As you know, I am an entrepreneur at heart, and I love to highlight people who are working to make their businesses successful. It never occurred to me that I would be writing about an adorable 5-year-old, Harper Miller, who is the up-and-coming CEO of her own business, Harper’s Pecans. When I learned this, I just chuckled with delight.
The idea for this business came from her dad, LaCour, right about the time Harper was born. He wanted to start a company for her that she could learn more and more about as she got older, with the intent of giving her complete control when she turned 18. This would give her an appreciation of money and entrepreneurship at a very young age, and it would serve as her “job” as she got older. She keeps half of her earnings in a savings account to use at a later date, and the other half goes toward her college education.
Aubry and Lacour Miller came up with the idea of pecans as Old Hickory, their family plantation, has a large pecan orchard. They filed the LLC paperwork on her fifth birthday and made it official. This year they went camping with their immediate family and Harper’s friend Olivia’s family at Old Hickory and did the first pick that weekend. Her friend Olivia helped. They all returned over Thanksgiving to pick again, and over the Thanksgiving holidays, they gathered around and cracked and shelled the pecans. Everyone in the family got involved. As they spent hours going through her pecans, the adults learned some lessons during this process—pecans are an extremely hard business to do by hand!
They realized that they may need some help to get their operation off the ground and enlisted the help of a very nice lady named Evelyn in Innis, Louisiana. Evelyn has her own pecan operation from start to finish. She allowed them to use her pecan cracker to crack pecans and save them some time on the labor. She was so impressed with Harper’s business that she invited the entire family to her warehouse for the morning, where she gave a tour and explained her entire process.
Harper is obviously not ready to run her entire operation and create financial reports on her business, but she is present at every stage. She is observing everything that must happen to make this work and will look back on the money earned this year and see how investing pays off. Each year another phase will be her responsibility. She can bring in friends later, but she will pay them for their help. This year they purchased jars from the Dollar Tree, created their own labels, and hand-cut them out.
Harper launched her sales last weekend at her mother’s business, PJ’s Coffee on Magazine Street. She rocked it! Sales are certainly her strong point! They launched the website as well, and she will go back to PJ’s every weekend until she sells out.
There are two items that Harper offers this year: a 3-pound bag of unshelled pecans or a bag of shelled pecans. I ordered mine shelled—just as soon as I found out about this business. Harper’s smiling face and excitement for this new venture is encouraging to us who have started businesses. I wish her, and her family, the very best wishes for success and for launching a wonderful business. I will look forward to following its growth in years to come.
Pecans can be ordered from Harper’s website here: harperspecans.com