“The squeegee boys,” a group of five teenage black boys from Baltimore, recently launched a company that sells bottled water. They named their product Korner Boyz Water.
The five teenage entrepreneurs Deauntae, Khalil, Taetae, Keyon, and Leroy, started as windshield cleaners in their locality. Their mode of operation was to stay by the corner of North Avenue an Mount Royal in Baltimore, wave down vehicles, and ask the drivers if they could help them clean their windshield for a token, which they use to buy food.
Doing the business at such an age wasn’t an easy task due to insult and derogatory comments from people. Their story took another turn when they met a community liaison for the Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA), Office of Strategic Initiatives, Kai Crosby-Singleton.
Kai invited them to participate in the annual Baltimore Thinkathon. The event is an initiative between the Baltimore Cultural Alliance and MICA, and it enables the participant to showcase their creative skills and business ideas before the City’s top creative mind. The event allowed the participants also to network various entrepreneurs with bright ideas.
At the end of the event, the boys agreed to start the business of selling bottled water. The support the boys received from the community was excellent. People donated money for them to start their business; a lawyer helped them to draft their business agreement, and a graphic designer created a logo for them.
The boys are still doing the windshield business, while the Korner Boyz water is currently on sale. They are hoping to get wholesale buyers and soon start a flavored and sparkling water.