When life hands you lemons ... squeeze 'em, sell 'em and save for your dream pet!
Sabastian Lucas of Queensland, Australia, worked a lemonade stand for two years in the hopes of saving up to buy his own pony. And get this ... he actually did it.
The 7-year-old grew up with a strong work ethic. His parents own a paint store called Canterbury Blue. "All my children work with us. We encourage them to be a part of our family business," Juliana Kent, Sabastian's mother, told TODAY.
"Sabastian probably doesn't even know it is work," she continued. "It's just normal in our routine to work all day, and to whistle while we work. And the harder you work, the bigger and better the prize is at the end of the game."
It was from this early taste of entrepreneurial life that Sabastian & Co. was born: a cardboard box turned wooden stand turned catering operation, specializing in old-fashioned lemonade and raspberry iced tea (plus iced coffee and chocolate, by special request).
No store-bought lemonade powder here. Sabastian cooks the syrup from scratch and pours it into jugs (for his own stand) or individual, hand-labeled bottles (for private events). "It takes him an extra hour to put labels on the bottles," said Kent. "They may not be straight or all the same, but I don't mind. It's all a part of him doing it for himself."
After watching him save a total of $3,000 over two years, Kent and her husband, Aaron Lucas, decided it was time to reward Sabastian's hard work. "It had nothing to do with the amount he raised. He has little to no idea of the difference between $300 or $3000," said Kent. "We decided he had waited long enough, and he clearly wasn't giving up on his dream anytime soon."
Sabastian had always wanted a horse "that looked like a unicorn": white with a long mane and tail. So when Kent found Tom Boy, a horse that fit that exact description, it seemed meant to be.
The reveal proved to be intense for everyone — Sabastian was moved to tears, and Kent experienced her own wave of motherly emotion.
"I felt so much joy that he was almost speechless and overwhelmed with raw, real emotion," she said. "But most of all, I was so proud when he asked was it his pony, and I said it was a family pony because his little brother was there, too ... and he shared that moment and the pony with his little brother with no hesitation."
According to Kent, Sabastian is on cloud nine (and right back to saving for equipment). Still, the story is less "dream come true" than "hard work pays off."
"Never tell your children they cannot achieve something, because anything is possible if you wish hard enough and work just as hard," she said. "Activate your children's dreams and embrace every little bit of the journey along the way, because they are children for only a very short time."