader at St. George’s Episcopal School, was one of about 30 children who came to the Junior League of New Orleans headquarters Saturday to attend Lemonade Day University, a crash course in preparation for national Lemonade Day, May 4.
Lemonade Day teaches kids to run a lemonade stand and then to “save some, spend some and share some” of the money they earn, said Kathleen Robert, Community Council director of the Junior League of New Orleans, which gave the free course.
Lemonade Day is sponsored by businesses in the community, including Georges Enterprises, Raising Cane’s and Entergy.
Children who attended Lemonade Day University received a backpack stuffed with useful tips and a certificate of completion, along with good old-fashioned encouragement to dream big and work hard.
Every business utilizes the same principles, even a business as simple as a lemonade stand, Robert said. While the children are shopping for supplies or deciding how to spend their earnings, they’re learning about setting goals, budgeting and profit, she said.
“These kids, at an early age, are learning how to think like an entrepreneur,” Robert said. “How to make that money.”
And most of the children were planning to donate some of their profits to worthy causes, especially the SPCA, she said.
Darian Eugene, 8, and Alexia Turner, 9, third-graders at Lake Forest Elementary School, could be mistaken for sisters in their identical purple blouses with silver stars. In fact, “We’re wearing matching clothes because we’re business partners,” Darian said.
The girls plan to reprise a stand they ran on Lemonade Day last year, which earned them almost $300, Darian said. At Lemonade Day University, they thought up slogans and made posters for the business, Lexi and Darian’s Lemonade & Cupcake Couture, Ltd.
Sophie Ellis, Elle Boughton and Annabelle Reilly, all 8 and students at Trinity Episcopal School, planned to set up their stand at the veterinary hospital where Sophie’s mom, Sabine, works.
The girls’ poster appealed to fellow Trinity students for support — a smart business strategy known as “cohorting,” Winnie Brown, a Junior League member and marketing specialist, told the group.
With 6,000 children signed up in New Orleans and about 13,000 in Louisiana, there should be plenty of lemonade options May 4.
In signing up participants for the course, the Junior League made a point of reaching out to children in every corner of the community, and students attended the course from the West Bank, Harahan and as far away as Albany, La., members said.
Parents are busy these days, Robert said. “A lot of kids may not be exposed to things like getting seed money, answering to a board of directors,” and other business concepts in the home, she said. “It seems like kids here are well on their way.”
For more information or to register, go to http://louisiana.lemonadeday.org.