HIGH POINT, N.C. – Usually when kids say they want to start something, whether it’s a sport, a class, a project, parents expect it will be short-lived.
It’s exactly what Lakisha McCullough-Ratcliff thought when her daughter Laila said she wanted to start a business.
“I am thinking front yard lemonade stand and that’s it,” said Mcullough-Ratcliff.
Her child had something much more serious in mind.
“She was like, ‘I want my business online. I want to be able to reach people. I want to be able to give back,’ she said. ‘I want to be a millionaire so I will be able to give to the unfortunate,’” said Mcullough-Ratcliff.
The 10-year-old has not let anything get in the way of her dream.
Her company, Laila’s Lemonade and Sweet Treat Connection, has grown leaps and bounds.
“It is just amazing from where I actually started. One reason I wanted to start my lemonade business is because I wanted to give back to the people who aren’t as fortunate as me,” said the business owner.
Laila and her mom hand squeeze hundreds of lemons to create the bottled beverages. They also do baked goods.
People who meet Lalia don’t always believe someone so small is behind something so big.
“’You made this? Are you sure? Did your mom help you or is she making it,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I made it,’” said Laila.
With her mom’s help, they do parties and events and ship the products wherever they are requested.
“I thought she was going to be tired and we would be done soon, but it seems like the more we do, the more energy she gets behind it,” said Mcullough-Ratcliff.
Laila uses some of the money she earns to create gift bags for people in the community. Recently, she delivered some of the bags to the Pennybyrn Retirement Home in High Point.
While this little girl lives out her dream in a small space right now, her mom says with this much dedication and momentum there are big plans on the horizon.
“Our goal is to build a shop and in that shop we already have two machines that will actually squeeze the lemons for us and can load up to 500 lemons at a time which will be amazing,” said Mcullough-Ratcliff.
For now, you can place your order on any of Lalia’s social media pages.
Mom says their busiest months are during the summer, but things are non-stop between April and October.
Laila says her family inspired her to create her own business.
Her mom created a hair line, her sister is a photographer and her dad sells shoes.