Natasha Hester, business owner Milayna Jones, and Ahlayla Jones at The Ice Therapist at Chandler Fashion Center.
Teen entrepreneur launches Chandler Fashion Center business
Milayna Jones is looking forward to her junior year at Hamilton High School in Chandler this fall. Until then, the 15-year-old will be busy running her own business at Chandler Fashion Center. The Ice Therapist is the brainchild of Jones who has been developing her business since the beginning of 2021.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as Milayna’s father, Tank Jones is also a local entrepreneur and busy film actor and her mother Nicole Jones also owns her own business, Total Health by Nicole.
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The fledgling business owner began creating a comprehensive 30-page business plan back in April. “It took me about a week to put it together, and I worked on it in between my school classes,” said Milayna Jones.
“This kid sat her mom and I down, had snack and drinks, pitched her business plan to us, and asked us for an investment,” said Tank Jones. “She did her research, had her projections, knew who her competition was, and their numbers!” Milayna’s parents were impressed and encouraged her to present her business plan to Chandler Fashion Center.
Milayna gave her full business presentation to Chandler Fashion Center’s senior property manager David Moss and specialty leasing manager, Alex Stalkfleet. “I asked David how many times a 15-year-old has come in with a 30-page business plan, articulated it and asked to open a business there?” Tank explained. “The answer was, ‘Never.’”
Milayna opened her shaved ice business 11 a.m. Saturday, June 5, outside of the food court next to the valet drive. The Ice Therapist, where the motto is “It’s Time to Cool Down” will be open Wednesdays through Sundays through August 8. Milayna’s sister Ahlayla Jones and friend Natasha Hester assist with making and serving the shaved ice treats.
Shaved ice selections come in four different sizes with traditional flavor offerings such as pineapple, banana, green apple and blue raspberry. Milayna also created other unique flavor combinations such as SpongeBob, made with orange and pineapple, and Garfield, made with grape and orange.
The first-time business owner is serious about carving out a successful niche for her business. “After the summer, I’m hoping to go out and start selling shaved ice at events,” finished Milayna.