Monday, December 11, 2017

Cultivating Entrepreneurs for Change

Henry and I had such a fun experience preparing for and participating in the Magnolia Makers Market!

I'm conscious of helicopter-parenting and over-parenting, so I tried to let him lead the process as much as possible (which is hard for me because I am naturally controlling and perfectionistic!). 

The main thing I did was collect kids craft ideas in Pinterest. Then I let him browse that page to pick out what he wanted to do. He selected painted wooden keychains. 

He then made a list of everything we would need to get for the project (including all the math associated with doubling things and figuring out how many we would need to make 100), and I drove him to Hobby Lobby to pick out his supplies. There was a lot more math involved with figuring out how many packs of each things we would need and comparing prices based on the cost of individual units. 

We wanted to keep the cost as low as possible to maximize Henry's profits, so we pulled up Amazon while we were shopping and did decide to order some of our items from there. 

Once everything arrived, we got started. Henry agreed he would pay me $5 for my help, in addition to repaying me for all the supplies I bought.

We strung the wooden beads on pipe cleaners and used sponge brushes to paint them. We hooked the pipe cleaners on a hanger so we could hang them to dry. 

Henry was able to do every step of the process independently: he could use the ruler to cut the suede to the right size. He could tie the suede onto the key ring. He could string all the beads and tie the suede at the end. 

We took turns checking each other's work, "Did I miss a spot on my painting?" He would honestly find spots that I missed, just as I would find spots that he missed.

It quickly became clear that we wouldn't have the stamina to complete 100 key chains, so we started working on them in batches. We would paint 10 beads and then make 10 key chains. I didn't want us to get the end and have all the beads painted but no key chains finalized. 

In the end, we made 50 key chains. Early on, we figured out how many key chains Henry would have to sell at $3 each in order to pay me back (i.e., 16). Once we got past 16, he was very motivated to make more and more. 

Henry then drafted his sign on paper, and then transferred his final draft to a posterboard. We walked around the house and brainstormed how to decorate the table. 

On our final night, Henry made a list of key chain prices for himself (1 = $3, 2 = $6, 3 = $9, etc.) and we practiced making change and saying, "Thank you! Have a great day!" We also practiced what to say if someone said, "Keep the change." ("Are you sure?" Thank you so much!). 

Henry also decided which non-profit he wanted to donate a portion of his proceeds to. He already knew that he wanted it to relate to elephants, so we did some internet research and landed on the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. 

The day of the sale, Henry helped load everything into the car, and helped set up his booth at the event. He sat at his booth for nearly 3 hours straight! Early on, he said, "I want to do this again next year!" I said, "Awesome! But I'll ask you again at the end of the day to see if your answer is the same." And fortunately it was. 

It was so inspiring to be around so many creative, crafty, and caring children! I definitely look forward to doing it again next year.

The key it all was having enough time for the process. We worked on this for about a month, which meant that we could slow everything down to Henry's pace. There were times when he only wanted to paint for five minutes, which meant that we had to put everything away and wash all the paint (which then led to a big mess and then led to a long clean-up process). But it was what it was. We finally got into a rhythm of working at night after Tate had gone to bed. Henry said, "It's a lot easier to work and stay focused when Tate's not distracting me by playing!"

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Alycia said...

Pretty cool way to spend time together but I am wondering why you took Henry to Hobby Lobby. Aren't there any other craft supply stores in Austin that don't actively work against their female employees' healthcare rights and needs?

Thais said...

I loved reading your post but also would urge you to not support a terrible chain like Hobby Lobby :(

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