‘You can do anything if you put your mind to it.’ Gaston Co. fourth-grade entrepreneur starts healthy juice business

Shawn Smalls runs a juice business called “SJ’s Every Day Juice”
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
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GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) - Shawn Smalls is only in fourth grade.

But he’s already becoming an influential entrepreneur. Smalls, from Gaston County, decided to start a healthy juice business. And now, it’s hitting stores.

Smalls runs a juice business called “SJ’s Every Day Juice.”

Right now, he mostly sells it at school and at festivals.

However, earlier this year, Mic’s Mini Market started selling it too.

On Your Side Tonight’s Jamie Boll met up with Smalls to ask him what makes a kid want to start selling healthy juices.

Shawn Smalls: “We have our GC, so we have the refresh with the pineapple parent cucumber. We have our tea which is mint, lime, lemon, orange, pineapple, and honey. And then we have our apple blast with Apple and celery. And now we have our Caring Grape, which is Rufiji which is kale green.”

Jamie Boll: Who did you sell them to at first?

Smalls: “Sold it to the school teachers”

Boll: What did they tell you when they tried it?

Smalls: “They said that they liked it and they wanted more.”

Boll: How’d that make you feel?

Smalls: “Better.

Boll: Did you think then, ‘OK, maybe we should try selling get some other places?’ So what did you think?

Smalls: “We are selling it at mix market and Gastonia.”

Boll: And how they how they’ve been selling?

Smalls: “So good.”

Boll: That surprise you at all? Why?

Smalls: “Because what I’ve been seeing is how the teachers at the school would taste it. But I never could see that this would actually happen.”

Boll: When you see your face on a store shelf, what’s it like for you?

Smalls: “For me, it was kind of weird because it started off was just drinking tea to all of this.”

Boll: What’s the hardest part about starting your own business?

Smalls:The hardest part is probably to get people to actually get it.”

Boll: You have a good idea, though. You had a good idea to start that helps, doesn’t it?

Smalls: “Yeah.”

Boll: How many of these are you making like a week or a month?

Smalls: “We’re making probably like maybe 10 to 12 of these, of each of them, and then the Tea we make it in a big pot so that we can put in our own cup for us and have some to sell.”

Boll: You make a few bucks though, aren’t you? What are you doing with your money?

Smalls: “Sometimes I put it in my piggy bank. Other times I put it in the bank.”

Boll: “What’s like the goal here? Do you have a goal for this?

Smalls: “To get mostly in Publix, Target and those types of stores, and also to like have it to where we have kids use like, a little bit of sugary juice for kids.”

Boll: That’s awesome. Most people probably don’t think you know, fourth graders can do this sort of thing. What would you tell them?

Smalls: “You can do anything if you put your mind to it.”

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