Friday, November 17, 2006

It's Cocoa (and craft) Time!

One of my goals in homeschooling my kids is to teach them some basic business skills and to develop some entreprenurial thinking. For the last 4 or so years my daughter who is now 11 has been making brownie jars (layered brownie mixes in a canning jar). At first she sold them just to friends of the family and ladies from our church. She made about 10-15 jars that year.

The first year pretty much all she did was put the ingredients into the jar with a lot of help from me. This year, she finds her recipe card and makes them with practically no supervision. She makes decisions on how to package them, keeping track of her expenses and she'll be adding up her revenue and figuring her profit. Making them for her has always been the easy part, talking to people about them has been the hard part. She has grown considerably in this, feeling more and more at ease with answering questions from strangers about her products. That just illustrates one of the ways she has developed as a result of this project, there are many other things she has learned, not to mention the real life application of math.

The last three years have been really profitable as she has a venue at which to sell. My Curves ( club hosts a craft show the weeks before Christmas. Members sign-up for a week at a time to bring their crafts in to sell. The first year went well, last year better. So much better that this year she is asking people to place orders ahead of time so that she doesn't sell out! She's also branched out into filling small jars with a cocoa mix. The owner of the club has been very enthusiastic and supportive of Erin's endeavors. And since Helen is one of those people that can sell milk to a cow, that has been invaluable.

Erin has used the profits of the jars to pay for things for herself that don't fit into our regular budget. The goal this year is to cover as much of the cost of dance as possible. We do require her to give at least 10% to a charity of her choice encouraging her to give more and to trust God that she'll have enough to meet her goals. I am pleased that she has always been a cheerful and generous giver!

A friend and I are having a craft Open House kind of thing at my house in three weeks. Erin will be there with her jars, the other children are planning on scenting some bath salts and sugar scrubs (they want in on this business thing too!), I've made some ornaments, beaded bookmarks and hope to make some lip balms, and my friend has some really great gift baskets for pets! There'll be snacks and cider and maybe a little wine. If you are local - pm me for details.
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  • At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good for you. Bob and I very much have that goal for our kids too. Liana is now beading and hoping to sell jewelry she has made. One venue for her is our store.


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