This is a continuation of From McDonald’s to a Million Dollars. If you didn’t catch Part 1, read it here. 🙂
So while my business partner’s Mother, Margie, healed for 5 months in a hospital bed, we put on our entrepreneurial hats and created “The Girls.” A full-service interior house cleaning and exterior house painting business.
We didn’t have any experience whatsoever, but it was something that we could easily learn, do a good job at, and earn income during the day while still having time to comfort and visit Margie later on.
We made up some cute posters and drove around the upper-end suburbs, gently placing one in each mailbox (little did we know the time that was a BIG no-no). Within a short while, we had a nice list of loyal customers and growth through word-of-mouth.
It was apparent that we’d have to only take on 1-stories when a painting project came in because we both detested the height and instability of ladders!
Needless To Say, “The Girl’s” was short-lived.
Once we earned enough money to invest in something else, we did.
We had scored a fantastic source for unique and vibrant wildlife T-shirts when we were living in Naples, FL. First quality runs that we were able to purchase at wholesale for only $4.00 each!
We registered for a DBA, got a new tax id number, placed our first wholesale order, and ForestRain was born.
We organized a schedule to do all the fairs and festivals within 60 miles of Rochester, NY. In no time at all, our weekends and a few 10-day stents were booked!
We loaded up a used step-van and away we went.
We priced each shirt at $10 and they sold like hot cakes! In specialty stores, the same brand was retailing for over $20, so people were going nuts. Most sales were multiple items. I remember at a good show, I’d have the plastic “Thank you for shopping” bags lined up my arm for quick transactions, so people wouldn’t have to wait in line.
It was like an entrepreneurs dream! All cash, all day!
We even got “extra fancy” and added glitter to some. I know, yikes!
I’ll let you in on a little secret too! When we wanted to save a good parking spot, we would sprinkle some glitter on the pavement. Everyone would avoid it because, in the sun, it looked like glass! We had VIP spots all along the way!
I do feel like I need to mention that we didn’t have a residence at this point in the journey. We were going from one motel to another. Our crew consisted of Margie (who was in a wheelchair), our cat, Weezie (who had emphysema) and our fish, Parnelli (because he liked to race around his bowl). We were quite the motley crew!
After a couple of months of this circuit, we were able to earn enough money to put a down payment on a home that caught our eye right when we landed in New York.
The sellers were willing to take $5,000 cash down and schedule out balloon payments in a rent-to-own structure. We were psyched!
I remember the closing day like it was just yesterday!
The realtor met us at the house, we had all our festival cash in hand, literally. When she saw us take out the wad, she lowered the blinds and asked if we were waitresses or strippers because we had so many 5’s and 10’s! She said that she’d never had a house closing like ours and it would go down in the books! Ha!
So our journey from Naples, Florida brought us right up to Naples, NY. We had success!
It felt so good…and then there was Winter!
Coming from the South, where it was sunny and 80 every day, it didn’t dawn on us that no one was going to buy t-shirts when there was snow on the ground.
And so ended another chapter in our entrepreneurial journey!
Although, we never would’ve been able to acquire one of the prettiest pieces of property with views of Canandaigua Lake without that experience. My business partner, Sher, still lives there to this day!
Stay tuned next week to find out what happened next!!
Until then…breathe joy,
Hi! I’m Kc. I mentor help women solopreneurs build, grow, and optimize their holistic businesses so they can help more people, work less hours, and live abundantly.
When I’m not online, you can find me in the backyard garden or with my fluffy cat, Bini.