After Younger, aged nine, decided she wanted to try her hand at Church Christmas bazaars, I was pressed into service as her advisor. While it is a good choice insofar as I have done bazaars in the past, it was a bad decision insofar as I was not successful at it. However, I thought this would be a good chance to have some father daughter time, and also to teach her some lessons about money and work.
lesson 1: shop around, keep overhead low.
She had some misconceptions about how the bazaars worked, and how one makes money out of them, so the first concept needed to be explained was that of overhead, the cost of running a business, and that profit was the money taken from the goods sold minus overhead. I began by taking her around to various stores where we could buy the materials necessary for her goods, where she learned the importance of finding the materials that were of the best quality at the best (ie lowest) price. She is to keep track of the money she spends on materials. She then had to calculate a price which would cover the cost of materials, plus a little extra. For instance, she thought the balls she made would sell well at about two fifty each. I'm sure they would, but we learned before long that the materials (pins, balls, sequins, ribbon) would run about two forty each. So a higher price.
lesson 2: value
We then had to decide what a better price would be. If we were working a sweat shop, paying minumum wage, we would take the price of the ball and tack on about ten or so bucks minimum wage, and come to a price of about twelve fifty each. Unfortunately, my expreience has told me that no one would be willing to pay that kind of money for ornaments at a bazaar. The lesson here was one that was particualrly hard for me back when I did the bazaars: it doesn't matter what you think your work is worth. Your work is worth exactly what the customer is willing to pay, and not a penny more. The most we could reasonably ask for, and hope to get some sales, would be about five bucks. The plan, as it stands now, is to make five bucks sound like a deal, so we will be charging six bucks each, but two for ten.
I'll teach her about minimum wage some other time.
lesson 3: doing the job.
We planned quite a bit. We took her design and started doing variations. We searched the internet for other ideas and patterns, and added balls covered in cloth instead of sequins. (Takes the same amount of time, but cheaper and ergo more profitable) However, in the end, it is not enough to dream about it, to plan about it, to think about it. You must eventually sit down and do it, sometimes even if you don't want to. We have been working together, and the results have been fairly good, so far. The problem is, they photograph badly.
|same pattern, different fabrics. Still need to be finished with ribbon.|
|sequins, solid colour.|
I have decided to help my daughter in other ways. I will be going to th bazaar with her, and so I am now making supplies for sale, many of which I will give to her to sell, and we will split the money.