Sidewalk Store

June 2016 014_12_1Nothing beats the experience of setting up your very own sidewalk store.  In my day, it was simply a cardboard sign, a table and a jug of lemonade.  This week my kids took the old fashioned lemonade stand to a whole new level (and made about 10 times more than I ever did).  June 2016 001_1_1It all started when I pulled out the bin of beads and the skein of yarn solely as a way to get the kids’ hands busy while I read their American History to them.  Next thing I know they’ve got a whole slew of beaded necklaces ready to sell.  Sell?  To whom?  “Well to whoever will buy them,” Joseph calmly explained to me.  June 2016 011_9_1“You should set up a little store out front on the sidewalk.  Maybe some neighbors will pop over and buy a necklace,” I told him and then I went about my business.June 2016 015_13_1Next thing I knew, the boys were all sorting through toy bins and book shelves trying to find anything they could to sell.  June 2016 017_15_1

“Hey Mom,” William called, “these books out here…whatcha planning to do with them?”

“I was going to drop them off at Half Price Books,” I replied.

“No need.  We’ll sell these for you at our store,” he gleefully responded as he added them to the pile of stuff for sale.June 2016 016_14_1Dax pulled out the table from the schoolroom.  Joseph made price tags and signs.  I frantically searched the cabinets for lemonade ingredients.  No such luck.  But I found some Lemon Chiffon Tea, lollipops and Hershey kisses.  June 2016 006_4_1Their first customer arrived.  It was Grandma Nury.  She tried her best to bargain with them.  At first they resisted despite her protests that she should get a family discount.  Then she made the comment that she really liked the rosary and was willing to pay $5 (not $6) for it.  The “rosary” she was referring to was never meant to be a rosary.  It was simply a necklace with a crucifix on it (although for all I know, maybe it has the correct number of beads on it…no one bothered to count).  The boys looked at one another and silently seemed to communicate a message between themselves.  Then they innocently looked at her and said, “Mmm, yes it is quite nice and we’ll gladly take $5 for it.”  Omitting the truth for the sake of $5 or shrewd business men?  I still haven’t decided, but I promised to mind my own business so I stayed out of it (although later we did have a brief discussion on the ethics of being honest and true in what you sell).  June 2016 007_5_1 Their first sale was a success!  June 2016 008_6_1

Neighbors came by…some bought their overpriced goods; others laid down 50 cents and enjoyed their cup of Lemon Chiffon Tea.  With each sale, the boys grew more confident: Joseph in giving change; William in advertising their goods; Andrew in waving to the cars.  June 2016 009_7_1In the end, Joseph handed over the following statistics to summarize their experience (I added the last one):

Items to sell: 10June 2016 013_11_1Change in the envelope before the store opened: $5June 2016 018_16_1Business owners: 3 June 2016 003_2_1Investor: 1 June 2016 010_8_1Customers: 8June 2016 021_18_1Items sold: 9June 2016 023_19_1Money made: $31June 2016 005_3_1Tips received: $4June 2016 029_24_1Hours spent minding the store: 2.5June 2016 034_29_1Lollipops taken from the inventory to keep the little ones busy: 2June 2016 036_31_1The experience of a sidewalk store: Priceless

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