Sydney Lennard is a preteen with a cotton candy machine, and the young entrepreneur is spinning sugar into cash to help pay for college.
“I’ve had a lot of other little businesses,” says the 12-year-old Seattle Academy student. “When I was about 4, I had Coffee Sundays, and I’d go in my driveway and I’d have a little stand and I’d sell Starbucks cup coffee for about a dollar.”
Lennard’s other businesses over the years included selling snacks and baked goods at her brother’s lacrosse games, babysitting and a homemade slime business (the kind you play with).
“It’s so much fun thinking up new ideas, and how you can improve and what went wrong and what went right,” Lennard said of creating a business.
The idea to sell cotton candy through her Sugar Cloud business was born from her love of the sweet, fluffy treat.
“My whole life I’ve loved cotton candy, and whenever we went to sports events or something, and when they had the cotton candy person walking around, I’d be like, ‘Oh, it’s two rows away. Dad, dad, get your money ready.”
Then Lennard decided to cut out the middleman, and saved up to buy her own cotton candy machine, which — not surprisingly — was a big hit with her friends.
“Then I was having so much fun making it I was like, ‘I want to do this more often,’ so I thought, ‘Why not make this a business?’ ”
This September was Lennard’s third year spinning cotton candy during the Leschi ArtWalk. With business cards in hand, and a website on the way, she’s looking to expand to birthday parties and other social events.
“My dad has been huge,” she said. “He knows everything, like what to do, how to get my email, how to get my stand, and he helps me so much.”
Lennard is active in a lot of sports, including soccer, bouldering, basketball, lacrosse, tennis and skiing, so she plans on working Sugar Cloud on weekends.
The money she makes won’t just go toward college, Lennard said; she’s also thinking about the future business she will start.
“I need to have that startup money to create a business, and having that startup money from another business is pretty cool,” she said. “I love bringing money to the bank. I go, ‘I have to take it to the bank,’ because once it’s there I don’t think about it.”
Lennard is the daughter of Fiona and Scott Lennard, who is a developer. She said she’d also like to build shops, “not necessarily for my own businesses but for others — for boutiques and stuff.”
Follow Sugar Cloud on Instagram at SugarCloudSeattle and look for the website at sugarcloudseattle.com. Lennard can be reached at Sugarcloud@outlook.com.