Why I went into business with my kids

It’s no secret that the Brassy Apple blog is always changing! and in the blogging world or the business of establishing your BRAND that may be the wrong choice BUT it’s the right one for me. Or it has been the right path for me. A journey of change and discovery and evolving. It might not have ever brought me the biggest numbers or the most followers but if I was blogging for those reasons, then THOSE reasons wouldn’t have been the right ones to be doing it for.

inspiration tshirts for women - brassyapple.com

You may have noticed that Brassy Apple once again has had a shift in focus and a change (somewhat) in content. Last fall when I knew it was time to pull on the blogging reigns I HAD to follow that instinct. And glad I did. Some things presented themselves and others fell away. There was space in my head and my energy for things that have been waiting for “room to come in” – and they came in. There was down time and what I like to call the “calm before the storm”. LOL! Our family got “reset” and things that I knew were most important and always were given the most emphasis became even clearer. The “BUSY stuff” of life had no appeal to me. Yet in that time I did a lot of searching. A lot of journaling. A lot of trying to get outside of myself and figure out what was going to be next. I completely appreciated the “free time” but I still wanted to be purposeful. And honestly how long could I go on having all this “free time???”

Then it happened.

Little tiny flashes of thoughts.

Little tugs here or there.

Little things people said.

I began writing it all down. I reached out a bit – testing the waters per say…..

More journaling. And the more I wrote it all down the more space in myself there was to receive MORE of these answers or direction I was looking for! I started voicing my thoughts which can be a scary thing – saying it OUTLOUD???? That is what they call putting yourself out there. That can be unsettling. But I faced all those fearful, uncertain feelings right in the face. So what!? All these “little ideas” felt good so I knew I was going in the right direction. One day it honestly all came together – one of those “AH HA” moments. All the little things attached themselves together into 1 big picture and I “got it!”

No more 1 woman show here on Brassy Apple. My focus for the last 6 – 7 months had been my family and it was wonderful. Why not adventure with them going forward? I already had a #BrassyTeam on my side, but now it was going to be taken to a whole new level.

SO – after presenting my idea WE ALL WENT INTO BUSINESS TOGETHER! Our family business was born!

We spent time creating our office space.

We spent time coming up with our Motto

Wear good. Feel good. Do good. 

We designed tshirts together.

We voted on designs and tee colors together.

We shopped for shipping supplies, etc together.

 Photo shoots for the Tees are a group effort.

And definitely the packing up of orders and shipping them off takes all of us!

What got me most excited??? Other than getting to work together it was all the “reasons” why this would be a super, cool and awesome “project” if you will, to give it go as they say and see what happens and what we can learn.

teaching kids about business and dreams - brassyapple.com

1. Profit and Loss – What a better way to teach them about this concept on a level they are invested in that this!

2. Business expenses – At the end of the day the smiles and hands full of quarters from the lemonade stand are AWESOME! But most of the time we are parents don’t factor in the cost of the lemonade, the cups, etc. I mean the kids put in the time to sell it and the “hustling” of the neighborhood street corner to get customers but some time or another we need to teach and help them understand business expenses and how it relates to or affects our profits!

3. Geography – This one might be unexpected but the littlest member of our Brassy Team is only 6 year old. He puts in his fair share of the work (stuffing business cards in the packages, etc) but it’s really fun to have him read the shipping label and see WHERE these packages are going. Then following that up with a look at a map to see where we are and where that state/city is.  One day he said, “I just can’t believe someone in Alabama would want to buy a shirt from us!”  ps – thanks Alabama for making his day!

4. Becoming a salesman – Naturally we wear our own tees around town, etc but when friends and accquaintances ask where to get one at first the kids were thrown off a bit. This is a still we’ve had to learn and are still learning. I think it’s a process. Pitch the customer without feeling like they are being “sold” something right? It’s also helped them to be more aware of other aspects of the business. Like are we having a sale, do we have these in stock anymore, etc. I witnesses my little 6 year old again “hustling” the photographer we were using for a shoot about our tees and how she should get one and if we didn’t have her size then we could probably get it. Too cute!

5. Working with others – Siblings don’t always get along. Let’s be real about that! When we’ve got the assembly line going there isn’t always sounds of “whistling while you work” going in our office. LOL! Again, I think it’s a process…..

6. How do we grow this business? – We started off with a bang but how do we keep this momentum going? How do we use our resources and technology to grow? This is a constant lesson for all of us. One we are still working on but it’s fun to hear the kids ideas and allow them to brainstorm with the whole team!

7. Giving back – As we got our business up, motto, etc one thing we came up with as a group was that we wanted Generosity to be part of our growth stragedy. My daughter even made up a poster saying this that hangs in our business office. We know that the more you give the more you receive. We decided that a portion of every sale would get donate to a worth cause. And that we could change what that worth cause was when ever we saw a need for it. So we all picked as a family what organization we would be giving to.

generosity quote

8. Giving extra – In our church/religion we voluntarily give back or donate 10% of our income. These funds are used for a variety of things . So part of the profit/loss, business expenses, etc this giving extra part must be factored in too!

9. Thinking IN and OUT of the box – what’s new, what’s up and coming, how to advertise and promote our business. A constant battle for anyone in business.

10. That dreams take work  – whew! It would be amazing it we had a magic wand or a fairy godmother or a genie in a bottle but man we havn’t found those yet! LOL! they say dreams don’t work unless you do. Kids don’t put in a hard days work like they used to – back in the farming days. There just isn’t as much opportunity. We try to take each opportunity we can to teach our kids to work – whether that is a family garden, daily chores, serving others, or in our case add on top of those a family business.

dreams quote(source)

And all of this is just the beginning. Now that we are few months in it’s been more fun and more work than we first thought it would! Onward and upward we say!!! Someday we will be sitting around swapping stories and say, “Remember that time we starting a tshirt business together….” 

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