We use it all the time. Money. But the more things go electronic, the less obvious it is. Credit cards, Apple Pay, gift cards debit cards. When we work our craft booths, rarely do people hand us cold hard cash. Mostly they pop out their credit card and we run it through Square. Their balance goes down, ours goes up (minus the percentage we pay to Square for making the transaction).
But what happens from there? Where did the money come from and how do we get it to buy something we want? That’s what this lesson was all about. Currency. Interest rates. Layaway. Cash – how it is designed to keep people from printing their own. Coins. In a world that seems to (unfortunately) revolve around money, we should know how it works!
In early December, Olive and I were asked if we would be interested in coming up with a design ideas and a proposal for the home of our friends to decorate their space for a big New Year’s Eve Party! Of course we said YES!
We immediately went online to get inspiration. We decided on using silver, gold and lots of candles, birch wood and bit of tasseling here and there. We then created the proposal. Here’s a look at it:
They agreed to hire us and we began SHOPPING – every decorator’s favorite part! We started at Target. It was hard to know how much stuff we would need, so we found a fairly empty shelf and started mocking it up in the store. We were armed with a calculator and a lot of patience. It was hard to get everything we needed and stay in budget. We had so many IDEAS!!!
After returning from our travels for the holidays, we cut the birch platforms, packed up the decorations and headed to their home to begin the decorating. We were happy that we had the perfect amount to create a festive space for them to party in! One of my favorite parts was the fortunes we made. They were hilarious and really pretty. We heard they were a hit. :0)
Check out some of our handy work. It was great fun and awesome to see what we could accomplish! Happy New Year to one and all!!
A long overdue post, this summer, we learned about business (profit, loss, expenses, philanthropy) by participating in a Green Market at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts in Saugatuck, Michigan. It’s a weekly (we went every 3 weeks) outdoor market held for both fresh food vendors and craft items.
Months before the market, we started the process of deciding what we wanted to create. We landed on ‘peg dolls’, fair trade wool fiber cord bracelets, barrettes and organic cotton reusable market bags printed with veggies and fruits.
It was an interesting process. One of the hardest decisions we had to make was about choosing the bag. We had the option of a super inexpensive, made in China, standard cotton (environmentally, one of the dirtiest fabrics manufactured) bag, where we could sell for less and make the most money. Another option was to go to the other end of the scale (preferred by us) with an American Made organic bag. They were so expensive, that we wouldn’t make any money at all (the bags were 8 times the cost!) but would have supported American workers AND the earth. Lastly, we could split the difference and choose bags that were some of each. We decided to go, based on what we thought the market would pay and still make a few bucks, to go with the organic cotton bags made in China. Still 4 times more than non-organic bags made in the same place. A hard choice at every direction!
Everything else we made wasn’t as hard to decide on. We chose Arbor Circle in Grand Rapids, Michigan as the organization where we would donate 20% of our proceeds (after expenses were paid back, of course!). They do incredible work in helping West Michigan’s homeless youth including LGBTQ with support of all kinds. It was here we learned about Corporate Matching Gifts – what we donate, a willing company matches to double the donation – That is COOL!
See what you think! We had FUN making all the crafts and learned a lot about how the Green Market works. An extra thank you to Dad for all his help setting up and taking down our booth each time we went to the market – that’s a lot of WORK!!!