A 14-year-old girl is learning first-hand how to be an entrepreneur.
Courtney Miller, who will be a Waupaca High School sophomore in the fall, has opened her own seasonal business.
She is selling flavored, shaved ice out of a small shed in the consignment lot near Hardees on West Fulton Street. Her shop is called Sno Shack.
“I opened on the Memorial Day weekend and every day it gets better and better,” Miller said. “I have families come here with little kids. I get a lot of customers who are students and know that I’m working here. There’s one kid who has been coming here every day since I opened and buys a cotton candy.”
Miller said her cousins in Neenah own the shed and ice-making equipment, which are worth about $20,000.
“A few years ago, they grew too old for the business, so they gave it to me,” Miller said, noting that she must pay back her cousins.
Her capital also includes a $2,000 loan from her parents, which she used to pay for supplies, utilities, rent at the lot, insurance and permits.
“When we gave it to her, she could feel all that money in her hands. Then she put it in the bank and began paying all the bills,” said Rob Miller, Courtney’s father.
Although she is spending most of her summer working at Sno Shack, which is open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, Miller said she is learning a great deal about business from the experience.
She noted that the same small business experience helped one of her cousins qualify for a $42,000 scholarship.
“I think business is a good area to get into, but I haven’t decided if that’s what I want to do,” Miller said.
Miller said she is saving to buy a vintage Volkswagen Beetle.
“I think those cars are adorable,” she said.