If you have an idea in your head of what 13-year-old girls are like, you would be wrong about Hailey Hertzman and Katie Vonder Haar. These two amazing teen entrepreneurs are running a successful business, Ooh La Lemon, and their Lemontastic bow tie and dog leash set will be in the gift bags at the upcoming 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on September 22. The girls will also be at the Red Carpet Style Luxury Lounge two days before the Emmys, where they’ll get to meet presenters, nominees and media.
Hailey and Katie, who have been good friends since they were little, have gotten lots of media attention and spoken about their journey at several business events. They get their products — fruit-themed tote bags, napkins, coin purses, custom-designed socks and more — made by manufacturers to sell online and in pop-up shops at Norton Commons. They started the business in July 2018 and show no signs of slowing down.
How did these two eighth-graders at Kentucky Country Day School end up having Hollywood juice? We met with them to find out. Meet our newest (and youngest) FACES of Louisville!
Tell us about your store and how it came about.
Hailey: We sell cute, fun, colorful, trendy products. We got started with a competition called Lemonade Day. It teaches kids how to run a lemonade stand. Then we went on to win the National Lemonade Day competition (The 2017 National Entrepreneurs of the Year).
Katie: So then we started our own business. We still wanted to keep the lemon theme of Lemonade Day, so we created Ooh La Lemon. We wanted to have mostly lemon products but then we realized there’s only so many lemon products. So we expanded into other fruits and trendy things.
Hailey and I have always wanted to be entrepreneurs, and we’d always play “Town” and “Shop” together and have our own shops. We’d also have lemonade stands and create big decorations for it. When Hailey’s mom found the Lemonade Day organization, she thought it would be perfect for us.
What’s the hardest part about running a business?
Hailey: We’re still in school, so obviously we don’t have every day to work on it. We do the best we can.
Katie: On our website, we have a lot of looks, so we’re just trying to figure out how to entice the customer into actually purchasing the product.
How did your products getting included in the Emmy bags come about?
Both: We have met some great people through this whole experience. One of them is a PR person for Lemonade Day based in Houston, Texas. She was talking to the person in California, Amy Boatwright, who coordinates the swag bag and was telling her about us and about our business. Amy took a look at our website and loved it and contacted us to see if we would be interested. We have learned through this process connections really do matter.
What are you most excited to experience at the Red Carpet Style Luxury Lounge event?
Hailey: We can’t wait to meet the various celebrities and hope just one of them posts about us on social media.
Katie: We are donating $5 for every sale of our Emmy leash to Best Friends Animal Society L.A. We hope that celebrities who love this charity will post about it on their social media and help us with sales. We really hope to meet Ellen DeGeneres and Sandra Oh and all the others. We also can’t wait to see what else is in the swag bag!
What do you like to do for fun?
Katie: I play a few sports — soccer, basketball and a little bit of golf. I love to hang out with my friends, I volunteer at a hospital, I enjoy learning about medical things.
Hailey: I like playing sports too. I play golf, tennis, lacrosse and field hockey.
Do you see this as something you’re going to continue to do?
Katie: I think we’re definitely going to keep it open and work on it throughout high school.
Are you interested in majoring in business in college?
Do you have any mentors?
Hailey: My parents, Michelle and Allen Hertzman. They’re both entrepreneurs, so they give me a lot of advice. Also, I just really like Ellen DeGeneres because she helps so many people out, and she’s also really funny.
Katie: I would say my grandmother, Ann Gray. She owned her own travel agency. She really taught me to be passionate. Pretty much everyone we’ve met has been so helpful and given us so many tips.
What are your favorite TV shows?
Hailey: I like a lot of crime. Well, I don’t like crime; I like it on TV, like, “NCIS,” “FBI,” “9-1-1” and “Law and Order.” My dad just got me into watching “Seinfeld,” which is really funny.
Katie: I love “The Office,” “Friends,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Stranger Things.”
What are your favorite foods?
Hailey: Well, I love spicy. Katie hates spicy. I really like buffalo chicken. Obviously, pasta, but with butter. I hate marinara. I hate red sauce! Katie pours, like, a whole jug on it. It’s awful! She eats it with a spoon. And my pizza — I don’t get any sauce on it.
Katie: It ruins the whole pizza!
Hailey: No, it makes it delicious.
Katie: I like seafood. I eat whatever, but my favorite is probably chips and queso. It’s really good!
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What’s your favorite music?
Hailey: I like pop, and I like some hip-hop and rap. I like Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B, Post Malone …
Katie: I like basic pop — whatever is on the radio. I like classic rock like The Who. My favorite band is The Clash.
Hailey: I don’t know what that is.
What’s something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
Hailey: I have very weak ankles.
Katie: I like gory medical things.
Hailey: I’m not surprised about that. She does surgery on her stuffed animals.
Katie: I got a suture kit for Christmas!
What’s your best advice?
Hailey: I definitely say go for it (start a business). It’s a lot of work, but well worth it. I would also say to always sell products that you’re passionate about.
Katie: If you want to start a business, I would say make a business plan. It’s a lot harder to start something if you don’t know how you’re going to start it. You need to figure out where you’re going to get the money to start it, what you’re going to call it, where it’s going to be — just creating a realistic plan for what the business is going to be.
With the exception of faith, family and friends, name three things you can’t live without.
Hailey: The sun — I get very sad when there’s no sun. Animals — I really like animals. And sports — I don’t know what I would do without that.
Katie: A house, clothes — like, really cute clothes — and a passion for something.
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