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At 10, Laila Ratliff Is Already Building Her Own Lemonade Empire

 

Oftentimes, aspiring entrepreneurs look up to renowned entrepreneurs for inspiration to start a venture. However, 10-year-old Laila Ratliff from North Carolina was inspired by the female entrepreneurs in her family to launch a lemonade business. Her mother sells hair care products while her older sister is a professional photographer, according to Good Morning America.

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At the age of five, Laila was already dreaming of becoming a business owner and when she shared her vision with her mother, Lakisha, she embraced Laila’s entrepreneurial instinct and pledged to guide her to realize her dream. Laila told her mom that she wanted to have her own lemonade business.

“I’m thinking front yard, little lemonade stands outside, but she had a bigger vision. She was like, ‘No, I want to have my own bottles, I want to be able to go into stores and I want to be able to meet people,’” Lakisha told Good Morning America.

Five years down the line, Laila has her own business, Lemonade and Sweet Treat Connection. Today, her offerings are some of the most sought-after at events. Laila noted that when she first started, she used to go to “a couple of events” but now, “everyone’s trying to book us.”

According to Good Morning America, her bestselling item is her signature freshly squeezed lemonade, which comes in 22 fruity flavors, for $6 per 16-ounce bottle. In addition, she has other offerings like strawberry crunch blondies, chocolate chip cookies and pound cakes. Laila started the business with some $200 to buy supplies to make lemonade and plastic pouches for packaging.

She makes her products after school with her mother while her father and other siblings help with transportation. Laila combines academics with business and sometimes goes the extra mile to bring in new customers via social media.

The ‘teenpreneur’ said one of her motivations for starting her business was to give back to society. “I started my business because I want to help people that aren’t as fortunate,” said Laila. “It’s fine to get stuff, but sometimes you have to give back to people that don’t have as much.”

Laila is now saving up for a food truck and a commercial location.

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Written by PH

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