WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — An Iowa Park girl is not letting her age stop her from becoming a successful business owner.
Aleese Haile, 9, won runner up in the Lemonade Day National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year contest.
Haile is the first in Texoma to place in this contest, she took runner-up against 54,000 other competitors from 76 markets in the US and Canada.
“I started doing the lemonade and then I liked it and I just kept going,” Haile said.
With her own copyright, the fourth-grader is her own boss.
“Pink is for pink lemonade, yellow is for lemonade and then purple just made it pop,” Haile said.
The Bradford Elementary student started “LeeCee’s Pink Lemonade Stand” at just 6-years-old after being a judge for Lemonade Day. She even took out a business loan from Texoma Community Credit Union to make her dreams come true.
“The first loan I took out [was] $25,” Haile said.
She’s since paid back two loans.
The Small Business Development Center at MSU recognized Haile by presenting a certificate and prize from the national organization on Wednesday.
“Even over the years she’s won different awards that we’ve had, best stand, best tasting, best falls favorite, so she’s definitely got some drive to her,” Wichita Falls Lemonade Day city director Shani Page said.
“Spend some, share some, save some,” Haile said.
That’s what Lemonade Day encourages these young entrepreneurs to do with their profits.
Haile shares with Emily’s legacy.
“I don’t want all the animals to die, because there’s no reason for that,” Haile said.
She’s also sharing the business itself, opening four other franchises for next year’s Lemonade Day.
“Two in Wichita Falls, one in Iowa Park and one in Georgia,” Haile said.
Life gave Haile lemons, and she’s turned them into a business—a business that proves age is just a number.
Haile also took classes at MSU where she worked with entrepreneurial student mentors to learn more about small business development.