Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ewan the Entrepreneur

Who ever said that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree is correct, at least for anyone who knows my daughter and her youngest son.  Ewan is also our youngest grandchild.  He is almost nine years old, but has the mind of an eighty year old.  He is an old soul, for sure.  He physically looks and talks like his dad and their side of the family, but he is also like his mom.

When our daughter was a young girl, she was always trying to make money.  When she was twelve, she wanted a paper route.  We tried to discourage it because we knew we would have to pick up the slack on rainy days, snowy days and the huge newspaper full of ads on Sunday.  She was relentless and got the route.  Those were the days when you had to go door to door to collect money for the paper and at times sell subscriptions.  One time they had a contest to win prizes.  She wanted skis, boots and bindings.  I would drive her to different neighborhoods, wait in the car and she would go door to door to sell newspaper subscriptions.  You would never dare to do that now days, but she was determined.  She did win the prizes.  She also saved her money.  One time I told a friend that she bought a CD.  They thought I meant a music compact disc, but I meant a Certificate of Deposit.  There were other times when we would go shopping at Sam's Club.  She would want a box of candy bars for her lunch.  Right.  She would take the box to school and sell candy out of her locker for a profit.  We bought the candy and she would get all the profit.  She even took the posts off my pierced earrings and glued pastel colored sweet tarts to the posts. She sold these earrings to her classmates.  She finally got "real" jobs, she got a lot of scholarships and actually paid for much of her college education.  She grew to be a very generous woman, and I have never had to worry about her making a living.

Fast forward to her son.  He has the same entrepreneurial spirit.  He has had a lemonade stand.  His dad built him an actual stand.  He made the lemonade from ingredients his parents had in the cupboard.  Then he would sit at the end of their driveway for hours, hoping for a customer.  They live on a quiet country road with almost no traffic.  That didn't stop him, even if he only sold to a neighbor and his grandparents.

Just this fall he gathered pumpkins and squash from their garden.  He chose a few different varieties  and put them in a wagon.  He then put them out by the road.  He made a sign and set out a box for money.  I guess he decided on using the honor system for collecting money instead of sitting out there waiting for customers.  Every day after school, he would check his box and replenish his inventory.  Sometimes he goes a little too far.  After Halloween, he had a lot of candy.  I was visiting their house one day and saw some candy in a dish.  I asked if I could have one and he said "just a minute".  He ran in the other room to fetch a tackle box.  When he opened it, it had a variety of candy and money.  He was charging 25 cents each for his Halloween candy.  Of course, I paid.

Now he has expanded his businesses.  He is now making walking sticks.  He has business cards which state "paying for college one stick at a time" and a sign at the road.  To get materials he goes with his grandpa Wayne to some hunting woods they have.  He gathers the perfect saplings for making walking sticks.  His dad set him up with a contraption which makes removing the bark a little easier, however it's still a big job.

His uncle the eye doctor will be proud that he always uses eye protection.  After stripping the bark, he sands and finishes them.  He has sold a few.  I haven't bought one yet because I think they are a little pricy but I imagine he will wear me down.  He said they are $25 if they are plain and not customized.  If he customizes them, he will charge up to $50 depending on how fancy they are.  He doesn't show any favoritism.  Last year, his mom thought that one of his sticks would be a good Christmas gift for his teacher.  He thought it was a good idea too, but his mom had to buy one from him. 

He is always coming up with new inventions, and it will be interesting to see what his next money making scheme will be.  He is really a very kind hearted little boy, but when it comes to his businesses, he can be a tough negotiator.