Next Pop-Up: Saturday, September 21, Hester Street Fair, Lower East Side NYC, 11AM - 6PM

reign_wala Recap Phase 1.0_11.24.18


I’ve been thinking a lot about value.

I have held a few “sales” positions before, ranging from Laila Rowe costume jewelry in the Danbury Fair Mall (what up Ridgefield, what up ‘05) to New Business roles for marketing and consulting companies. In those roles, the prices of goods sold were determined by someone other than me. The prices were likely determined based on a set of factors: cost of goods, cost of other operating costs e.g. rent and employees, and perceived “value” - how much something is determined to be “worth.” But what makes something more valuable, and therefore worth a higher price? From the customer’s perspective, some factors in the value equation might include emotional connection to a good or service, uniqueness (e.g. it’s one of a kind), usefulness or cost per wear, and level of labor required to make the thing. Of course there are many other factors.

For the first time, I’m selling something for which I determine the price tag. As I navigate this territory I’m finding myself frequently at the intersection of value and values. An example: of course any business owner wants the cost of goods (cost to the owner, that is) to be as low as possible. So when buying product from the artisans, I want to know I’m getting the best price. At the same time, the values on which I started the company hold me to a different standard of operating - paying the most fair price. But who’s to say what a fair price is, in any market? Whether it’s smart from a business standpoint or not, I’ve been buying from Sunny and the artisans at the price that makes us both happy. It’s not the cheapest price I could find. But it’s the most fair, in my opinion. Again, whether this makes good business sense we’ll all have to see.

Then I consider how to price goods for my own customers. I think I’m operating at a fair price point ($28 for an anklet, $48 for a necklace) relative to the market and in fact I may even be below market. From one angle, $28/anklet might seem high. From another angle, $28 for something 100% handmade, of extremely high quality and durability, isn’t much at all. And from a third angle, I could target the more premium market and sell for $98! A powerful story (hi Ty + co) - and lucky for me, reign_wala’s happens to be a very authentic one – can sell anything. (Ty Montague, my former boss at co:collective and still my mentor, used to always talk about this journalist who wanted to prove that people buy stories, not objects. So to make this point, he bought a bunch of stuff at a yard sale, spending no more than $1 per item. For example, a mini Hellmann's Mayonnaise jar. Then, he wrote elaborate stories about each item and sold them on eBay. Some items sold for over 70x their original value. Because people were buying the stories, not the objects.)

I never want my customers to feel ripped off. I also never want the artisans to feel cheated. I also need to feel stable (eventually), because this is officially NOT a hobby and so it needs to support me! How to arrive at the price tag that creates the perfect equation between maker + customer + me? This has been one of the biggest challenges yet. So far, I think customers feel pricing is fair (very open to all POVs so def shoot me a message if you have thoughts on current pricing) and I know the artisans are happy. I’m stressed AF. I’m in investment mode, putting money in and not yet profitable with no clear timeline for profitability... but this is the world I knew I’d have to live in for a little while if I wanted to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk for the past three years.

Anyway, the point is, the most important thing to me and to reign_wala is that we hold our values close and never let them go. I mean if I have learned one fucking thing from co: and my other gigs it’s that actions that don’t align with a company’s supposed values may as well be death sentences for those companies. The best companies in the world have created value through strict adherence to values. And I want reign_wala to be one of those companies, even if we are a teeny fraction of the size. I’ve been told my idealist mindset may not serve me well in business. That the reality is, if I want this to be sustainable, I should be “fleecing the rich” (read as: pricing much higher) and not feeling bad about it, because the rich have done the same thing and that’s how they’ve become rich. Of course there is a part of me that wants to sell for as high a price as possible! And I do genuinely feel the value of each piece is greater than my current price point. But I’m also not going to triple the price just because I can. I respect my customers too much (again I’ve been told this is too idealist to garner business success). So yeah, the pricing thing has been one of the tougher aspects of business to navigate, but this is for sure: I don’t know that I have found the perfect value=values equation, but I will continue to strive for balance and transparency ongoing.

Anyway, I’ve been collecting the questions I get from friends and fam for the past few months with the intention of doing this Q&A-style post to cover the many aspects of building reign_wala. There may be some new reign_wala customers reading who signed up for the mailing list… if you’re reading, hello, I’m thrilled you made it here. OK here goes!

Question: Who are the artisans? / How many people are making the stuff?

Answer: I’m learning more about Sunny’s system every day. Essentially, Sunny is the guru (boss, teacher). He is also the designer of the various macrame pieces, lighters and hair sticks. All of those designs and concepts are his. He has trained 12 different people to make various things for him. These people are both boys and girls, and they range in age from 12 years old to 26(ish) years old. At any given time, about 4 of the artisans will be working full time for Sunny. Some of them hold other jobs in Pushkar or they’re in school during the day. None of them make macrame, lighters or hair sticks for other gurus – ONLY for Sunny. This is important, because Sunny’s techniques lead to higher quality products and some other artisans have started to copy his designs. Like I’ve said before, there is other macrame out there, and it may look similar to Sunny’s but there is nothing like Sunny’s. I can always tell when the technique is sloppier and the materials are less durable. So once you join Sunny’s team, it’s sort of understood that you’re in his secret club now and you will not work for another guru. Sunny treats these people very, very well (many of them he’s known since childhood in Pushkar) both by paying them fairly (relative to market standards) and also by being a beacon of generosity. For example when he visits Pushkar he’ll treat many of these people to dinner, or on various occasions he’s made significant loans to them for personal needs that were not business related. Also, as westerners we may have a negative perception of a 13 year old girl working for Sunny. Both because of her age and her gender. But in India, this is anything but negative! Many people start working as young as ten years old, and making macrame in the home after school is a great way to earn money. The alternatives for someone this age would be cafes, farms, factories or sadly in the worst case scenario walking the streets or the beach and begging. Macrame is empowering and most importantly, safe.

Question: How much are you paying the artisans? / How does the profit sharing work?

Answer: Here’s how it works. I buy the pieces from Sunny at a wholesale price that he determines. He determines this price based on what he pays to his artisans, plus the profit he wants to make from me. So when I buy from Sunny, the artisans have already been paid to make those pieces and Sunny’s profit is already built in. Then, when I sell a piece, I take from my own margin to pay the artisan again. The amount I pay them is not a percentage of the sale price. It’s a flat rate per piece. The rate per piece is approximately the same as what they are paid to make the piece for Sunny. So basically they’re getting paid twice. They get paid once to make the piece, and then again when the piece is sold. reign_wala doubles their wage / creates a 100% pay increase. Sunny’s does not get the flat fee per piece, because he is already making profit from me. This was his idea. Originally I wanted to pay him too but he felt this didn’t make sense because he is already profiting and the artisans need the money more. Of course, we are going to need to test and learn from this model. This upcoming profit delivery will be 4000 INR / $55.50 USD. Sunny and I discussed the best way to distribute this across 12 artisans and instead of doing that, we’re going maximize impact by giving the entire lump sum to a few of the girls. They will all share it amongst themselves and with their families. Next round of profit, we’ll give to one of the other artisans. I will be documenting this process next week as I head up to Pushkar so follow @reign_wala for that!!! Also, FWIW, I didn’t sell all of the pieces I bought so the 4000 INR represents only about a third of the potential profit from this first collection. I will continue to deliver profit quarterly as pieces are sold! In the meantime, for context, here are some things you can do with 4000 INR:

  • Rent a motorbike for a month

  • Buy groceries for almost two months

  • Buy a year’s worth of phone credit including ~1GB data per day

  • Save 20% - 30% toward an inexpensive laptop (12,000 - 20,000 INR)

     

Question: How much money did you make at the market?

Answer: LOL, none. This does have the potential to be a high-margin, highly profitable business (I hope?), but it isn’t one yet. Let me explain. I collected revenue. I did not make a profit. Why? Because I had a number of first-time/one-time/upstart costs, for example the cost of building a custom display. So, product sales helped me make back just about half of what I invested (if we’re talking about my investment in this pop-up specifically. If we’re talking about supporting myself while building this thing for the past few months, I made back like, 20%). I sold just about exactly the number of pieces I thought I would sell. Of course there was a part of me that wanted to exceed my own expectations and sell out of everything. That did not happen. I did not make back the cost of my flight or my daily living expenses in NYC. But the pop-up did well enough to achieve proof of concept. Well enough to give me the confidence that I should keep doing this. And I see the remainder not as a loss but as an investment. I paid to learn how to do some very important things: move product across continents, create packaging, pop up a physical retail experience, garner customer reactions to products and prices, and more.

Question: How did you know THIS was the artisan you wanted to work with?

Answer: I met Sunny in 2015. I had never seen macrame like his. And I loved the vibe of his shop. His design sensibility stuck with me. Sunny appreciates form and quality in all things. And he has this reserved energy where he’s not like other shopkeepers. He doesn’t jump out of his chair to lure you into his shop. His shop lures you. He really takes the time to get to know his customers. But really ultimately it was the design, quality and originality of his pieces that made me want to collect those specific products and it was Sunny as a human that made me want to work with him as a business partner. He is such a solid human, creates welcoming and humble vibes wherever he goes and is radically honest (save for the fact that he didn’t tell me he had a wife or baby until 2 months after the fact, which I’m still getting over).

 

Question: What was the most surprising to you from the last few weeks in New York -- business and general?

Answer: Here’s my list of things that surprised me:

  • How much I DON’T know how to sell. Like, wow, I don’t know how to sell AT ALL! If my best friend Lisa (who is Louis Vuitton’s top seller for like, five years straight and now part of their corporate sales training team) wasn’t there with me on Day One to tell me what the fuck to do, I would have been lost. She helped me with everything from organizing the stock to closing sales. I didn’t want to be too pushy and Lisa was like, dude, no, this is how you do retail. You need to open up that bracelet and put it ON THEIR WRIST. Walk them over to the mirror. Then put ANOTHER one on ‘em and show ‘em how to stack. The truth is, you really do have to do those things with this kind of product. Lisa also told me I was getting a little too technical, jumping right into how the product is made and how the profit-sharing works. She encouraged me to try sharing more about the artisans themselves, or the story of how I founded the business. That also worked much better, and I’d save the technical stuff for people who asked specifically. Thank goodness for Lisa. Lisa I love you <3

  • How many GUYS bought stuff! For real, we made a few unisex pieces just to have them on hand in case guys did want to buy something. At the end of Day One as it started slowing down, I was like hmm I need to attract more customers, so when guys would walk by I’d say “hey, we have some stuff for guys too if you’re interested!” and surprisingly almost every single one was interested. In fact, there were only 2-3 guys that tried something on and didn’t buy it. I think the male market is underserved. I also think macrame is a casual, friendly way for guys who don’t already wear jewelry to try it out. It’s not bling bling like gold or silver. It doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard, and yet it’s got a lil swag factor.

  • How many expensive pieces sold. I expected I’d only sell a few of the $48 pieces, because that’s almost $50 and especially because some of them (like The Handdress) are a bit eccentric. But actually I almost sold out of pieces at this price point. My guess is that, although $48 is higher than $28, it’s also perceived as a fair price to pay for something that feels high quality and very unique.

  • The importance of IRL and URL. My hypothesis when starting this business was that I would be selling primarily online, and occasionally popping up in physical spaces. Now having done the pop-up at Artists & Fleas, I think the opposite. I learned a lot from Lisa about what it takes to close a sale and the best environment for this – in particular for a first time customer – seems to be IRL. They need to see it, touch it, try it on. Hear the story. Look me in the eye as I swear to them that I am going to fucking Pushkar to deliver this profit IN CASH to artisans that I will personally meet! Maybe second- and third-time purchases will happen online once the customer has seen the quality and knows what to expect from the materials, etc... but building those relationships with customers for the first time is probably most often going to happen in real life. I’m currently working on re-distributing my budget to accommodate more opportunities for IRL sales.

  • How much I had to recruit customers. Guys, I thought the display looked awesome. I’m gonna self-congratulate and just say that, okay? I thought people would see it from far away and like, run over to it and start touching and trying everything. No. Every single person who walked by – and I mean every single person – I had to greet them and encourage them to come inside my little area. Other booth owners/workers at A&F would literally not say a word as customers walked by, meanwhile I did not let someone walk by without acknowledging them. I was working for it. I was greeting these flea market fleas like my life depended on them because, like, it kinda does! Once inside they were engaged… but it was exhausting trying to recruit customers for 9 hours straight. Also obviously not everyone comes inside when greeted so you deal with a lot of rejection.

  • How irritated I was by having to schlep all over NYC. I got spoiled by Arambol. I walk or jump on a bike and I’m anywhere I need to be in 5 minutes. You know I am such a mover and shaker in NY, there is no neighborhood I won’t venture to. But I started getting crotchety (wow look at that, real word) with the walking 7 minutes to the subway, then sitting on the train for 20 minutes, then walking AGAIN, it’s like ugh are we there yet? And especially because I had NO disposable income, taxis and ubers just weren’t an option. It’s ironic because we think of NYC as so contained to other cities and there I was feeling like grrrr why is everything so spread out.

  • The fact that NYC still does have it all. I don’t like to admit this, although I’ve definitely said it to some of you, but I got kinda jaded in the past couple of years in New York. I started feeling like in the most unpredictable city in the world, things were becoming predictable. Like even the super freaky weird shit in NY wasn’t cool or weird anymore. I was pushing myself into the furthest corners of the city I could find and I was still feeling kinda meh. No new feelings. But while I was home, Sunny wanted to me to find a very specific feather that he can’t get in India. I tried to order on Amazon, but quantities were extremely limited. Sunny does so much for me here in Arambol, I felt like coming back to India without those feathers was just not an option. Also, Sunny is very easygoing about everything, and when I told him I couldn’t find enough feathers I could see in his face that he was upset. So he’s like Allie, maybe you have some store in NYC selling only feathers? And I’m a pretty crafty person so I’m like Sunny I really don’t think we have that… but then I figured arite let me Google it and, of course, we have a store in NYC selling only feathers. It’s called The Feather Place and it’s pretty much feathen on earth (LOL AM I KIDDING WITH THAT HORRENDOUS JOKE!?). Anyway, bottom line… there’s nothing you can’t do or get in NYC. I’ve been hard on NYC lately, and I’ll take this opportunity to acknowledge that even through my jadedness, I heart NY.  

  • How impressive the Artists & Fleas people are. Williamsburg Artists & Fleas was kind of like Toy Story where the toys start talking as soon as the kids leave the room. In our case, we got into the building at 9am to set up and as soon as the clock struck 10 and people started coming inside it was like we all came alive. I am so incredibly impressed by the other makers. Such interesting products and some impeccable displays. And these people… they’re just kinda nonconformist and I like it. They have a different definition of success. The maker life is like the totally other life and community that exists in New York that I was never a part of.

  • How much I enjoyed being a maker, even when it hurt. In preparation for this market, both in India leading up to the flight and in NY once I landed, I felt like I did get to be a maker, finally. Just the little things like sorting and organizing the inventory, finding and assembling packaging, making the hang-tags for the bags using a custom stamp, painting a wooden sign, staple-gunning burlap to the wooden displays, loading and unloading, hammering nails to the displays to hold the pieces... just using my hands and producing physical outputs and not staring at a computer. Felt so good. Except I clearly love the torture of a computer screen as I’ve been sitting here for 6 hours now writing this.

     

Question: What challenges have you faced building reign_wala?

Answer: These are a few of the challenges, and there obv many more.

  • Inventory management, both physical and digital. First, I had to name the pieces (Sunny calls them “small black one” or “medium thick one with stone”) so I could account for them. Then I had to create a spreadsheet to document how many pieces I bought, in which colors, at what price. Then I had to input this information into Squarespace, the platform on which my website is built. But then I had to input it again into Square, the point-of-sale system I had to use at the market. And those two point-of-sales systems don’t talk to each other, so after the market I would have to recount my inventory and make sure it was up to date on the site. I am constantly checking and cross-checking the inventory between my actual stock, the counts on the website and the counts in my mobile POS system.

  • Product photography. It is tedious photographing every piece in every color, using my phone because I don’t have a real camera. I can’t afford a photographer at the moment. My neck and back hurt a lot after I do the shoots. And then I have all the photos on my phone, which I then need to download to my machine, and name, and organize, and then upload to the site. It’s such a process and photography is so important for this kind of thing!

  • Order fulfillment. Many ecommerce sites use drop shippers to fulfill orders. This means they have all of their inventory sent – “dropped” – to one central fulfillment center and when an order is placed, the center is responsible for pulling the inventory and shipping it out. You can literally travel the world and have a drop shipper manage all of your fulfillment for you and never have to worry about sending out an order. Drop shippers can also manage returns. I can’t afford this service yet. So I am fulfilling all orders myself. This means I need to have all inventory with me at all times, so that if an order comes through, I am prepared to ship the piece. So I am traveling with all of my inventory, and for example when I go to Pushkar I’ll have to schlep everything with me. Right now the inventory takes up so little real estate that it’s manageable for me to backpack with it, but at some point I’m not gonna be able to do that. And if I just ship it back and forth to wherever I am, that’s gonna increase my costs. This is where drop shipping might come in handy and I hope to be lucky enough to have this problem in the future.

  • Managing, meeting and exceeding customer expectations. On every level, this is what keeps me up at night. The logistical stuff I’ll figure out. Everything else will fall into place. But exceeding customers’ expectations is what I have been preaching my entire career and it is so important to me to live up to that standard. For example, this is kind of a small thing but also kind of a big thing: as you know, every single reign_wala piece is handmade. For certain styles, like The Chalo headband, this means there are slight variations from one piece to another, even though the style is the same. For The Chalo headband specifically, I have 3 pieces in the Caramel color, but the stone in each piece is just slightly different. Or I have 8 hair sticks that have a kinda-pointy blue agate stone, but the shape and shade of the stones are just slightly different from one hair stick to the next. This is the beauty and authenticity of creating things by hand. This is what makes every single piece so special, and truly one of a kind! But this is also quite stressful when it comes to managing customer expectations. I can’t show something online with a white stone and then ship the customer an off-white stone. One way to solve for that would be to photograph each and every piece individually, instead of photographing one piece in that style. This is not impossible, it’s just really really tedious. Because if I have 12 total pieces – 3 pieces in each color, 4 different colors – ideally I’d photograph one piece in each other and use that photograph to represent the style. So, 4 photo shoots for me to do. But to photograph individually to capture the variance in stone, I have to do 12 photo shoots. 3x the work. For this reason, I’ve been saving the pieces that have these kinds of variations for IRL environments so customers can just choose… but I’ll need to figure out the URL solve for this eventually. Also on the topic of meeting customer expectations… when it comes to online sales I am limited to products that have a high likelihood of being loved by their buyer. Like, jewelry is gonna fit everyone. What you see is what you get and hopefully it’s even better in person! But I can’t sell silk pants online because I can’t offer returns or exchanges, so if they don’t fit that’ll be a terrible customer experience. Are you a customer? Are you watching from the sidelines? Please help! I want your honest feedback.

  • Self promotion. I’m certain my insta will give you the opposite impression, but I really hate self promoting. To be clear, I love sharing stories and updates on life, but I do not love constantly shouting “look at reign_wala! reign_wala this! reign_wala that! Please everyone, come to my pop-up! Look at my website!” Unfortunately I have to promote myself because who else will? I hate flooding my personal friends/followers with brand stuff but that’s also where my audience is. I’m having a pretty hard time finding the balance with this one. I try to post updates at a healthy cadence and with candor and authenticity but a lot of the time when I post I feel like a self-promoting idiot.

  • Asking for help. I’m always trying to prove that I can do shit on my own. And I hate feeling like I’m inconveniencing other people. But my gd, I need to stop with the “I can do it” thing. First I told Lisa that I didn’t want her to work with me on the first day because I needed to learn to do it myself and also because it was my brand so it would be weird if other people were also working. She actually didn’t give me a choice, she was like shut up Dietzek you need me and I’m working with you. Again, thank G for that. Then, when it was time to load out, both my parents and sisters called me to ask if I needed help and I was like nah I’m good. Well, I ran over the unloading window by a full hour and got lucky that there was some night meeting at A&F so they were still open anyway. But yeah, I had to lift four 6-foot-tall wooden displays myself, load them into the trunk of my car, make 6 more trips to the car to carry lamps / packaging / inventory / power strips / etc and this shit was heavy. Then I got uptown to my apartment and had to do it all over again to get the stuff into my place! My entire body was aching. And then drove around for an hour finding parking. The two things I did ask for help with (custom wooden displays and some printed brand materials) turned out so beautifully (credits below!!) and I felt so supported knowing I had friends invested in the outcomes for both things. Lesson learned… it’s okay to let people help me sometimes.

  • Being a team of one. I do miss coming into an office every day and shooting the shit. I miss having a shared vision with a team. And gut checking decisions and ideas with other people. And being surrounded by smart people with more experience than me from whom I can learn. And being a mentor to people with less experience than me to whom I can inspire and from whom I can learn to be a better manager. It can be a little lonely doing everything myself. It’s also a challenge because, since it’s just me, it feels like the brand is me. Like I am reign_wala. But I am not reign_wala. reign_wala is a concept that is much bigger than me.

  • Finding utility services that are truly global. Things like banking and connectivity have been challenging. Everything in Arambol is done in cash, and I get screwed with ATM fees. I wish I could pay one annual fee to be able to withdraw from any ATM anywhere in the world without getting charged per withdrawal. My debit card has been suspended multiple times for security purposes even though I put a travel notice on it. I’m paying Verizon even though I don’t use their cell towers or data plan – I’m paying just to keep my phone number connected. There’s no option to just freeze my number so I’m paying like $80 USD for the minimum plan so that I don’t lose it and so that I have phone number while I’m in the US. I’ve also had it forever and it’s part of my identity (second shout-out to ‘05!!). But I need a phone plan that lets me call anywhere anytime without roaming. WhatsApp is great but it requires that the person on the other side also has WhatsApp (so it’s not great for business purposes). Google Hangouts is also good but I can only use it for outgoing calls, I can’t receive calls on Hangouts. I think more and more people are living this kind of life and hope more global services will emerge to serve them.

     

Question: Do you ever get lonely?

Answer: In the business sense, yes, as in the spiel above. But in the social sense, I don’t really get lonely when traveling. When I’m in New York, I get these days every now and then – maybe once every few months? – where a feeling will come over me that I can’t describe. It’s like a pit in my stomach, and it comes with a sense of anxiety, and I don’t know what it could be other than to assume it’s the physiological manifestation of loneliness. I don’t feel lonely with my head or my heart, but I do get this pit in my stomach and I think it’s my body manifesting loneliness that maybe my head and heart are suppressing. I say this because the same thing happens to me with stress and fear. When something big is looming in my future, I really don’t feel stressed or scared with my head or heart. In fact, I won’t even register the feelings of stress or fear… and then I’ll get heartburn or an ulcer right before this big thing is about to happen. My stress and fear manifest physiologically and maybe my loneliness does too. Except when it’s the loneliness, it does kinda creep up from my stomach into my heart a little bit. It never lasts for more than a day, and it doesn’t happen that often, but when it happens there is nothing that can cure it (not running, not watching tv, not meeting up with a friend) except time. So far, I haven’t experienced the pit feeling while traveling. I miss my friends and family a lot, but it isn’t loneliness. I do kinda get this anxious feeling when I’m moving to a new place where I don’t know anyone, but it’s more a fear of being lonely than actually being lonely.

 

Question: Is this your job now?

Answer: Yes. In addition to reign_wala, since I make my own schedule now, I am open to freelance gigs and can/will be in the US if needed to accommodate on-site freelance needs. Freelance gigs give me an opportunity to see friends and family, earn money so I can continue building reign_wala, and stay connected to the industry community I came from. If you know of any gigs I can easily be on a plane, don’t count me out! :)

 

Question: Why do you need to be in India to do this? / Why can’t you do this from New York?

Answer: Because I can’t afford to live in NY without income. I have lots of things to still figure out before the business will be generating steady income. I can’t afford the time it takes to figure those things out in NY. India affords me the opportunity to both do sourcing AND figure these things out at a lower cost-per-day.

Question: What do your parents think?

Answer: Hi Mommy and Daddyyyy. Allow me to paraphrase your reactions from the past year…

We think it’s amazing that she’s doing what she’s doing. We also, understandably, have Nice Jewish Parents (slash Any Parents) concerns. We are very proud of her bravery, but, ya know, we just hope it works. We hope if it doesn’t work that she can get another job somehow. Ya know who’s gonna want to hire her after she’s been off the market for so long? And ya know, we don’t love her living in India... it’s not exactly the safest or healthiest place. And we miss her. And there is a big part of us that thinks, like, come on Allie, don’t you want to live a normal life? And like, have friends? And how are you gonna meet someone if you’re always moving from place to place? Don’t you want to have a family? But we believe in Allie and we know anything she puts her mind to will be great. Just going for it is already a success and we are very, very proud of her. But also, we are totally fine with her quitting this any time.

Question: Couldn’t you just manage an Etsy page for Sunny?

Answer: Etsy is very strict about sellers themselves being the makers. I am not the maker. Sunny and his people are the makers. If I pretend I am the maker I am exploiting them. I could make a page in Sunny’s name and manage it for him, but then as I expanded to other artisans I would end up managing a bunch of people’s Etsy pages. And many of them don’t read or write so I’d have to be monitoring content and fulfillment pretty closely. Actually sounds like a great business… managing local artisans’ Etsy pages and just taking a percentage of their sales in return for providing that service. Kinda like how Seamless got all the restaurants online and just takes a percentage of every transaction but it’s okay because they’ve exponentially increased the number of transactions. Hmmmmmmm. Wasn’t my ethos at all but I’ll think about it.

Closing remarks.

Any other questions about about anything, I’m down to answer. Oh, this was enough Q&A for you? You’re good for now? You’re still reading!?!?! Thank you.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the words of encouragement as I keep at it. Every little pat on the back means so much to me and you know I am a corn ball. These affirmations – the calls, the texts (thanks for bearing with my WhatsApp life), the DMs, the double taps, the hangs even though way too brief, the participation – these little “you-can-do-its” are what keep me going. And to my friends and family in the New York area who were able to visit the market, with the L train down one of the weekends, no less!!, I appreciate you soOoOoOo so much. I am so glad I got to see you and I was really proud to be able to show you what I’ve been working on.

THE END.