How did you make money as a child? Did you mow lawns or babysit the kids down the block? Because you might have been better off pursuing one of these six interests instead:
If you ever stood on the sidewalk peddling cups of lemonade for 25¢, you’ll probably resent the fact that restaurant retailer Jamba Juice rakes in millions capitalizing on the freshly squeezed juice craze. “Jamba Inc. chief executive James White says fresh juice is a $200 million to $225 million niche, with consumers increasingly demanding more healthful options.” Even Starbucks has jumped on the juice trend with its Evolution Fresh juices, offering all of your old favorites like lemonade and apple juice as well as more exotic blends involving limes and grapefruits (Source: New York Daily News).
Former teen millionaire, Fraser Doherty was just 14 when he started making and selling jam based on his grandmother’s recipe, according to Forbes.com. After sales took off, he patented the formula and rented out factory space to ramp up production, and he’s now a 24-year-old millionaire and the self-made CEO of SuperJam, a 100% Fruit jam company. According to company reports, “SuperJam has grown to supply over 2,000 supermarkets around the world, selling millions of jars along the way.” Meanwhile, “SuperJam has been entered into the National Museum of Scotland as an ‘Iconic Scottish Brand’, has won over 20 innovation awards and launched in seven countries around the world.” The moral of the story: You should’ve paid attention when your grandmother made you toast.
Do you remember slaving over the stove before a school-wide bake sale? The people doing it today are located at national bakeries like Magnolia Bakery, a chain of bakeries founded in New York City, and Kyra’s Bake Shop (formerly known as Crave Bake Shop) — a three-time winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars competition. Cupcakes have transformed into major businesses: Sprinkles, a successful Beverly Hills, California-based cupcake-only bakery, known for its 24-hour cupcake ATM, has opened more than a dozen stores all around the world, even in the Middle East.
Dog walking was always an easy way to make money in your childhood, but few people realized that it could also become a legitimate source of income as an adult. According to NPR, a committed dog walker can make anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 a year, and their checks are even higher when they partner with a successful dog walking company.
Everyone has memories of scribbling birthday cards with crayons, but 9-year-old Cameron Johnson actually turned into a business. He started Cheers and Tears “using Photoshop in his Virginia home, [and] began making greeting cards for his parents’ holiday party, but soon received orders from their friends and colleagues as well.” His early success propelled Johnson into entrepreneurial stardom in addition to making him a millionaire before the age of 18.
Did you ever wash your dad’s car for a little pocket money? Because companies like Car Wash USA Express have turned the practice into a national franchise, and it’s based on the exact same soap-and-suds formula of your youth. According to Kamloops Septic Service, easy to clean car wash pits are also a lot more equipped than your driveway. And to be fair, however, their employees probably don’t play with the hose the way you did.
These are but six examples of childhood pursuits that were turned into legitimate businesses. It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter how humble your origins; with a dream and a skill, you can turn anything into a money-making venture!
This article has been edited and condensed.
Erika Remmington, a San Jose, California native, is a University of California, Berkeley graduate in linguistics with a minor in business administration. She enjoys spending her time with her husband and 18 month old daughter, rock climbing, and out door activities. Connect with @ErikaRemm on Twitter.
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