We are no different.
And i'm proud to announce the South County Boy will be hopefully starting his small business in May. After asking around, it looks like I might be able to get him a stall at the local farmers market to sell his handmade wood turned pens and other items once a month!
The nice thing is i'll be able to help him set everything up on Friday's before I go to work and since there will be one month in between his selling opportunities, he will have enough time to replenish his inventory if things take off.
We get the final details this week, but it looks like we are going to give it a whirl. The last few months you will have noticed how we have been spending $50-$100 a month gathering supplies and tools to try out new designs and different materials to get a good solid inventory of we can make with the sets we currently have and it has allowed SCB to work out the kinks of transforming the outside shed and patio into a viable work space.
After his dad built him a rolling portable bench for his lathe so it could be stored in the closet and pulled out for him to work on, we realized there were some problems with it. Thankfully after modifying the bench, it now works smoothly with the tiny storage shed adjacent to our patio.
Earlier in the year, we realized we needed to start placing a tarp down when SCB worked so the dust and pen shavings didn't fall through our patio and into our neighbors dog dish. After solving that problem we have had no issues from the neighbors despite living in a condo on the second floor in a closely spaced association. (We could literally play toss with our neighbors on either side of us if we were friends and the close space would easily make the game boring after a few minutes).
So since we are so close to the green light, we have started investing more capital into the business. We hit staples the other day and picked up a cash box, an 8.5 by 11 clear sign holder that has space for some business cards in it, and a whole ton of receipt books.
I plan on making him some business cards later on Vista Print and we will be hitting a fabric store so I can make something to cover our small folding table to make it look more professional and polished (the farmers market meets in a parking lot).
We are planning on using some of the unemployment money that we are getting to help offset some of our business start up costs. I'll also be setting up a separate checking account for the business I believe through ING Direct if the local bank down the street will fee us to death. Then I will be looking into getting a Square account set up so we can take credit cards. If we get that up and running in time, we will be able to take cash and credit cards, if not for our first day of sales we will take cash and checks only (until we get burned by a bad check).
We will also take custom orders with a half down deposit & half at pick up if someone wants him to make something particular.
We should have a good 30 pens or so made by the first farmers market date. In our last order of pen turning supplies, SCB figured out how to make some nice bottle openers and letter openers so we placed a large order to Pen State Industries the other day for some acrylic blanks and 5 more bottle opener and letter opener sets in addition to a few more tools.
If the farmers market doesn't take off, we will open a shop on Etsy and list the inventory there and his dad can continue to sell his pens at the other places he goes when he sells his lace bobbins-- or we will look into more local places for him to sell his items.