I have always had an entrepreneurial streak in me since I was a kid. Around age eight, my friend Katie and I were obsessed with making beaded necklaces. We made endless amounts of them, even going so far as to take apart other necklaces when we ran out of beads and made new ones from the remnants. One day we realized that we were getting overwhelmed with beaded necklaces, more than we could fathom to ever wear. Our moms were tired of the constant “presents” and we decided that clearly, we needed to sell these bad boys. They would certainly fetch top dollar in the right market, so we went with a street fair approach to begin with, quite literally. We hauled our wares out to the side of the busy street that I lived on and jumped up and down with our signs that said HAND MADE JEWELRY FOR SALE! and yelled the same thing.
When our first customer pulled over to see what our sign said, we got excited, but kept our distance as not to scare him away. I remember the young guy rolling down his window, leaning out the window and lifting his sunglasses to squint at our sign. “Man, I thought ya’ll were doing a car wash or somethin,” he said and peeled off. My dad came running out of the front door to see what was going on and once he saw our sign, he shut our business down, right then and there. Apparently we weren’t licensed to sell in the area. That, and my mom thought we would get dragged into a car by a creeper and killed in the woods.
I no longer have a desire to hawk plastic jewels by the road, but I do have a desire to set my own work parameters and expectations. Every day I dream about what it might be that gets me going well enough to where I can hand in a two weeks notice without plans to go sit and work under the watchful gaze of anyone else. Gourmet Popsicle vendor, graphic designer, public relations consultant, writer, blogger, caterer, nutritionist, personal trainer, yoga instructor, wedding planner, florist, yogurt maker, baker, I’ve thought of plenty. I even set up and went to an appointment at the local Chamber of Commerce for business plan counseling appointment through the Small Business Administration. The man who counseled me on my bakery plan was very encouraging, and gave me some ideas and perspectives on how to get going. He cautioned me that a bakery was a very heavy investment early on, with all the equipment involved. He told me to read up on DHEC food preparation guidelines, and to price used ovens, mixers, and ingredients through used equipment refurbishers around town, and at wholesale clubs. He gave me his card and asked if he could have his first cupcake free, to which I replied, “I’d give you as many free cupcakes as you want!”
(Photo source: Leynaaaa)
Ultimately, I realized he was right, and I wouldn’t be able to pull off a bakery unless everyone related to me died and left me and their sole heir, or I won the lottery. However, I still get that pull to want to branch out on my own. But for now my imagination will have to remain but a playground for my grand plans, and my boss will see me here again tomorrow.