Noticing Neighbors Natis Lemonade Shop
Meet Natis: the 11 year old entrepreneur behind Natis Lemonade Shop. She offers a cool, crisp, handcrafted lemonade that hits just right from the first sip. I went to visit Natis at her pop up, and the lemonade I purchased was gone before I got back to my car! It's that good. Working her way through the demand that day, I could hear buzz of people in line talking about if it was their first time or not. There were a lot of us, but Natis took the time needed for each person. She offered to pop the bottle cap for each one of her customers. In our sit down interview, both Natis and her mom shared this story together.
Hayley: So how did you start with making lemonade?
Natis: I started my business in 2018! Talia: She had been asking me for a couple of years about starting a lemonade stand, because we both love lemonade. I just kept saying: not right now, not right now. Then once we had a venue where we could launch it, through the Royal Cohesive Network— Hayley: What’s that? Talia: It’s this organization that supports youth entrepreneurs, and they give a great platform for them to learn and launch their business. Hayley: Got it. Talia: The day that we started in October of 2018, we weren't even trying to sell. We were like, OK, let's make some samples and see if people like it. We ended up having lots of supporters that were helpful, too. Hayley: Like who?
Talia: There was this lady who wrote a letter to KC Bier Co. We started out with the lemonade in mason jars, and then she wrote a letter and they reached back out. That connection started, which was amazing.
Hayley: So they donate the bottles? Is that how it works?
Talia: In the beginning, yes, they were donated. Then the company that KC Bier Co. uses for labels, made labels for her. But after getting started, we really wanted her to learn the business side. People won't just hand you these things. So now, she does purchase them.
Hayley: That works out really well!
Talia: Yes, it helps her break down what the costs for her products are. She uses that information to learn in her youth entrepreneur classes.
Hayley: It sounds like Royal Cohesive Network was really important in getting started. When I came to see you at the street sale, there was another booth I visited a couple blocks down. Were those your cousins? At Royale Kidz Co.? Natis: Yes! You met them!
Talia: The boutique just launched that day, when you came. Hayley: Oh seriously!? Wow, that's crazy! Talia: And they just launched the clothing line that day, too. I don't know what my other little one's going to do yet, but she'll be coming up with something. Lots of entrepreneurs in the family.
Hayley: Natis, what do you enjoy about selling lemonade?
I like talking to my customers, and I love to see them drink my lemonade. Talia: We taste test every batch to make sure it is exact to her recipe. It is in smaller batches, and her process takes a little longer. She does the whole process!
I think she appreciates it more that way, and I think the customers can taste the difference.
The flavor is really crisp! It is so good. So I don't know your secret, but whatever it is, it’s working.
There's always love in it. That’s my secret. Hayley: Thank you for sharing that! No one can take that from you. Are people surprised when they taste it?
I love the expression in their face when they drink and say: “Oh my gosh, it’s so good. What did you put in it?” And I get to tell them it’s love. Hayley: That’s nice of you to share that. Natis: Then they say: “I'm going to come back for more.”
Hayley: I'm sure there are times where working your dream can be a lot. Running a business, and you've got school—that’s a lot going on. Are there times that you have to give yourself a boost? How do you do that?
I just think about how to get myself started. And if I have a bad day, I just think of something nice to boost me up to make me feel like making the lemonade. I don’t do it until I feel happy to do it. Hayley: That's a great way to be.
Talia: One of the biggest hurdles is because she is still a kid, but people get so excited when they see her. They have all these ideas like: hey, you should do this and this and this.
And it really makes me… (starts curling and stretching her fingers) It just makes me feel, like— Hayley: I see what you're doing with your hands. Is it too much sometimes? Natis: Yes. I get frustrated. Hayley: Because all those ideas come in at once, it makes sense that it makes you frustrated. Talia: I want you to make sure you’re using the right words about how you feel. Is it frustrated, or overwhelmed? Natis: Overwhelmed. Talia: I was thinking that was it. Because sometimes she'll get people who come in expecting certain things and not realizing that it is a kid’s business. They see me there, and I’m her mom, but it is her business. I like to keep it kid friendly for her. Hayley: Yeah, absolutely. I love how you're thinking about her whole self. And I heard you saying, let's make sure we label that emotion.
Talia: Oh, yeah. We always talk about emotions. And I always teach her that none of them are wrong, even anger, it is just what you do with any of your emotions. Hayley: That's great.
Talia: She has to feel all of those things to grow as a person. So I always teach her, like: OK, you have to embrace it. Be mad in this moment, or frustrated in this moment, or overjoyed in this moment, and then come back to you.
Hayley: I also bet there are a lot of emotions in running your own business. What advice would you give to someone starting off? It could be your age or older. What would you tell someone that's starting to chase their dream?
Natis: I would say. You should go for it!
Talia: Just like you said, go for it, but what about sticking with it? Because it's a big key. Natis:
And you can make it. It can be what you want. Talia: Yes. We know in America, everybody wants things at their fingertips. But what makes her so different is she takes time and patience to prepare each batch.
Hayley: Oh, you can so tell. It tastes so fresh. Talia: One big supporter is her big sister from Big Brothers, Big Sisters KC. Her name is Michelle Anderson. She's a big part of it. Comes to every event, and runs all of the social media accounts. I personally gave up social media in 2017, and she has helped us so much.