A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 2

If you haven’t had a chance to read:
A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 1, check it out!

After my daughter decided that chores were basically slave labor, she decided to become an entrepreneur to raise money. She created paintings and put on an art show. None of the neighborhood kids wanted to come see her art show, let alone pay actual money for the art. So that was a bust (of course I thought it was so cute, that I purchased some art). She also attempted to become a street performer and pan handle for money. Basically she came out of her room with a pretend hymn book, singing, and holding an empty egg cartoon. We enjoyed the performance, until she stopped, gave us a horrible look and said, “Don’t you know why this egg carton is here? So you can put money in it”. Well, holy duh! Of course. How could we ever miss that?

She even tried "living room" street performing for money.  Image borrowed from: http://literarysignpost.com/2012/09/01/street-performer/

She even tried “living room” street performing for money.
Image borrowed from: http://literarysignpost.com/2012/09/01/street-performer/

After trial and error, she came home from daycare one day with an epiphany. She would put on a lemonade stand. Yes! This was the answer to all she was looking for. After thinking about this for some time, I decided, yes, I can handle this. Some Kool-ade, maybe some cookies, sell them for a buck each, BAM! No….. it doesn’t work that way apparently. You have to make the lemonade from scratch. Organic preferred. And in doing some “market research”, 25 cents is pretty much the going rate for a cup lemonade. Doing the math, I realized, she would earn maybe $5.00 if she was lucky. But I was willing to give it a try.

We picked a weekend, and set a time for the lemonade stand. I game her a 2 hour window to be open for business. We picked lemons from our daycare provider’s tree, purchased poster board, cups, and some cookies, and got to work on our marketing strategy. Ok, I have to admit, I have a career in marketing. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I kinda know what I am doing when it comes to getting the word out. You just gotta blanket your target audience. Ok… I tooted!

Fresh Homemade Lemonade and Cookies. 25 cents!

It was SOOOOO hard not to want to micro manage. Of course by this time, this was MY lemonade stand in my mind, not hers. It took constant reminding, to stay in the background and gently coach the process, vs leading. I encouraged her to make a flyer and we could put it on the door steps of the homes on our street. Being that she is 6 years old, she isn’t the worlds best writer. But we worked together on what she wanted to say, I wrote it out, and she copied what I wrote and added her own flair. Apparently spider illustrations along with “Fresh Homemade Lemonade” was her marketing approach. Some words were miss spelled or missing. But you got the message from reading the flier. If anything the fact that it looks like it was written by a little kid, probably drew in more customers. It was SOOOO hard to not correct her every move. But I didn’t…. much.

By the time the lemonade stand open for business, she had left fliers with every house on our street, we put poster-board signs at the end of the street next to the bus stop, she made a hand written huge sign for her table, and I emailed our family and Kinder class, and posted it on Facebook. Overboard you may say? I think not!

Oh yeah, one last thing. She decided that we should feature face painting along with the lemonade. Which meant, mommy gets to face paint. Fun…. (that is “Fun” with a lingering sarcastic tone). But I went along with it. She also wanted to put out chairs for people to sit and enjoy their lemonade while they hung out. In the 2 hours her lemonade stand was open, she sold out of ALL the lemonade, had about 5 cookies left, and made $30!!!!! I could’t believe it. She added it to her money pile.

In doing some research, I found companies who sell clothes for the American Girl Doll for half the cost of the official brand. http://www.doll-clothes.com/ is one of them. Not having to pay so much for clothes, really helped the bottom dollar amount she would need to save.

She was convinced she had enough. I didn’t believe her, but was open to counting her money, again, so we could see how far she had to go. Low and behold, in one month’s time, she had saved a total of $100. I was shocked. You know what that means? I had to come up with my end of the bargain of matching her dollar for dollar? What the hell did I get myself into? I never thought she would be able to save that much. And in only a one month time? Really?

One thing I have to say, is that the ladies in our family have tenacious genes running through our blood. We are go-getter biatches! And we don’t work hard, we work smart. Funny how she already has figured that out. I am actually very proud of her. She put her mind to it and did it!

So today, she got to order the doll, the clothing, and the accessories she wanted. And so the waiting game starts. She better love this doll with all her heart. If I find her American Girl Doll in a pile with her other dolls, collecting dust with matted hair, in the closet, I am going to be pissed. Well, not pissed per say. I will probably just reclaim her as my own doll. I never had my own American Girl Doll. You are never too old. And technically I did pay for half of her….. I am secretly really excited for her to arrive. Does the stork bring her? She wrapped in silk when she arrives? Does heavenly light burst out of the box when you open it? I can’t wait!!!!

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6 thoughts on “A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 2

    • The funny thing is that we don’t really live on a street where people have money. I she made most of her money from friends and family who came to support her. My dad gave her $5 as a “tip”. And any of the parents from school that came by gave her a buck here and there. I guess it added it up in the end.

      She probably thinks that every time she has a lemonade stand, she will make this kinda of money, but that won’t happen. I think cause it was the first time she did it, people thought it was cute and gave her more money. But if she were to do it often, the cuteness would probably wear off. And she would make the 25 cents here and there.

  1. My five year old son really REALLY wanted the Lego Death Star. At almost £300, that’s a shedload more even than the American Doll. We pointed out that if he saved all his pocket money he would be SEVEN by the time he had enough. “OK” So he did. He saved. Every time we were out and he asked for something (like a cake or an icecream) I would offer him the cash for the Death Star fund.

    It took him nine months. With help and contributions from all over. Plus some bigger contributions from us (he waited in a car showroom for almost two hours, and I negotiated an additional £75 off the already discounted price. He got the £75.)

    It teaches them a lot, I think. He was SO proud of having done it.

    • I am so glad you commented. It is so good to hear that your son really values the Lego Death Star because he saved for it. I honestly wish it took her longer to save her money. I think she would have really felt the sense of earning it because it took a long time.

      If she has a hard time taking care of her new doll, I may take it away and give it back until she can really take proper care of it. It is a very fancy toy for a 6 year old.

  2. don’t ever let her in on the fact that there is a whole store with cafe and salon that caters to her and her doll. you’ll get to teach her more lessons as she begs for a $25 hair do for her doll and a $15 grilled cheese sandwich so her doll can sit in a highchair attached to the table next to her.

    I went to lunch there once with my kid for another kids birthday. thank GOD I’ve always said no to those dolls or we would have been spending a TON of cash.

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