Who would have thought a simple conversation would spurn into a full pledged business? Desiree Middleton the mother of Mani and Maya had no idea that when she told the girl’s they couldn’t work because they were too young and to create their own products that they would take their mother’s advice and run with it. Mani & Maya have not only created their own product, they have created a brand that is known throughout Charleston for their flavorful lemonade that can be found in multiple restaurants.
Mani & Maya have been successful in their lemonade business that’s now been featured on multiple media platforms. Not to keep everything to themselves of how they created a successful business, they went a step further and hosted a Kidpreneur event featuring other liked minded business kids that are becoming moguls themselves. With Mani and Maya busy schedule I had to chance to sit down with their mother Desiree their manager and gain some insight on these two ladies fast growing careers.
Being a single mom how did you influence your girls to create their own business.
I am not sure that I had much of an influence other than suggesting the idea. Everything pretty much came from them. The concept, the recipe’s, the type of business and how they wanted to execute it was all them. They’ve seen many business owners in our family, my father has been a business owner for over 40 yrs., their Uncle (my brother), a few cousins… so they have seen first hand what being a business owner and entrepreneur can do for their lives.
How do your girls feel about being business owners at such a young age?
I still don’t know if they are aware of the gem that they truly have created. They’re kids, so to them it’s just a fun way to make money. I have tried to explain to them that this thing has become much bigger than what any of us anticipated. But to them, they are just having fun.
How do you manage your household? Is there a conflict of time scheduling?
Oh man! LOL. Managing the household was already tough, now that they are business owners, it’s definitely become more challenging. I work a full time job, which can be pretty stressful by itself at times, plus add a very active 1.5 year old to the equation and time management at home is definitely a challenge. But, I try to use my free time as wisely as I can. Keeping up with the girls’ schedule of events, interviews, our weekly orders from regular customers… yeah I’d say it is pretty tough. I try to have as much mommy time as I can, because that is needed, but with their business doing as well as it has been, I don’t see a slow down any time soon. Not complaining because that is a great thing, but time management… yeah, we are still working on that.
Seeing your girls doing what they love how does that make you feel as a mother?
As a mom, I am extremely proud of them. I look at their pictures from different events, and even look at them in person and still can’t believe I birthed them, LOL! I am just happy that I didn’t ignore their passion and helped them to be able to do this. It makes me feel very proud to call them mine.
What are the Fruity Treats most ordered items?
I would say that the most ordered items are definitely the fruity lemonade and fruity pink lemonade. During the warmer months when we do a full menu, the pineapple fruity drink is a hit as well, it’s mostly the lemonade in a cored out pineapple. I think the customer’s love the look of it… it feels tropical.
What would like the readers to know about Mani & Maya’s Fruity Treats that you haven’t answered already.
I’d definitely like for people to know that there are so much more to these girls than fruity treats. They have personalities out of this world! There is truly never a dull moment, and they are so kind hearted! One thing that I would like to think is super special about the girls and their business is the partnership that we have with MUSC Children’s Hospital. My youngest daughter (Taylor) has sickle cell. So the girls donate funds to MUSC every couple of months, from their profits to benefit sickle cell research and patients at MUSC. Taylor has been hospitalized a few times because of this disease, one of the first times was during one of the girls’ events, we had to shut down everything and head straight to the hospital. I think it scared them. Right after that was when they decided they wanted to help.
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