Money got tight after single mother Erin Austin lost her job.
The former pharmacy technician struck a deal with her 8-year-old daughter Jordan, who had been eagerly anticipating a trip to Disneyland.
The family would still make their journey to the Magic Kingdom, provided Jordan could help raise money.
The young entrepreneur grabbed a Yeti cooler, a couple bags of ice from the market, and a case of bottled water.
Taking advantage of Friday’s foot traffic outside her San Francisco apartment, she set up shop underneath a shade tree.
“Ice-cold water — two bucks,” she yelled, hawking hydration to the pedestrians near the neighborhood park.
Alison Ettel, the CEO of Treatwell Health, was sitting in her home office and noticed Jordan outside her window. She later told the San Francisco Chronicle that the girl and her mother had "been making noise" for several hours.
"I was in my office, I was trying to work," Ettel said. "And this girl is like incessantly screaming about bottled water outside my window."
Ettel's company produces cannabis tinctures and other cannabis-related products. While attempting to put "the finishing touches on a presentation," Ettel said she lost her temper.
"At first, I went to the leasing office," she said. "I was really pissed off."
Ettel tried to get the building’s security staff to do something, but when they were unwilling, she then decided to take matters into her own hands...
The video that sparked the controversy shows a white woman, identified as Ettel, with a phone up to her ear. She appears to try to crouch behind a wall, apparently to escape the attention of Jordan's mom Erin.
“This woman don’t want to let a little girl sell some water; she be calling police on an 8-year-old little girl,” Austin said off-camera as she recorded Ettel. You can hide all you want. The whole world's gonna see you, boo.”
“Yeah, and illegally selling water without a permit?” Ettel retorted.
“On my property,” Austin shot back.
“It’s not your property," Ettel said.
Jordan's mom posted the video on Instagram, telling the world to “make this video go viral” and adding, “An 8 year old selling water in front of her apartment building — where she’s lived her whole life — is not a reason to bother the police.”
And the story did, in fact, go viral.
But that's not all that happened...
Later, Ettel falsely claimed to the San Francisco Chronicle that she "only pretended to call the police," and that Jordan and her mother were being noisy, which disturbed her as she was "trying to get some work done."
“Yeah, some people actually have jobs,” the CEO said.
And over 100,000 likes later, irritated neighbor Ettel has morphed into "the latest Disney villain," as one Twitter user described her.
The video spent the weekend trending on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Ettel has not responded to requests for comment, but has since reportedly "stepped down" as CEO of Treatwell Health.
But that Sunday, Jordan received a "pleasant surprise" from a stranger who saw her story making the rounds on social media...
The math-wiz and Lego-enthusiast no longer has to worry about selling water bottles to get money for tickets to go to Disneyland.
Musician Jonathon Brannon, after seeing the video online, decided to fund Jordan's dream, purchasing four tickets to Disneyland for the young girl and her family.
Her gleeful reaction was captured in a Twitter video shared by her cousin.
“I want to wish 8-year-old Jordan and her family all the best, and I hope they have a magical time at Disneyland,” Brannon replied via his Instagram account.
However, Alison Ettel and her former company — Treatwell Health — haven't fared quite as well...
Online critics instantly began lumping Ettel in with the dozens of white people who have called the police on people of color for innocuous activities recently.
"She's a racist piece of shit," said one Facebook commenter. "And a Trump supporter! Just look at her page."
And Ettel’s outburst is already starting to have a detrimental impact on the cannabis tincture company she used to head.
"That stupid hog should smoke some of her own dope and calm down," said another Facebook user. "A terrible example of what racism and entitlement looks like in America."
At least three cannabis retailers, Magnolia Oakland, SPARC, and Barbary Coast, announced that they will no longer carry Treatwell products.
“Treatwell was one our best-selling products, but for us, integrity always comes before profits,” Magnolia Oakland said in a statement.
And well, then there's "the other thing" that happened...