Hubby and I were out shopping the other day, and we noticed that although Halloween is on the doorstep, retailers are trucking out the Christmas goodies.
I have to go to the dollar store on the way home,” I announced. “Do you mind stopping?”
“I hate that store. For one thing, there is hardly anything in there that costs just a dollar. Everything is a dollar fifty or more. Why do they entice people by saying it’s a “Dollar store”? he asked.
“What are you talking about? There’s lots of stuff for a dollar, and I need to pick up a couple of things so I can work on my Christmas store crafts. This year I am making some bracelets, and tonight I am going to decorate some ornaments.”
“Alright. I’ll stop, but I don’t want to spend an hour in there looking at junk. Besides, do you ever make any money at this “Christmas store?” he said. “You don’t even recover your cost so I can’t figure out why you bother.”
“It’s to raise money for the art gallery, and besides, I enjoy making some different things to sell”.
This is the time of year when I come up with my best (or worst) “brainy ideas”. And believe me when I say “Brainy”. Hubby and I call our marketing plan the “Buy High” “Sell Low” policy. For some reason, that’s just how things work out for us. Over the years it has become a standing joke, and my Christmas store sales are right in keeping with that policy. I can’t charge for my time, or failed attempts at some dumb idea, and apparently what I think is a “sure sell” usually turns out to be a “dud. We pull into the dollar store parking lot, and with Hubby yakking about my past failed projects, we beetle into the store.
“I think I’ll make some pot holders since I hauled up the sewing machine,” I said, “And I need new ones anyway.”
We hadn’t gone more than ten feet when he spots the pot holders on the rack. “These are only a dollar fifty. Can you make them for less than that? I don’t think you can, so better just buy the darn things here.” He’s right, so I throw a couple into the cart. So much for that idea.
“How about if I make some scarves?” I asked
“You mean like these here? Two fifty and look at the nice colors.”
I just give him a scathing look. There goes another project down the tubes.
And so it continued… everything I had already made for our little fundraiser was available in the dollar store, and I was being undercut price wise. Who was going to buy my nice handmade items if they could buy it in the dollar store for so cheap? Not only that, it was taking a lot of time and money to make these things, and compile a nice display.
Up and down the aisle we tread, and with each turn of our heads, I see items that I just couldn’t make for this low price. I thought about those people who were making next to nothing cranking out this stuff for our consumption, and I knew exactly how they felt.
“What the heck is the world coming to?” I lament.
“You may as well get used to it,” Hubby says. “Your entrepreneurial skills are sadly lacking, and you are out of business before you even start.”
I can see the hours that I have spent making jewellery bags, bracelets, and ornaments turning into a total disaster in the money-making end of things.
“Well, I get a lot of satisfaction in making things, and besides, it’s either glue and glitter, or a whack of therapy sessions. What’s it gonna be?” I ask.
“Let me think,” he says…. “ if you ever turn from suicidal to homicidal, we may have to increase the glitter and glue budget, until then, we’re still A okay.”
There’s one thing that the dollar store merchandise can’t beat, and that’s the personal satisfaction that I get when something goes right. It’s a sense of accomplishment.
Glitter…. a dollar twenty-five; my sanity…. priceless.
Author Val Enders resides in Spruce Grove, Alberta. She married her high school sweetheart, Richard, and they’ve been together for over 40 years. Val doesn’t consider herself a writer by profession, rather she writes more for her own enjoyment. An accomplished artist, Val’s a member of the Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove. Visit Val’s “Journey Into Art” website at www.vals.webs.com