How To Step Up—Your Way

What to do when there's nowhere to go but forward? Move at your own pace—with progress at your feet!
by Lora Gahol   |  Jun 13, 2010
illustration by Ben Deluyas
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The Reluctant “Ka-ching!” Machine.

You’ve been stringing beads together since you learned to thread a needle in third grade home economic class. Your uncanny ability to create a masterpiece out of strings and colored stones has earned you the title “Manang Beaday” among friends and family. And it’s no secret you’ve fattened up your piggy bank with the moola you’ve saved from making personalized gifts instead of shopping for them at the mall. Then it hits you: Piggy can gain a few more pounds if you start selling your creations! Why not let people shop from you?

 

The Litany of Doubt: I don’t have enough capital! What if no one buys since they’ve gotten used to getting my accessories for free? And I don’t have selling skills! I might run out of fresh and trendy ideas!

 

Baby steps to the BIG leap! Observe the people you know. If at least half of them sport your stuff, then you’ve truly got what it takes! Make the most of having both style-foresight and talent; throw your uncertainties out the window, and start a business plan. Figure out what makes your creations unique, and make it your basic formula. If Indian glass beads set you apart from accessory shops, ask Mom to bring home more of them on her next trip. Search the Web for new patterns and combinations. Hold an FGD (focus-group discussion) with friends—they can help inject more flair into your work. Money matters? You don’t need five—or six—figures to get by on your first run. Use your own savings if you can afford it, or charm Dad to “invest” in your biz. (Don’t forget to pay him back!) When your wares are ready to be marketed, hire your buds for some free “advertising.” They can walk around wearing your pretty adornments, and are bound to catch other’s eyes! Or, like accessory maven Happy David, you can carry your items around in clear plastic boxes that practically scream, “Check these out!”  Don’t forget a catchy name!  “Manang Beaday” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

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Lora Gahol
Contributing Writer
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