KANSAS CITY, Kan. — It’s a familiar saying: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Thats exactly what 11-year-old Nelson McConnell did.
“My mom was planning our flea market and I wanted to be a part of it,” Nelson said. “And it was hot and I came to the idea of making lemonade.”
But Nelson didn’t make just any regular lemonade.
“We love flavors and we help people love the mixtures so we decided to put my name on it, so people know it belongs to Nelson and we got the flavor,” Nelson said. “That’s why it’s called Nelson’s Flavorades."
He knew how to mix the flavors from his family.
“From my great grandma and my grandma and my mom, because they always, the lemonade, the kool-aid was always, it was not regular, it was always something extra,” McConnell said.
Nelson calls himself a "fourth-generation mixologist.”
Since 2018, Nelson’s Flavorades has been quenching people’s thirst. On July 13, he was recognized for it.
The Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce awarded him a certificate of membership, and he's now the youngest member to be a part of the organization.
“He’s serving the community in a phenomenal way because he is setting the tone for younger entrepreneurs that look at him, Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce consultant, Goldie Powell said. “And they don't know whether they can do it or not or they have questions or they may feel that they are not old enough to be an entrepreneur. He is breaking those barriers and letting the community and the world know , no matter your age, no matter any of those barriers that are in front of you, that you can break through them and you can do what you want to do.”
Nelson said it’s been a process the past three years.
“Doing a business ain’t easy,” he said. “There's going to be some hard times, there's going to be some easy times.”
He’s learned to keep going, especially with his support system by his side, including his mom, dad and grandmother.
“Let's say you try and give up on yourself, your support team is not letting that happen, so they're supporting you when you want to quit,” Nelson said. “They’re pushing you when you don't want to push yourself.”
He has a message for aspiring young entrepreneurs.
“If you want to do something, put your mind to it and you can get it done,” Nelson said. “Never give up."
Nelson’s goal is to have a Flavorades truck and storefront to provide more options for his customers.