Monday, March 8, 2010

The Good News

Good news. How often do I bring good news here? Not often enough, I need to change that, but I've got some to share now and I'm SO THRILLED! EEEEEEEE!!! (Daisy looks happy too :D )

We started up Chino's flea market stand this past week. He's agreed to be the stay-at-home Dad but he can't agree to actually staying home and not working so we set him up a shop in one of the big flea markets. We thought what the heck, he might make us a few pesos after the rent of the shop space (hopefully!) and I'd be happy because Daisy could be with her Daddy all day and I'd know she'd be happy and cared for.

We worked our asses off, Chino building tables from scrap wood, setting up shop and me going like a mad woman all week shopping the other side for 5-8 hours a day scrounging and searching out the best vendors and deals and learning where to find what for the cheapest. I am all of a sudden so happy that I've been working in hotels the past year because it's honed my ability to bargain (Hotel rates are not fixed rates and we work to charge you the most we can!) and all of a sudden I find myself this insane bargaining queen!
I buy all of our wares in the U.S. because with the exception of vegetables - we can buy avocados without going broke in Mexico - certain things (electronics, clothes, shoes, toys, ect) are WAY cheaper in the States. Isn't that weird? I always thought it was the other way around. The cheap things in Mexico are liquor, cigarettes and tacos. :D

Anyways, the results?

OH MY GAWD! Our very first week - and mind you we've never sold stuff before - we profited - profited, as in after paying back to the "bank" for the goods we sold - over TRIPLE what Chino was making in a week at his factory job! And we only sold for THREE days! SSHEEEETT!!



Instead of him working six 10 hour days he worked three 8 hour days and made over triple! While watching the baby!


Needless to say we're both ecstatic. Chino feels like a man again, I'm happy that he's happy and happy that Daisy is with Daddy.

We're quite the freaks of course, nothing new there, but I think it's good for business. What I mean is that you don't often see a man in Mx taking care of the baby while mom (white mom) works, let alone in such a public way. LOL everyone assumes that he's a single abandoned Dad. He touts Daisy around most of the day in his man-sling and is now the apple of all the older lady - and younger lady (tramps) - neighbor flea-marketers. When I've found time I've tried to hang out there with him and make my presence known so that they can see Daisy does have a loving mommy. (And dang it, that Chino has a WIFE.)

When I'm there Chino usually goes to take a break and I get to watch shop and be the seller. It's so fun! I'm as natural at selling as I am buying and I'm once again thankful for the hotel experience! Never thought I'd say that. I'm so hardened by the hotel sales work that our flea market clientele don't make me nervous in the least! And remember I only speak 1/3 Spanish!

Anyhoo, I could go on and on, I'm just so HAPPY for a change! It feels so good to have something go right for us and I know it's only going to get better. We're still so green and learning what works I know that we'll be doing even better after we really get into it.

This next weekend I'm going to hang out and make balloon animals. We won't charge very much for them - 5 pesos, kinda like .50 cents - but it will bring in a ton of people! Everybody has kids here and always bring them to the flea market so what better way to get them at our doorstep than to draw them in with a balloon animal lady! During the time that it takes me to make the balloons for their kids the adults will have nothing to do - but to check out our stuff for sale! I made myself learn how to make balloon animals years ago because I had dreams of volunteering in Childrens Hospitals, and lol, this is how I end up using the skill.

Maybe I should make them cheaper? Mexico folks, what do you think? It seems the shoppers have no problem dropping 5-10 pesos on our silly cheap-toy table stuff when their kids walk buy and spot something they want - but if they have 5 kids then would it be too much for them to spend 25 pesos on balloons? We have people coming and dropping a few hundred pesos at a time so maybe not, but I want everybody's kid to be able to have a balloon, not just the ones with money. If it increases our sales I could just do them for free. Aw hell, I don't know.


EEEEEEEEEEE !!! Did I mention I'm happy!!?? :)


Sandrine said...

Hi Gringa,

Just wanted to say congratulations to both of you and that I am glad you are happy.It's nice that Chino is not worried about what other people think and it's great for Daisy to spend some time with her dad.She will love the story when she is older too.My kids like when we tell them how we took care of them when they were babies,it make them feel special.
Take care.


Leslie Limon said...

That is awesome! I'm so happy for you and Chino and your little shop! What kind of things are you selling? And to answer your question about the balloon animals...5 pesos is fine. Not too cheap and not too expensive! We usually end up paying 10 pesos per balloon animal.

And for the record I think it is very cool that you know how to make them! Maybe you could teach us moms how to do it! ;D

jenny said...

Ooooo! That sounds so great for you three! That'd be my dream right there, to open up shop at the flea market! I'm so glad you are able to do that and make more money than what Chino was making before! Maybe eventually you'll do so well you can quit the hotel gig, too? Or at least do that part time so you can still get the benefits you need/want.

Maybe one day we'll head out there and stop by your booth??? Or not! lol

congrats girl! You know what you gotta do! xoxo

Suki said...

Sounds brilliant! SO MANY CONGRATS!

One tip: DO NOT make ANYTHING free. In a poor country, people snap up freebies like crazy. At least in India they do. You can make them dirt cheap, or smile at a customer who's bought tons of stuff and give them a free balloon animal, but DO NOT make them free by default.

Huggles - wish I could visit your flea market!

Upstate Broad said...

All hail the entrepreneurial spirit! Congratulations and best wishes for your continued success!

Think about volume pricing, if you know what I mean. 10P for each, or 3 for 25P, like that.

Vadose said...

Super rad. I'm so happy for you. I can imagine just how you feel - Man happy to be earning, baby happy and taken care of by loving parent, you working and able to visit him sometimes, you having mad skills, being able to make some cash through your own work + mad skills. Throw in the super cuteness of your daughter and some balloons and you've got one happy gringa! :) Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Having your own business usually seems the best way to earn good money (and to lose it... haha).

My fiance used to work at a high school. I had to stop by and "make my presence known" every once in awhile because a lot of high school girls are apparently kinda slutty! Still, in my experience Mexican girls are extra competitive, so be careful not to make it feel like you're challenging them. They'll make your life rough.

5 pesos sounds awesome!

Crystal said...

That gives me a good idea, maybe i should rent me a booth at a flea market. I know one here that does not have a lot of baby stuff and everybody loves baby stuff. When Daisy starts out growing stuff you can add her stuff too. Cool girl! Congrats and Daisy looks too cute I can not believe she is grwoing up so fast!

Leah Flinn said...

Congratulations! You are right about the cheap (5-10) peso items for kids...Mexican parents don't hesitate at all to drop that for all their kids, even if they have several. Sounds like you are on to something that will be very successful!

Krissie said...

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!! Aren't you a business woman now! Who knew you'd go to Mexico to get rich! LOL

Refried Dreamer said...

glad to hear that Chinos' shop is working out!!! What are you guys selling? regardless,i am glad to hear that you're happy and happy baby gets daddy time as well. Congrats!

She-She said...

WONDERFUL! I am so happy for you both. Here in NC it has become common place for people to have their own little businesses selling at flea markets and even at yard sales. It gives people something different to do and it's a great way to make money. Around here a lot of people go to the auctions to buy box-loads of stuff to re-sell. Look into that too. Good luck and may the pesos keep rolling in. Goodness but I'm so happy for you! She-She

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Sandrine - Thank You, and yes, thank goodness Chino doesn't care, he's such a good guy. :) And I know what you mean about hearing stories from when we were babies - it's the neatest thing! :)

Leslie - Thank You! :) And oh my gosh balloon animals are SO easy to make! All I did was get a kiddie book and start twisting but even better - you can go to you-tube and there's all sorts of things there - for FREE! Thank You for the price advice too :)

Jenny - I knew you of all people would love the flea market idea! :)

Suki - Ok, nothing for free then, I bet you're right so thank you for telling me so! :)

Upstate - Volume pricing - brilliant! And perfect for those families with a ton of kids. Thank You :)

Vadose - You get it! Thank You! :)

Gringation - LOL Chino loves your username :D And MMMmmHHMMmmm you seem to understand the situation I've got going on there with the ladies - are you intuitive or what? - I'm gonna have to keep my eye on things :D

Crystal - Heck yeah, do it! And yes, definetly baby stuff, lord knows there's enough babies here to need lots of stuff!

Leah - Thank You :)

Krissie - Why yes, we'll be rolling in tortillas in no time :D :)

Refried - Thank You! We're selling the name brand clothes they can't get here and electronics. T.V.'s and flat irons for hair are HUGE here!

She-she - Auctions, those are where it's at for cheap bulk for sure! Thank You so much for the well wishes :)

Kristi said...

All sorts of good news in this post!! yay for flea market-selling-dads!!

Sunshine said...

Ohhh cant wait to come visit you at the pulga! I want to know details..when i get are you buying the goods? I'm nosey like that! Hey i've thought about ebay..maybe you can give me the hook up!
Miss ya mama!