Each year around Easter, Tabernacle residents may come across a small flower stand selling tulips and daffodils.
When you stop by, you may be surprised to learn that the seller, Kate Ritter, is just 7 years old. The Tabernacle Elementary School second grader is one of the township’s youngest entrepreneurs.
“We want our kids to be productive members of society,” said Kate’s mother, Beth Ritter. “We want them to pay for the things that they want in life.”
In 2020, the Ritters’ financial advisor told the family about a local plant nursery that could help Kate with her business idea. Due to the pandemic, the nursery had a surplus of flowers that it donated to the family to sell.
Kate’s first sale sold out. She said the best part of operating the stand is seeing people enjoy the flowers they purchase, especially her favorites, purple hyacinth.
Kate’s teachers, bus drivers and neighbors all stopped by to support her, purchasing colorful yellow, pink, orange and purple seedlings for their gardens.
“The whole community really rallied around her,” Beth Ritter said.
Kate’s business training continued this year; she paid for her 2021 crop up front and had to sell all the plants to make a profit. She learned how to count money, market her products and the difference between wholesale and resale.
“We kept saying, ‘Oh my god Kate, if you don’t sell these, you’re stuck with them,’” Beth Ritter recalled.
Through social media marketing, signage and word of mouth, Kate was able to sell out in her second year. To stay COVID safe, she accepted payment through Venmo, a money transfer app, and a lock box. Kate plans to make her flower stand an annual spring venture.
Beth Ritter said she and her husband, both local teachers, wanted to teach their kids to have a good work ethic. Their son owns a firewood stand and the Ritters regularly volunteer at area nonprofits.
“We don’t want to give it to them on a silver platter; they have to work,” she noted. “We always offer to give back to the community and give back to people in need.”
Kate and her brother have struck an exciting deal. They plan to go halfsies on a gas-powered go kart using their profits.