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Sibling entrepreneurs earn money for school supplies

TENDING THE STORE — On Aug. 2, Jakhari Banks staffs the lemonade stand he and his sister Tajiri Banks set up at their grandmother’s home in DeLand. Tajiri was in Daytona Beach this day with the siblings’ stepmother. 

TENDING THE STORE — On Aug. 2, Jakhari Banks staffs the lemonade stand he and his sister Tajiri Banks set up at their grandmother’s home in DeLand. Tajiri was in Daytona Beach this day with the siblings’ stepmother. 

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

Ready for school — Tajiri Banks and her My Neighbor Totoro-themed backpack are ready to head back to school, with help from the proceeds of her and her brother’s lemonade stand. 

Ready for school — Tajiri Banks and her My Neighbor Totoro-themed backpack are ready to head back to school, with help from the proceeds of her and her brother’s lemonade stand. 

BEACON PHOTO/ERIKA WEBB

 

A soon-to-be-sixth-grader has been getting lessons in entrepreneurship while visiting family in DeLand.

DeLandite Jakhari Banks, 20, overheard his younger half sister, Tajiri Banks, 11, mention to their father that they should open a lemonade stand. She got the idea from a television show.

“I said, ‘Oh, snap! I could do that,’” Tajiri explained.

Their father, Abudul Banks, works long hours and didn’t want the young girl out by the road selling lemonade alone.

Her big brother decided to help.

Jakhari Banks works as a dishwasher and prep cook at Chili’s in DeLand. He plans to continue to learn his way up to fry cook, host and then server.

Sharing his aspiring tendencies with Tajiri, Banks took part of the money from his paycheck and bought supplies: cups and Country Time Lemonade. Sugar and ice were household contributions.

He made cardboard signs, scrawled “Tajiri’s Lemonade Stand” and “school supplies” in black marker, and placed the signs strategically at four-way stops near the stand at the corner of Blue Lake and Voorhis avenues. It’s at the end of the siblings’ grandmother Bobby Ealy’s driveway. 

Jakhari’s idea to use the proceeds for school supplies was secondary to Tajiri’s desire for the entrepreneurial experience. The stand has yielded as much as $60 a day; a large portion is pure profit.

“The first day, a lot of people stopped and gave her money just for being an entrepreneur,” Jakhari said.

“When the first car stopped, I was like ‘Oh, snap, there’s our first customer,’” Tajiri said, grinning. 

She wasn’t the only one to be surprised by the generosity.

“We all were,” Jakhari said.

Like any good business owner, Tajiri has remained motivated, thinking of ways to expand.

“Tajiri wants to sell tea, and if they want half tea and half  lemonade, we’ll give them half and half,” Jakhari Banks said. 

His smile reveals the tenderness he feels toward his little sister. 

On Aug. 5, the day before she was scheduled to return to her mother in St. Petersburg, Abudul, Jakhari and Tajiri went back-to-school shopping.

The senior Banks said he bought some of what Tajiri will need, but was pleased that she was willing to contribute her earnings.

School-supply inventory includes much more than it once did.

“You used to just need some pencils and a couple of binders,” Abudul Banks said. “Now you need tissues, hand sanitizer, and you don’t just buy one glue stick; you have to get a whole box of glue sticks for the class to share.”

Last year, Tajiri, determined to get to sixth grade sooner than regularly scheduled, completed grades four and five.

When asked what she enjoyed most about her summer business venture, Tajiri answered quickly.

“You get to be your own boss,” she said.

Oh, snap.

- Erika Webb, erika@beacononlinenews.com

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