It’s admirable when little kids get the inkling to open up their own lemonade or ice cream stand. It shows entrepreneurship and it’s something any parent would be proud of. Besides that, who can turn down an adorable bright-eyed face, asking if they’d prefer chocolate or strawberry?
But, recently, issues have arisen over whether opening up such a stand is legal or not. While it’s usually up to officers to enforce such rules, random citizens have been stepping in and literally raining on the parade of innocent kids. It not only brings up the question of what’s legal and what’s not but what’s right from what’s wrong…
Little Jordan was trying to raise money because she wanted to go to Disneyland and her solution was to open a water bottle stand. She lived in an apartment building directly across the street from AT&T Stadium, where the Giants played, making this mini-business idea a no-brainer.
Water Bottle Stand
Her mother, Erin Austin, had recently lost her job, which may have been why 8-year-old Jordan wanted to raise money on her own. Regardless of the reason, they set up shop outside their building and waited for the thirsty Giants fans to come pouring in…
Caught Off Guard
While business was going well that Friday afternoon, the Austins got more than they bargained for when one angry woman approached Jordan asking if she had a permit. Austin was caught off guard when her daughter was approached, but she had her phone out, so she proceeded to record the woman.
Putting The Woman On Blast
Austin is heard saying in the video, “This woman don’t wanna let a little girl sell some water…She’s calling the police on an 8-year-old little girl.” The woman, named Ettel, then ducks behind a brick structure, appearing to hide…
She Wanted The World To See Her Face
As Austin follows her with the camera, she tells her that the whole world is going to see her. Seeming not to care at all, Ethel then says on the phone that the little girl is “illegally selling water without a permit.”
A Bitter Dispute
Austin says to Ettel, “On my property,” to which Ettel replies, “It’s not your property.” Although the video cut off immediately after, Austin was determined for the entire world to see the face of Ettel, a woman who couldn’t let an innocent little girl sell water. It brought up the question of race…
It Went Viral
In the video caption posted on social media, she asked people to make the woman go viral using the hashtag #permitpatty. Just two days later, on Sunday morning, the video had over 800,000 views and #permitpatty was trending on Twitter.
The Internet Went Nuts
Celebrities and others went crazy after seeing the video and media outlets claimed that Ettel (a white woman) was unfairly targeting a little black girl. They were making it about race and to the naked eye, that’s what it appeared to be. After the video surfaced, social media trolls dug into Ettel’s past discovering some pretty unsettling things…
Ettel owns a business called TreatWell, which creates cannabis products for humans and animals. Basically, she might not even have a permit for some of the work she does herself.
Cutting Ties With TreatWell
In response to the outrageous video, many businesses have decided to cut ties with TreatWell as a result of the incident. One woman blasted an email written to Ettel, saying, “We pulled Treatwells product line as soon as we saw the video. We do not support that type of behavior.” But, what’s even worse…
Ettel was set up to be one of the subjects in a documentary called “Lady Buds,” a film about women in the cannabis industry. Upon seeing the viral footage of the phone call, the director of the film announced that Ettel would no longer be involved with the project. Lady Buds took to Instagram to explain their stance.
Removing Her Storyline From The Film
“Alison Ettel is no longer affiliated with the documentary “Lady Buds” due to her racist and divisive actions…Our Project is committed to social justice and there is no room for hate or discrimination in society, the cannabis industry, or our film. We are removing all content that remotely promotes her or her business from our various platforms.” After the backlash, Ettel spoke out in an interview…
Interview With Ettel
She told the Huffington Post that it was the noise from the child as she sold that pushed her to call the police. “They were screaming about what they were selling. It was literally nonstop. It was every two seconds, ‘Come and buy my water.’ It was continuous and it wasn’t a soft voice, it was screaming,” she said.
She Says She “Fake Called” The Police
However, in the same interview, Ettel also claimed to have only pretended to call the police, which means she might have known all along that the actions of the 8-year-old were not actually illegal. She added that she feels “discriminated against,” saying…
“I completely agree that I handled that so poorly. It was completely stress-related, and I should have never confronted her…That was a mistake, a complete mistake,” she said. “Please don’t make me sound horrible.”
Just Trying To Go To Disneyland
But according to Jordan’s cousin, the whole reason she was selling water bottles was to save up money to go to Disneyland. After the video, strangers decided to purchase the tickets for Jordan and her family members, while others said that they would buy water bottles from her and then donate them to homeless shelters in their communities. The support was pouring in for young Jordan…
But Austin, still furious about how her daughter was treated, has chosen to press charges against Ettel for harassment. Jordan’s cousin took to Twitter to explain: “My little cousin is doing okay for those who are asking and her mom is going to be pressing charges for harassment.”
Bringing Up A Good Point
But one Twitter user responded to the Tweet with a very good point of view. “While it sucks how she handled the situation, pressing charges for harassment is excessive at this point as the offender has pretty much lost her means of income already. At this point, you could turn from hero to villain for being vindictive. Let it go.” Others asked if Jordan actually had a permit to sell water on the street?
Is It Legal?
To operate a stand lawfully, any entrepreneur may need to apply for a vendor permit with your town or state. However, there are some towns and officials who are more lenient and do not require these permits. In Jordan’s case, it’s uncertain if she actually had a permit.
Ettel’s Final Words
Ettel vehemently denies the issue had to do with race. She said, “I have no problem with enterprising young women. I want to support that little girl. It was all the mother and just about being quiet.” Sadly, all of social media will remember her as “Permit Patty.”