Developing a taste for some business

Long thought of by her children as the official source of money, Kanestra Mitchell decided to try and dispel that myth Sunday.

Mitchell, 47, of Baton Rouge, brought her three children — Kayla, Kendall and Karenna — to the Lemonade Day Young Entrepreneur Expo on Sunday at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum in downtown Baton Rouge, where children were taught the basics of owning and operating a business.

“I want them to understand where money comes from,” the mother of three said. “It’s not just from mom and dad. You have to do something to create money. It doesn’t just appear.”

One of her daughters, Kayla, makes bracelets out of rubber bands, and Mitchell said she has been pushing her to sell them.

When Mitchell asked her daughter Sunday where she would get the money to buy the supplies needed to make the bracelets, Kayla pointed to her mother.

The expo, sponsored by the Society of Louisiana Public Accountants, offered children interested in opening a stand on Louisiana Lemonade Day, or any other type of small business, the tools and knowledge on how to bring that idea to fruition. Officials with Iberia Bank also were on hand to offer guidance.

Louisiana Lemonade Day is set for May 3, the fourth such day since John Georges, CEO of Georges Enterprises and publisher and CEO of The Advocate, and Todd Graves, founder and CEO of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in Baton Rouge, founded the event in 2010.

Both Georges and Graves ran lemonade stands in their youth.

Several stations set up in a museum classroom ran children through the gamut of things they would need to know to open their stand — from how to count change back to customers to learning what supplies they would need to make lemonade. They also were taught how to open a savings account for their business.

“I think if you trace any entrepreneur, they either ran a lemonade stand, cut grass or baby-sat,” said Layne McDaniel, owner of Noesis Data LLC, a professional data consulting company, and bubble gum salesman in his youth. “They did something to get that entrepreneurial spark early.”

McDaniel gave a lengthy presentation to the gathered youths and parents on all the items they would need to check off their to-do list to start their lemonade stands. During his presentation, he urged the children to save a third of their money, spend another third and give the final third to a charity of their choice.

He also taught a lesson on making a profit. He asked the children gathered, if it cost 38 cents to make the lemonade, how much should they sell it for.

One little girl said, “$4.25.”

McDaniel said that better be some good lemonade.

He also offered several nuggets of advice to the children, including that younger siblings make excellent employees at a lemonade stand.

That piece of advice is something Jalen Henry, 8, might take to heart if he opens a stand on May 3.

His mother, Martina Domino, 34, took Jalen and his younger brother, Jordan Henry, 6, to the expo because she said she hopes they inherit the entrepreneurial spirit that runs in their family.

Domino used to own a day care center; her mother owns a hair salon; and other family members have real estate holdings.

“I want to open a stand,” Jalen said.

Besides Baton Rouge, there are Lemonade Days planned in Lafayette, New Orleans, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe.