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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A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 1

It all started about a month ago, on a warm sunny Spring day. The mail had arrived. And there it was. 30 pages of glossy full color heaven. The all mighty American Girl Doll catalog. It was like the clouds had parted and the heavens were singing to my daughter as her eye lite up turning each page of girly goodness.

This is the closest you will ever see what my daughter looks like.

This is the closest you will ever see what my daughter looks like.

She immediately decided that the American Girl Doll was the perfect doll for her. And a doll she MUST have in order to complete her existence on this earth. I of course, rolled my eyes and secretly wished that catalog never had arrived. I know my daughter. She plays with almost NEVER. She likes the idea of dolls. She has a collection of them. They pretty much chill in a pile in the closet collecting dust and knots in their hair. Poor dolls…. However according to my daughter, none of those dolls look like she does, hence why they are not played with and why she MUST have the American Girl Doll that looks like her. I looked at the price tag. $110.00!!!!! And you don’t even get a cute outfit or accessories with it. Are you fucking kidding me? Pardon my french, but what bullshit to expect a parent to fork out over a $100 for the doll. Not to mention $30-$50 per outfit. I won’t even spend that much money on an outfit for myself, let alone an outfit for an 18″ piece of plastic.

After she hounded me for a day or so, I decided to make her a deal (insert evil laugh now). She went through the entire and narrowed down everything she wanted, from the doll to 2 outfits to get her wardrobe collection started. We tallied the shipping, tax, and what little money she saved so far. She needed a total of $225.00. I agreed to match her dollar for dollar. Of course in mind my, I never thought in my wildest dreams she would actually follow through. Which in turn, would save me over $100. We are talking about a girl who would pan through the couch for loose change, just so she could use the little bit of saved money on yet another 6 inch stuffed beenie animal she saw at the drug store. But what the hell, right? This would be a good lesson of saving money, doing chores for money, and be patient if it was something she really wanted.

We started off with her making a poster with cut outs from the catalog of all the items she wanted. She then wrote, “Do you have any chores for me? I am saving for an American Girl Doll”. We posted it on Facebook for our friends and family to see. From that alone, she received $20.00 from a distant grandma. She also was able to earn some money from doing odd chores for the grandparents. This includes window washing for grandma, and helping her grandpa wash the boat.

She realized very quickly, that chores were a waste of time. Really? I had to think fast. My plan of teaching her the value of hard work was sinking quickly. She decided she didn’t want to help out around the house for extra money. She already has chores that she has to do as “a part of her contributions to the family”. But then there are things she can do for extra money. Apparently she is too above hard labor or something. I mean shit, all I asked her to do was pull some weeds for money. Weeds that would have taken me 5 min to pull myself. But to her, it was slave labor….

Read Part 2 of how she finally earned her money and made her big purchase.