We’ve seen the usual number of lemonade stands in Nevada this year, and last week, we saw several kid-operated sweet corn stands pop up in town. Nevada youngsters are proving that their entrepreneurial skills can be utilized in various product lines, and that they can start gaining real-life business experience at very young ages.
Lola Cox, 6, with her 2-year-old brother Jordan sitting nearby, was selling sweet corn from the front steps of her house that sits along the Lincoln Highway last Wednesday evening, Aug. 2.
“Want to buy some sweet corn?,” she asked a customer who was approaching her stand, complete with several signs, one made on a big chalk board by her mother, Amy, and another, closer to the street, that she helped her mother make.
She’s asked how much the sweet corn costs. “Five dollars,” she tells them.
It was her second day in business, and when asked what she would do with her earnings, she said she wants to make enough money to take her family to a water park. Lola keeps track of her sales in a little notebook that sits on her stand. As of Wednesday evening, Lola had sold 18 bags with a baker’s dozen in each. Her mom said they always throw in an extra in case there’s a bad ear in the bunch.
Her mother describes the little entrepreneur as being very chatty, which doesn’t hurt in the sales field. Lola said she loves talking to the people who come up to buy corn.
Her corn comes from the farm of her grandparents, Jeff and Robin Collins, who live east of Nevada. Her mom said they raise a little sweet corn each year, mostly for family.
Across town, the grandchildren of Jerry Linn, who lives northeast of Nevada, have set up a stand at the corner of H Avenue and 17th Street to do the same thing — sell their grandpa’s sweet corn.
Ella Toot, 13, and her brothers, Wyatt, 10, and Briggs, 5, work at the stand together. It is Ella’s third year of doing a sweet corn stand at that location.
Before sweet corn, Ella said, she used to do lemonade stands at that corner too. Wyatt helped. So are they pretty good at the business of setting up stands? “Oh yeah,” Wyatt said.
Most customers ask similar questions when they come to the sweet corn stand. “They always say, ‘Is it all yellow and is it fresh?’,” Ella said.
“We have to peel open an ear to show them what it looks like sometimes,” Wyatt added. But he and his siblings say their grandpa’s corn is always good. They’ve all eaten a lot of it.
Important things to remember if you’re selling along the street, Ella said, is good signs. “You have to make sure you have good advertising and put a sign out where they can see it.”
“And smile,” Wyatt said. Ella agrees with her brother, and adds, “You need to have good manners,” which has included asking the property owners who live on the corner if they can sell there, and Ella said they’ve always said “yes” during the years they’ve wanted to have a stand.
Ella likes the work in sales. “You get lots of people, new people that you get to meet.” And most of them leave smiling, she and her brothers agreed.
As of last Friday, they had just done their sweet corn stand one evening this summer, and they made $70. Ella said they were hoping to set up for more evenings.
As for the earnings, the three kids will split the money and it will go into their savings accounts, like most all other money they earn or are given. They know the importance of saving.
Briggs, like Jordan at the other stand, mostly just watches and smiles as customers come and go. But soon, he’ll likely be taking what he’s learned by watching his older siblings and putting it to use when he’s a little older.
Whether it’s lemonade or sweet corn, there are great skills to be learned from setting up a stand in your hometown.