When the temperature rises, snowballs can be a cool treat to beat the heat.
Meet 15-year-old Charlee Hamilton; her twin, Leeyah Hamilton; 14-year-old Micah Hamilton; and 11-year-old Jordyn Hamilton. These four sisters from Pasadena, Maryland are co-owners of Twice as Nice Shaved Ice. They sell snowballs and their famous snow-capped lemonade.
“Our mother [Charvonne Hamilton] inspired us to start thinking about starting our own business. We went through several business ideas, but our mom was the one who suggested a snowball business. The startup costs were minimal and it was something we could get up and running quickly. We started with one snowball machine we purchased from a pawn shop, a table, tent and 10 flavors,” Charlee said.
The sisters receive parental assistance from Lee Hamilton and Charvonne. They lend a hand with tasks such as scheduling events, transportation, ordering supplies and doing the taxes. They also made the initial business investment to enable the girls to kickstart their business that was founded in 2018.
“Our primary business goal is to make our customers happy as we continue to grow our business and invest enough money to help us be successful in the future,” Leeyah said.
She already knows that running a business accompanies challenges such as standing on their feet for long time periods. The sisters sometimes sacrifice family and friends time, because of working at events where they are booked. Leeyah further noted that they had to learn patience when dealing with challenging customers. She also mentioned that working hard to keep their business prices affordable is something that the Twice as Nice Shaved Ice team strives to achieve.
“We understand what it means to have to purchase treats and food for a large family and we want to be able to have all people from all walks of life to be able to enjoy our snowballs,” Leeyah said, sounding wise beyond her years.
Micah added that she and her sisters would eventually like to expand with other trucks and teach other young people how to operate the business.
The kidpreneurs possess diverse career goals that range from entrepreneurship to sports medicine, but Leeyah informed that she and each of her sisters want to attend college.
She added, “Charlee and I want to attend an HBCU. We are setting money aside from the business for college and a car along with other things like investing.”
Charvonne explained that the girls split all their profits four ways. A percentage of their money is taken out for them to spend. The rest is allocated for long-term investing.
Her ambitious daughters are mostly booked for private events. Typically, the family tries to stay within a 20-mile radius of their home for bookings, although they do not place a limit on how far they travel. They bring the trailer and serve from it.
“People usually reach out to us because they see the trailer around town or through word of mouth. We also seek out the opportunity to participate in larger events over the summer. This has led to us being vendors at the Annapolis Juneteenth Festival and Kunta Kinte Festival, in addition to several other festivals held throughout the summer,” Charvonne said.
Jordyn also stated that running Twice as Nice Shaved Ice gives them something productive to do when school is closed.
“Instead of sleeping in every day and staying in the house all summer, we are out working. Even though we work most of the summer, we always make time for family vacations,” Jordyn said.
Although running a business takes hard work, Charlee can extract rewarding components.
“I love it because I don’t really have a boss. I get to learn and grow as an entrepreneur and develop a strong work ethic,” Charlee said.
Micah likes having the opportunity to run the business with her family.
“Some days are harder than others, but because we enjoy what we do, it doesn’t always feel like work. Running our own business has led to us meeting some amazing people and has led to amazing opportunities, including being a featured vendor for the Baltimore Ravens at their training camp for the last three years,” Micah also said.
Charlee explained that some customers call them the day before an event because someone else canceled. The kidpreneurs on the move who strive to do their best, show up if they can.
“We take pride in being reliable,” Charlee said.
Learn more about Twice as Nice Shaved Ice via twiceasniceshavedice.com.