I got a pretty nice compliment the other day from my daughter Jenny.
She said, “you know dad, I think all of your kids got one particular quality from you and that is to be an entrepreneur and come up with ideas to make money.”
I’ve got this reputation with the kids about walking into the room on a work day for the paper and saying, “hey, I’ve got this new idea.” I do it all the time, and sometimes the idea is actually one that works!
Jenny was talking about a little business she and her sister Vicky teamed up for the last few weeks as the Mardi Gras season was winding down.
The two girls went to a Mardi Gras supply place looking for some items to get dressed up for a parade. One of them noticed that they couldn’t find any hair barrettes. The more they looked and talked about it the girls thought, “we could make these ourselves, and sell them!”
So they bought a handful of items—multi-colored babies that go in king cakes, Mardi Gras colored feathers and a base of different Mardi Gras designs such as crowns, jesters and masks.
Off to work they went at home, sitting on the floor for hours and putting them together. They even got Mardi Gras beads, cut the string that held them together and glued individual beads onto the barrettes for an added bit of flash.
As they headed to their next parade here on the North Shore they got dressed up, made a poster with the barrettes on them and asked for $5 each. The first parade saw them take 30 barrettes and the girls said they sold like hot cakes. It didn’t take long and they had pocketed a few dollars each, only making them hungry for more.
So for the last two weeks leading up to Mardi Gras it wasn’t hard to know where Jenny and Vicky were, nor what they were up to. It was either at Jenny’s house making barrettes, or at a parade selling them. In a nutshell, they couldn’t make enough of them and have sold every one they made.
Of course, both girls have cramped up hands now, burns from using a hot glue gun and a few other signs that they have been hard at work the last two weeks doing nothing else. But now they have plans for next year, and ideas to turn the business into other holidays or special events.
Women and girls are always looking for something new and different so they look pretty and get noticed. And the barrettes have certainly provided that.
Jenny was laughing about the way she was at the second and third parade and suddenly noticing women who had bought the barrettes previously and were now wearing them.
All three of my daughters now have a business venture of their own they are embarking on. The barrettes —named Hair High Jinx—is just the newest business to join the club.
You can find them at www.facebook.com/hairhighjinx.
Jenny recently passed the Notary Public exam—which is quite a feat if you ask people who have taken it—and is about to announce her Notary Public business to start on the North Shore. She will provide a “Notary on Wheels” kind of service and plans to use her maiden name of “Chiri” since she knows the newspaper has helped that name earn a bit of recognition.
Vicky already has a horse service business called “The Tattooed Trainer” since she has nearly 15 years of experience training horses. She truly does have great experience in all phases of working with horses and is now building a business where she goes to any stable or home where they have horses and will train them there.
Additionally, Vicky is bringing back Chiri Critter Care, a pet sitting business started by her grandmother, Pat Chiri—my mother. I remember when my mom got going with Chiri Critter Care many years ago here in Slidell since she was always this huge animal lover. She built the business to quite a thing over the years, getting so big that I had to help her during holidays and especially busy times when people traveled.
Vicky is the one child of mine who also is a big animal lover and is now advertising Chiri Critter Care, which has started with her first few clients. She can handle small animals of any kind—dogs, cats and others—so you can call her at 985-768-8254.
Then Chrissy has been working for well over a year as an agent for Primerica, building her own business in the financial services arena while she still works for the paper. I do think she will eventually have her own office and have a great business that is all her own. If you are interested in life insurance or financial services call her at 985-774-1957.
I guess it all just shows something many of us understand—few people really make a decent living any more with only one job. But I’m proud of the girls for hustling and always trying to find a way to improve life for themselves and their families.
Wonder what the next big “idea” will be?
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.