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Thursday, April 22, 2010

My exciting hobbies

Being a stay-at-home mom was pretty tough initially. I couldn't juggle with the house chores, cooking and a very, very demanding baby. Russell was the baby who could not sleep soundly for more than 5 mins when not with me. 'With me' meaning literally must be bodily close to me. Plus he had a bad case of colic in his first 3 months of life. He'll cry for like 10-15 mins after each feeding. I was totally exhausted 24hrs a day 7 days a week, everyday! It took me several months to adjust to a new life with a baby and I learned so much from it.

But I'm glad I have a chance to take care of the boys full time. It's a blessing being a SAHM. The bond we have is unquestionable. As the boys grow older, they become more independant and I found some free time. I started learning to use the computer only in 1999! The internet is a wonderful creation for someone like me. Because of the boys, I don't go out much and the internet provides me with the oportunity to learn and meet other moms like me without stepping out. And that was when I learn how to build my own website. I had so much fun doing it that I started an online store selling 2nd hand stuff. Basically, whatever that I found lying around my home that we didn't need anymore. It was slow at first but it gave me a chance to update the website every now and then and I enjoyed it.

Most of my eshop visitors thought it was a good idea to look at the stuff before travelling all the way to the garage sales for bargains. The business grew and I had more than a thousand subscribers! I even had sponsors advertising at my estore. But I was running out of stuff to sell. My husband was very supportive of my new hobby. He accompanied me to many garage sales looking for bargains. One of our bedrooms was converted to my warehouse and I had so many 'junks' to sell. Other customers were asking me to help them sell their stuff and I charged a fee for the service. I even bought a van to facilitate the deliveries that I had to make.
                                          My yellow buddy.

But as people became more and more IT savvy, they don't need my service anymore and there were many 2nd hand forums to buy things from. Plus things are getting cheaper and more shops are pricing their stuff on sale throughout the year. So buying 2nd hand stuff didn't seem attractive anymore. Then a friend came home from a holiday in China and bought some organza flower sash as gifts for her friends. They were so pretty, versatile and cheap to buy in bulk. We decided to buy more and sell them to shops around town. Oh, how brave we were. While the kids were in school 2 housewives gathered the flower sashes in their bags and shop hopped to sell them to shop owners, mainly boutiques. We made introductions, did some demos and sold lots and lots of them. And then came a time when there was a retail price war. Every other shops were trying to under cut each other. From $25 each, it fell to just $10! We knew we had to get rid of the remaining stocks quickly.
                                             The pretty flower sash

So we started selling them and other stuff at make shift stalls in the malls once a month over the weekends. The sashes were sold out so fast on the first day that we were scrambling to look for other stuff to sell for the 2nd day. We were so surprised by our sales turnout and decided to do more once a month weekend sale. When the kids were in school, we looked for suppliers. When business became brisk, my partner decided to go to China and Bangkok to buy more goods. I was lucky to have her because she has a very keen eye for saleable items. But everytime we did a weekend sale, she would tell me that her husband wasn't happy. After many months, she told me she wanted to quit. I respected her decision eventhough she didnt want to explain why. I must admit that it was really tiring running around looking for new products to sell, pricing them, preparing for a sale and moving our make shift stall around! Yea...I was also getting exhausted doing everything by myself so I stopped, not long after she did. I didn't managed to sell everything I had so I started giving them away during Christmas, birthdays and visits to friends' place.

After 3 years, I still have some stuff left and don't know what to do with them. Do you think anyone would like to have these?
                                         Colourful hairbands and hairclips

Maybe, I should follow what some people are doing in their blogs. Have a give away contest??


jennifer said...

Do you think I could have a couple of them? My daughter would be thrilled.

Eileen said...

Of course :)