Thursday, 18 February 2010

A brush with (not very) big business (and an auction for Haiti)

A sad story of the demise of my t-shirt empire...

I have, for a while, been personalising children's t-shirts.  A bit before Christmas I was delighted and astonished to discover that the owners of a posh baby shop not very far from me wanted to stock and sell them.  Wow!!!  This has gone astonishingly well (in a very small scale) and in the last five or so weeks I've sold three t-shirts.

I'm delighted with this, but also utterly exhausted by it. It doesn't sound like much, but what with work, and house-moving and oh, yes, three small children, I found my heart sinking each time they called with a new order.  This didn't seem right somehow and so I rang them up the other day and told them that I wouldn't be doing it any more.

They were flatteringly disappointed, but nice with it, and said they'd send me a cheque as well as the t-shirts that I made for them to display.

Which was when I realised.  First rule of business?  Negotiate your terms.  What had I failed to do?  Erm, well, discuss them..... There'd been all this chat about how much they were going to sell them for (an utterly astonishing (and in the view of some - myself sometimes included - astronomical) £25.99 each.  Sounds (is) expensive, but also given the time each one takes me, and the cost of materials, actually not (if at all) profitable...  And that assumes I get the whole £25.99.  Which, I, rather late in the day, suddenly realised I wouldn't.  And I hadn't ever discussed how much I would get.  oops.

So.  Answers on a postcard.  How much did I get?  Three t-shirts.  Retail price £77.97. 

To you, Mrs Plan B.  £37.50.


And that, my friends, is why they make money.  And I don't. 

But it is a story that ends happily.  We were in Edinburgh airport on Sunday evening when I spied these....

Price? £37.50.  It's fate.  And I am the girl with the tartan shoes...with the flowery linings...

And the even better news.  I therefore now have three "display" t-shirts going spare.  An Evie (12 - 18 months), a Jack (also 12 - 18 months), and a Mia (3-6 months)...

And I'm putting them up for auction in aid of the Bloggers for Haiti appeal....  Please put your bids in as a comment here by Sunday evening and I'll put them in the post on Monday.  Please do pass this on as it would be lovely to raise a bit more money to add to the fabulous £4,000 already raised.

Oh, and consider this my apology to the blogging community for being so rubbish about commenting on all the fantastic stuff I've read recently.  Blame whoever didn't put 25 hours in the day...


  1. oooooh I want the Evie one.... going to wait for some more bids as don't want to look like a tight-arse!! haha.... x

  2. I have to agree with you , people dont really value home made, you should make some and sell direct via folkey or the like, then you get all the profit.

  3. Perhaps when you're less busy and settled into your new home you could start making them again and selling them direct ? They are lovely :)

  4. they look very sweet. sadly I don't know any Jacks, Evie's or Mia's. well, my granddad is a Jack but I'm not sure he'd appreciate it...

  5. Sorry, don't know any kids of the right age and name together.

    Some people must have a lot of money to spend on kids' clothes (that isn't a criticism of YOU, m'dear, hope you realise).

    And yes. Who on earth thought of the 24 hours limit?

  6. And with 36 hours to go the bidding is, well, not exactly hot, but I live in hope...And otherwise, George's Mummy, (and Heather's granddad) you're doing well!

    Thanks for nice comments - and no offence taken Iota: I heartily agree with you! Geriatric Mummy - that thought had crossed my mind too, so watch this space for more info on cheaper direct-sold t-shirts!

    Madhouse - It's so true... Did you get anywhere with your place mats by the way? I thought they were fab, but again, the suggestions of what people were prepared to pay, just meant that it presumably wouldn't be worth your while doing them... It's a b*gger isn't it?!

    And Diney - I know!!! They make me very happy. Superficial, clearly, but happy.

  7. And at the close of bidding (or, in fact, two days later).... well....Anna, the Evie one is yours. Send me an email with your address on it and I'll get it in the post on Thursday. I'll trust you on the donation, so please do that whenever you get a chance.

    And if anyone subsequently discovers a Mia or a Jack, let me know.

  8. hello.... Right, I'm all caught up on what I'm doing so ignore my message on BMB apart from the address bit which is there.

    I'm off to dig out the bank card and donate x x


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...