For some students, summer break means just that, a break, but two young girls from Summerville have a thirst for business, and are using their free time to become entrepreneurs.
The saying goes, when life gives you lemons make lemonade, well two young business owners are mixing things up and are using the whole fruit bowl. Meet sisters,12-year-old Armani and 11-year-old Amaya Jefferson, the owners of Mani and Maya’s Fruity Treats. Armani says, “We wanted to work. We couldn’t travel a lot because my mom she works during the week. On the weekends we said why not do a business. It’s a fun way to spend your summer, and I’m doing it with my sister, so that’s making it even more fun. New experiences are great. I love it. It’s great. I love it, it’s really fun.”
Fruity lemonade, smoothies, pineapple drinks, pineapple boats. “The pineapple boat is split in half and it has yogart and all the fruit inside of it.,” says Armani. The girls travel across the Lowcountry and are invited to sell at different businesses and organized events. This sister sister combination is the perfect blend. Amaya says, “When you have one person, it’s really hard to do everything when you have a bunch of customers. When you have a loving sister, it’s really fun because you are two sisters that know everything about each other.”
The girls presented a business plan to their mom Desiree Hamilton says, “They actually brought me a business plan written out with goals of where they wanted it to go. So when I saw how serious they were about it, I said ok, mommy needs to get serious too. That was when we went in to doing what we needed to do as far as making sure we called DHEC, spoke with them about certification. I went and got the business license, and made sure we got everything registered with the state of South Carolina, then that’s when I started advertising.”
Even though the rewards are sweet, the duo says it’s not just about making money. “We want for this experience to kind of help others. Today we’re donating proceeds to MUSC for sickle cell research for my little sister. She has sickle le cell. We thought it was a good idea to donate to other kids. We kind of wanted to inspire other kids and help ourselves to do better with the community,” says Armani.
These young entrepreneurs are as smooth as the smoothies they sell. Now the girls have received invitations from not only the Lowcountry, but across the state and other states as well. Mani and Maya are enjoying the sweet taste of success. “We consider ourselves entrepreneurs. We come from a family of entrepreneurs, different people in my family started businesses, and so we kind want to take that tradition and pass it down to the younger folks,” says Mani.
The girls say of course school comes first. Maya says, “I want to start in May. When May comes, it will be really hot outside, and people will want some Fruity Treats. Mani says, “We need to focus on school work, and it’s going to be cold and like lemonade in the winter, it doesn’t go.”
Family and friends donated to help with start up costs and donated banners, and signs. The girls say they want to inspire others. “I just want to say to all the little kids out there, you can do whatever you want whenever you want in life. Whatever you desire, you can take that dream, and you can carry it. I want to thank everyone who came out and supported us. I just want to say thank you,” says Maya and Mani.
The young business owners are in high demand. Saturday they will sell their fruity treats at NFL player Brandon Shell’s football camp at Goose Creek High School and Sunday they head to Dorchester Dragway for an event there. For more information about Mani and Maya’s Fruity Treats, click here https://www.facebook.com/Mani-Mayas-Fruity-Treats-147821249411121/