Updated: Dec 13, 2020
Day 19: Creative Business Ideas
"I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions." Proverbs 8:12
"And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts." Exodus 31:3-5
Happy Nineteenth Day of thanks Everyone!
Don't you just love when a creative and witty idea pops into your head and it turns into a creative business venture? I do. I give thanks for creative business ideas that provide self employment and home-based business opportunities for folks who cannot always explore traditional employment opportunities.
For several years, one of my goals has been to teach Delilah Christina (Lilah), my autistic daughter and Diva-licious Princess, how to market her artistic talents and turn them into a vocation and a viable alternative to traditional employment for herself. Delilah draws and paints all the time. I purposely do a million crafting projects with her, so that she can perfect her artistic talents, learn hand-eye-muscle coordination, as well as to spend quality time with her.
Two Christmases ago, my best friend Irene had an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest and said we all had to show up to the party wearing our ugly sweaters to get a prize. Lilah and I browsed the ugly Christmas sweaters on the market but hadn't found any fashionably suitable ones for ourselves that would win the contest but still declare that we were fashionistas with a flare for the amazingly pretty and gorgeous. In that moment, it was my bright idea that we should make and style our own Ugly Christmas Sweaters. Any one who knows us, knows that in our house we can create a room just for crafting or build a crafting station because we have every possible crafting tool to create anything under the sun. I took out my hand sewing kit, two glue guns and glue sticks, Lilah's fabric glue, beads, paint, ribbon, Christmas lights, do it yourself and already made Christmas ornaments and found a plain sweatshirt and hoodie and Christmas lights. We also got some of the previous year's left over decorations.
I asked Lilah to pull together all the materials she wanted to use to design her Ugly Christmas sweater. She gathered gold tinsel, ornament reindeers, colorful bulbs, jingle bells and the Christmas string lights and started to make a template of what she wanted her purple hoodie sweater to look like. I had to do all the complicated sewing and hot glueing so that we could accomplish our goal of creating the perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater and adhere to some safety precautions. It took quite some time but we finally completed Lilah's hoodie. Then, I asked her to help me design my sweatshirt. I told her I wanted a Christmas tree, along with some other decorations, to make me a fun, yet pretty sweatshirt. On one side of my shirt, Lilah designed me a Christmas tree using colorful rope, a strip of yellow and red sequins material, colorful buttons, and jingle bells. On the other side I found a huge snow man face to juxtapose her design and made some crazy looking bows. We got to work and a few days later, we had what I consider some beautiful, home-made, really pretty Ugly Christmas sweaters. Thus, the name of Lilah's sweaters: "The Pretty Ugly Christmas Sweater."
When we showed some folks our final creations, a few of them asked us to make them one. We did, with pleasure. My cousin told me that I should create Lilah's very own business of the Pretty Ugly Christmas Sweater during the holidays and that she would support her. I thought that it was a great idea. Although autistic with mild to moderate cognitive delay, since Lilah is getting up in age, she still needs to learn and understand the value of money. Having her own business, where people can support Lilah's development and entrepreneurial skills as someone with autism, Delilah could independently earn some pocket money for the big things that she wants and needs for herself, and continue to sharpen her artistic skills. Ms Delilah is definitely a fashionista and artist and showed out with her creations this year. She designed some great, very unique, elaborate, one-of-a-kind, Pretty Ugly Christmas sweatshirts this year. I committed to do the complicated things that she couldn't, which added the finishing touches to her pretty ugly Christmas sweaters, but the designs were all hers.
This year, we started our "Pretty Ugly Christmas Sweater" venture by, first, creating the do-it-yourself Christmas ornaments for our sweatshirts. Because we were committing so much time to creating them, I asked her teacher to add the creation of her sweaters to her school's work study curriculum so that she could get credit for the work she was doing to create them. She was approved. Lilah has came up with some really cool designs for the Christmas trees, stockings and the snowmen. She even enlisted some help from her respite worker who is pretty artistic as well. (Her respite worker helped to do character ornaments for one of the sweaters since my skills are only limited to Batman). Upon seeing her ornaments, many folks, including her teacher, said that we should sell her ornaments separately and that they would buy them. I talked to her about giving that a try this year too. Now it's time to see if everyone was truly being honest about her sweaters and ornaments. Many of the sweaters are ready and go on sale today. The ornaments are $3/each but there's a discount if you buy 2; two ornaments will cost $5. The Pretty Ugly Christmas Sweaters cost $30 each.
As we give thanks today for creative business ideas, I ask that you support none other than Ms. Delilah Christina's business venture and her Pretty Ugly Christmas Sweaters and ornaments (until they are sold out). Wherever you see this post, send me a message and we will take your order. This year, we want to buy Lilah a Cricut Maker with the all-inclusive essential bundle, which on sale is closer to $500, so that the work of her artistic creations from now on can be done with so much more ease and in less time. (We definitely need her designs and the work to happen in less time!)
Have a great day of thanks!