During our early childhood, we spent our summers doing an annual art and fun camp! We would spend several full days of the summer learning new art skills or simply just have a planned day of fun. Susan, our business and life mentor, organized and planned these art camp days. We made paintings like Jackson Pollock, learned pointillism, created watercolor artworks, went to Sebastian Joes, explored around Lake Harriet, spent a morning making jewelry at Bead Monkey, learned calligraphy, tie dyed, created clay sculptures, went to lifetime for workouts, tennis and swimming, created dances, had tea parties, and went on bike rides. Finally, our last art camp gathering of each summer ended with an art camp sleepover! At the sleepover we would have a cookout and partake in a regular art camp activity. When we woke up we would have a cooking challenge and invited all of our parents for lunch at Susan's house!
Art and fun camp had always sparked new ideas in our young minds which is exactly what happened during our sleepover the summer of 2017. Over the summer, we had many group discussions about what we wanted our art camp to turn into. Many of us had mentioned starting a business of some sort. Since we had such a great love for Luca, Susan’s dog, we thought it would be an excellent idea to make dog treats for him! So, during our sleepover we baked and altered new recipes we thought Luca would like. The next day, instead of doing our usual cooking challenge in the morning, we set our alarms for 5 AM - bright and early! We packaged and prepared our dog treats in plastic bags we had bought from Paper Source the day before. We even gave each bag their own personalized handmade sticker with a different dog drawn on each sticker.
Then, to the street corner we went!
We spent all day selling our dog treats on the corner of Sunnyside, exercising our sales skills and providing our neighbors with healthy, homemade treats.
The first problem we overcame was the idea that not everyone walking around the neighborhood carries money to pay for the treats. However, that did not stop us. We addressed envelopes for people to return back to Susan's house with payment if they didn't have adequate payments at the time the treats were bought. Our problem solving skills were already kicking into our street corner business! It was almost like a lemonade stand! Although this was not just any lemonade stand, it was the beginning of our company! Little did we know how far this idea would stretch in the span of 5+ years.
As we kept selling our treats on the street corner, we came to the conclusion that our treats were liked! We had sold a good amount of product and realized this idea could become bigger than we thought. As time went on, art camp developed into Lucas Dog Boutique. We pitched our ideas to other small businesses who helped us become who we are today. They offered us positions to sell our treats at pop up shops inside their own stores.
It was a win-win, they attracted business from the event and we had a place to sell our treats!
Thanks to art camp, we started what is now Luca and The Five Girls™.