A while ago, we popped over to my folks for a visit and bumped into my brother who was cleaning out the garage. My dad’s garage is jammed packed with a ton of random and useless junk. My brother was convincing our dad to part with four broken water pressure hoses, old luggage cases, unused speakers and a broken printer. With my goading, our dad reluctantly agreed to dispose of the speakers and the broken printer. The rest he claimed was part of his retirement plan – to sell at a trash and treasure market.

My brother found two cardboard boxes with my name written on it. We rummaged through and found a bunch of my University papers. I’m not sentimental of stuff like graded exam papers and reading materials, so it went into the recycling bin.

The other box, however, was another story. It contained the remnants of an ill-conceived fantasy of a naïve young adult. There were business stamps, never-used business cards, how-to-business booklets, and tools. When I was eighteen years old, I had this grand plan of becoming the next Faberge in beaded costume jewellery.

I know, I know, what a stupid idea. I blame my mum. This is where the duty of a parent is to warn their kids when they’re about to make a monumental mistake. If your kid wants to be the next Tay Tay but their singing sounds like a strangled cat, it’s your job to tell them the truth. If your kid wants to get rich selling jewellery at a flea market, you should tell them to reconsider. Especially when they want to spend a thousand dollars on beads and have no practical business plans in place. Anyway, the grand plan sucked and my jewellery sucked even harder. I had no aptitude for designing unique jewellery and no business acumen.

Rummaging through the box, my brother and the children pulled out my business cards. There were two small boxes containing a hundred business cards that I had designed and printed for free at a cheap commercial printing store.

“Oh my Gawd, why did you put company director?” teased my brother, pointing at the details on the business card.

“It was my company and I was the director. Duh!” I replied, rolling my eyes. In my defense, at the time, I had envisioned a company and was going to be the director of said company. In the end, I was a still a director, just of myself. That is, I directed myself. Are you laughing at me? I bet you are. I was eighteen, OK?! That’s plenty an explanation.

“For the exquisite look? Mummy likes being edgy with her words.” My husband joked at my tagline.

Everyone had a good ol’ laugh at my expense. My husband couldn’t believe that I spent nearly a thousand dollars and only made twenty-five dollars in the entire venture. Thinking back, I actually feel sorry for the man who bought the necklace and earring set for his wife. I should have charged only ten bucks because the workmanship was shoddy at best.

I took the box home and renewed beading but not with the same intentions of grandeur. Twenty years later, a head full of grey and some wisdom under my belt, I resumed beading for different purposes. My daughter and I spent time making our designs, learning how to bead and packaging them for sale at the flea market. It’s been a great experience for mindfulness, bonding and harnessing creativity.

My daughter brought some of her designs to school to show her teacher and friends. It was sweet to see her excited and proud of her work. She even boasted to her friends that I have a company in jewellery. It made me pleased and horrified at the same time. Hopefully, no one finds out that I’m a director of one and a seller of none.

Maybe these beads will sell like hotcakes at the flea market. Maybe the sales will excite the business woman in me and prompt the spending of another thousand dollars worth of beads. It could lead to big things. I could go places!

Nah, who am I kidding?! Let’s just sell these babies real cheap and be done. Call it a lesson learnt… twenty years late.

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