Learning to make money

When I was a kid and a teenager, I did a ton of things to try to make money. I sold stuff door to door (which I hated every second of). I spent weekends sitting in a booth at the flea market either for my mother or my grandfather. I baby sat. I house sat. Pet sat. Cleaned houses. At 15 a friend got me a job at an ice cream shop for ~10 hours a week. At minimum wage, which at the time was $3.35/hr. And at 16, I was working at McD’s. I spent every dime I made, and didn’t learn crap about saving, but I was making my own money whenever and however I could.

Even though we’ve been pretty darn poor at points, my daughter had not seemed to pick up on how to do this. I’ve tried to encourage her to walk dogs or baby sit or help little old ladies. She hasn’t been interested at all.

Over the summer, she was practicing doing really elaborate mehndi/henna designs. I told her how much money she could make if she tried doing them for other people. She didn’t want to hear it.

She started making friendship bracelets. Actually, she learned how ages ago, but recently started doing some really elaborate ones, and taking customized orders. I told her she should sell them. Other people told her she should sell them. She kept saying it was nothing and she just couldn’t sell them to her friends.

Finally, one of her friends, J, talked her into starting a business with it. They decided they’d sell the small plain ones for $3 and the bigger, more complicated ones for $5.

At tae kwon do, Master CW asked her to make a customized bracelet, and said that if she could do it in 2 days, he’d pay her $20.

FINALLY, she got excited about doing this. She finished it in the time period and got her $20. Then she took orders for several more customized bracelets from other kids at TKD.

She intended to stick to her $3 & $5 schedule. Master CW wouldn’t let her devalue herself like that. He talked the boys (yes, boys) that were ordering the bracelets into paying much more than she was comfortable with. I’m not sure how much, but I know it’s at least $8/per, customization more.

She’s got a long list of custom orders and some kids have pre-paid.

She’s getting excited about it.

She’s decided that she’s not going to sell hers at her own school, because J is selling them there. She doesn’t think it would be fair to charge some people $3-5 and charge other people $8+. So, to keep her higher prices, she’s going to sell them to people at TKD. Since most of the TKD kids go to other schools, then she’ll use them to sell some at the other schools.

I’ve also told her that if she builds up an inventory, I’ll reopen my Etsy page for her to sell them there. But I’m kinda thinking she needs her OWN Etsy page.

It’s been fun to watch this transition.

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