When we heard that National Lemonade Day was fast-approaching my 9-year old daughter and I decided to become business partners. Now, I can certainly be one of those dads who takes over his child’s project, but in the this case, I really wanted McKenna to have the experience of being a real entrepreneur.
She was responsible for securing a location, creating a budget, pricing materials and even creating a recipe. Now, my daughter’s little girl mind was far from comprehending the weight of difficulty of doing this right (meaning, over-the-top and unnecessarily elaborate, the way I like it). So, we had a couple business meetings going over logistics and budget, blah, blah, blah.
Next was my favorite part: the creative briefing. She was my client, so I went about it professionally by asking McKenna a few simple questions.
“Name me your favorite color.”, I asked
“Purple”, she replied.
“Okay, name me something you really, really like.”
“I don’t know . . . penguins”.
“Really? How about we call your business Purple Penguin Lemonade?”
“That’s a stupid name”
“That’s a brilliant name!”
She wasn’t sold on the idea until I started Googling illustrated images of penguins. She was hooked. We started with a very basic penguin we found on-line, dropped in into Adobe Illustrator and went to work. We nailed it. Inspired by our new character, we decided to make our lemonade purple, as well. This also led to the idea of building an old-fashioned, rustic lemonade stand out of old wood pallet planks.
Once we created the character and logo, we printed the graphic elements at FedEx Office on a giant photocopier, which she later painted and helped me cut and apply to foam board. Some smart choices about branding were made along the way, such as consistent colors, clear messaging and a pleasant customer experience. We didn’t skimp on the cost of goods. either. We created a very specific lemonade recipe (available to you for only $250).
The day arrived, and that morning I approached my daughter, handed her the checklist we had been working on and said, “You’re in charge”. She immediately sprang into action, as I simply made myself available to help. She rushed around checking items off, giving orders and running the show (she actually got a little bossy, even snippy with me).
That day McKenna sold over 100 cups of lemonade at $2 a pop, and grossed over $200 with the proceeds going to charity (had to twist her arm pretty hard on that one). She did get to keep $50 in tips. When McKenna took charge that morning as I faded into the background, I knew it was all worth it. Her last remark of the day was, “Maybe in the Fall we could sell Purple Penguin Cider.” Well played, McKenna.