The young entrepreneur's mother says that what B Chill has become is all due to Kinyah. After Demetrius tried it, Valerie and Kinyah passed out 60 flyers. Then, Valerie told Kinyah to hand-squeeze lemons for the first 40 gallons.
But the flyers weren't what attracted the first customer. The first order came from law-school student Brittany Brown, who after tasting a sample, decided to order five gallons from Kinyah for her mother's law firm.
So far, Valerie says people have ordered more than 300 gallons. The company had only the original flavor at first, but now offers coconut, strawberry, peach and mango, and offers diet versions as well.
"Our most popular remains the original, and the coconut as well," she says. The company continues to grow, but only by word of mouth. The number of flyers the company distributed still stands at 60.
Valerie says that Kinyah take as much responsibility of the company as possible for an 8-year-old. Valerie says the company is not only on her; however, in order for it not to fail, Kinyah does have responsibilities.
"She understands and is very serious about the operation," Valerie says. "We're up with her at 2 o'clock in the morning making lemonade if necessary."
Valerie and Demetrius meet with Kinyah every week to discuss production costs and growth opportunities. At the business meetings, Valerie, who is studying law at Mississippi College, adds a legal perspective, and Demetrius, who is the chief financial officer for B Chill Lemonade and a teacher at Murrah High School, adds an accounting perspective.
Kinyah and Valerie have even attended business conferences to network and grow their burgeoning lemonade operation. Some goals have changed but others are the same, like Kinyah's wish for "everyone to taste my lemonade, especially the less fortunate."
Supplying a restaurant could happen as early as March. Valerie says an owner of a local restaurant tried B Chill's lemonade at a basketball game and is now considering it for his establishment, though Valerie couldn't give any more information than that.
"You never know who you are going to meet," she says. "Like I always tell Kinyah, and it was tough for her at first, that for every customer refusing you, there might be another one out there who likes the product and will open doors for you. Don't get discouraged."
<em>For more information, Find B Chill Lemonade on Facebook.</em>