Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NL 6634 and 50/50


I have a coworker who is a straight hustler. I don’t have that particular hustler gene. I am not good at selling anything. Not candy bars as a child, not Avon as young adult, not really anything. I am a person who can take no for an answer and not bother you again. This may be why my side gig of sewing for other people is just that. A side gig.

I was at a regional conference with a table full of crowns, bags, headwraps and other Nation paraphernalia that folks tell me all the time that they want. The operative phrase is FOLKS TELL ME THEY WANT. Last year I made so much stuff, and really only sold a little more than my expenses. I ain’t mad. At the end of the event is when I made most of my gold. People thought I would discount the prices rather than take product home. I told these people that this is a side gig and pays not one bill in my house. And it’s not like the product expires. I can sell it whenever; and do. Once people understood this they bought stuff. But why does it have to be like this?

Anywho…. My coworker had experience with selling surgical caps at a previous job. We work in a hospital. She doesn’t sew, but she knows I do. She convinced me to partner with her. I don’t really like working with other people, but I would never have thought to do any thing like this on my own. I have been working here for 9 years and never conceived such an idea.

Here is my problem with the set up….. She thinks we should split this 50/50. I’m uncomfortable with that. I buy the fabric and make the caps, All she is doing is selling them. That doesn't seem like it warrants 50/50. She says it’s her idea and she deserves to be compensated for that. We are still working out the details… Here is the cap…


This pattern looks quite a bit like the Little House on the Prairie bonnet hats. I tried one on and if fit my big head with my mid-back length dreadlocks. So I don't think the size is gonna be a problem.

She thinks we should do only holiday ones. I kinda feel differently about that. Some folks like holiday kitsch…. Some don’t. I say, make the caps in holiday colors, yes… but make them in such a way they could be worn year round. Like for Xmas, red ones, green ones and gold ones. The red could work for Valentines Day and the green could work for St. Patrick’s. See where I’m going with that? In hospital environments there are a lot of people whom aren't American and don't share American traditions. They often don't understand our holidays. So I chose some light blue plaid and a moderately ethnic print. It's not really ethnic, but white folks would say it is. She bought a ½ yard of Snowmen fabric. (I convinced her to buy the fabric buy claiming I was broke and would be waiting until I got paid to purchase it. She didn't want to wait.) I got 6 caps out of that. I had some big scraps lying around and made another 7 out of them. We sold 1 yesterday to a male. He didn't like the snowman pattern. Said it was too girly.

Also… I feel like I’m not getting enough from the energy expended. When I make crowns, I can get 3 or 4 from 1 $3 skein of yarn. I sell them for $10 a piece. It is so worth it. If I sell 1 of 4, I have made my money back and then some. These surgical caps are a lot of energy for little return. I run them like an assembly line and it takes me about 10 minutes a piece. There is a lot of ironing and pinning involved. She spent $6 on a half yard of the snowman fabric (she bought no thread) and I got 6 caps. We are selling them for $10 a piece. So that’s $60. But… at a 50/50 break, I get $30. I’m just not feeling it.


Alison Cummins said...

Ideas are free. She doesn’t get paid for ideas. She can make money if she sells them. She can buy them from you for $5 and sell them for $10, or you can sell them yourself for $10. If she places an order for Christmas-themed caps with you, then she’s on the hook to pay for them all even if she can’t sell them.

If you guys want, she can get an “exclusive” because she’s your friend. So she can order caps in certain fabrics that are exclusive to her, meaning that you won’t sell them to anyone but her.

See also: (Summary: “Since I did squat, I get squat.”)

Bootzey said...

I agree. This seems like I'm being hustled....

Eli Reed said...

Yeah, she needs you more than you need her in this equation. If you let her sell, it might be more convenient for you, but without you she brings nothing to the table. I like the idea of having her buy them from you and sell them for whatever price she wants..