These Tweens Started a Business to Help Baby Sister Living With Sickle Cell Anemia

Still in middle school, two sisters who are running a successful business have just reached a milestone.

Still in middle school, two sisters who are running a successful business have just reached a milestone.

For the last year, 13-year-old Amaya and 12-year-old Armani Jefferson, have been "Staying in the Mix with a Fruity Fix." It’s the motto for their growing business, Mani and Maya's Fruity Treats.

Their 1-year-old sister, Taylor, who is living with a red blood cell disorder called sickle cell anemia, inspired them to start selling drinks like lemonades and smoothies to support her in her fight.

“What motivated me was seeing Taylor in the hospital sick and crying because she cannot really move around because of the IVs in her hand. So she’s like always sat because she really cannot go around and play a lot. So what motivates me is seeing her like that and wanting us to help her not get sick anymore,” Amaya told

Their mom, Desiree Hamilton, says Taylor catching a small cold could land her in the hospital for a week or two.

“She is taking penicillin every day, twice a day. She'll have to do that until about 8, 9, 10 years old and that is just to keep her immune system built because she is so young,” Hamilton told

All of those frequent visits to the hospital sparked another idea in the South Carolina sisters.

“Taylor started getting sick so we had to go to the hospital. And so we kept the idea of donating the proceeds to the Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital for sickle cell research,” Armani said. 

The girls presented a $500 check to the hospital, using the proceeds from their juice sales. 

Armani and Amaya say they never thought the business they started last year as a summer job in their driveway would still be going strong. Now they ship nationwide and are expanding their menu, continuing to be a bright spot for other kids like their sister.

“It makes me feel good because we're so young, We're just 13 and 12 years old. And knowing that there's not many kids doing what we're doing, and that we're so young and doing something so big it feels great,” Armani said.