Yesterday my client and friend Maya told me she wants to spend more time making things and wants to spend time with women her age doing something other than talking about their kids. Because she recently left her job, she also needs to bring in some cash in the next couple of months. My job was to come up with a way for her to accomplish all three without her having to get another job. I suggested she gather her girlfriends and between now and Christmas have several “make and take” parties. Here’s the attraction: Most people have to come up with some holiday gift ideas. Even if their own families don’t celebrate with gift giving, they give tokens of appreciation to their child’s teacher, mailman, hairdresser or petsitter. Everyone appreciates a handcrafted gift more than a mass produced store-bought item. This is an opportunity to cross a few items off their shopping list while having a good time with friends.
Maya has a lot of simple craft project ideas that don’t require artistic skill. Not everyone knits or sews but who can’t handle sequins and a glue gun? She was concerned about the idea of making money from friends. This is a common concern for many newbie entrepreneurs and a topic for a whole other article but I reminded her that none of us think of it that way when we’re invited to a friend’s Pampered Chef party. I recommended she purchase the materials wholesale, add enough markup to price the supplies at retail and add an instructor fee. So for example, if the materials cost her $10., she would charge $25 for the class. To keep with the party atmosphere, she could either supply refreshments or ask everyone to bring either an appetizer or a bottle of wine. She could also offer pre-made kits so that attendees could purchase supplies to make more of these same crafts at home. When we got down to the nitty-gritty of how to structure the events, Continue reading