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Open yourself to opportunity and inspiration–Mrs. Micah’s mini-business plan

Late last night, inspiration stuck in a rather aggravating way. It must have been a few days since I saw the young man on the subway holding his iPod in its little cloth bag and thought “Hmm, I could make and sell those.” And it’s been over a week since I had the same thoughts after reading Fabulously Broke’s post on iPod skins, cases, and covers.

So why does inspiration wait until I’m drifting off to sleep on a Sunday night? I don’t know. Maybe it has a sick sense of humor.

Not one to bite a gift inspiration in the mouth (wait, that doesn’t parse), I immediately got to work this morning (while on the phone with the guys trying to fix my work computer). I didn’t make the pattern for the cases themselves, but rather for the iPods.

Since I don’t have one of my own, I’m going to have to make my own “iPods.” I got the dimensions online and plan to sew little stuffed rectangles which are the same size as the classic iPod, the 1st & 2nd generation nano, and the new nano. This way, I’ll be able to check my case/cover patterns.

I’m not going to just throw something together; I’m going to take this seriously with real patterns and prototypes and the like. In my experience, that’s the best way to respond to inspiration. Otherwise it becomes a good idea that just sits in the back of your consciousness. If you’re lucky, it’ll come out again and you can use it. If you start on it right away, on the other hand, you can channel some of that same energy and excitement. I don’t want my lack of sleep to be for nothing!

My plan is to use my wonderful leftover fabric to make the cases. Some simple, some reversible, some embroidered or appliquéd (and possibly reversible too). That way it’s a small initial investment, just time. I’ll have to pay some money to list them, of course (unless I have my own site..but that could be tricky), but it’s only a few cents per listing, which I can afford. And they’ll only cost 41 cents to ship.

Next, I’m going to figure out where exactly to list them (and where to advertise them) and when the best time to put them up would be if I want to catch the black Friday-Cyber Monday shoppers (hey, we may not approve of them, but if they want my cases, they’re welcome to ’em).

If these sell, I’ll either buy more fabric or make more quilts and use the leftovers. It would take hundreds of cases to exhaust my supply, but I might go in for some colors/patterns which I just don’t have now. The stuff I’m using is pretty cheap for the amount I’ll need per case (after all, iPods are tiny!!! you can get so much out of a yard of fabric–45″ x 36″ !!!).

Baby steps to freedom from Mondays and freedom from debt!

Postscript: And while this isn’t part of my immediate plan for the future, I wandered past a shop today which does tailoring and dressmaking. I’m going to stop by there in the next few weeks to ask the proprietor just how people get started in this business, whether they take interns, what places offer good classes, and so forth. I’m a good seamstress, but there’s a few places where I have less experience and could use lessons or practice before I’d ever do it for a living. Just talking to the man/lady will be a baby step towards one of my dreams!

Post-postscript: And what if I’m left with a couple dozen little cases on my hands in a few months? Can I say presents for all my friends?

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{ 5 trackbacks }

Developing my inspiration and linklist « Mrs Micah
October 30, 2007 at 8:15 pm
The Carnival Of Personal Finance (#126) | Million Dollar Journey
November 12, 2007 at 2:35 am
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November 14, 2007 at 5:49 am
Dividend Investing, Resume Building, Budget Tools @ The Carnivals
November 14, 2007 at 1:35 pm
Weekend roundup and a lil’ link love » Mrs. Micah: Finance and Life
November 17, 2007 at 7:02 am

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

wealthy_1 October 30, 2007 at 6:03 am

Rock on, Mrs. Micah! You go, girl!!!!!

You never know where life will lead you.

Money Blue Book October 30, 2007 at 10:08 am

Most definitely follow your business dreams..just a word of healthy caution. Do research about profit, markup, and competition. Find a way to make something truly unique and hard to duplicate.

How about a small carrying case for digital cameras? I hate the thick bulky leather ones they sell. My friend uses a tiny felt bag to prevent scratches.
-Raymond

frugalchick October 30, 2007 at 11:46 am

Awesome!I’m so excited for you!

PiggyBankBlues October 30, 2007 at 1:36 pm

that sounds like a great business venture!

iPodders tend to be an independent bunch, and i think they like having skins that are unique.

Carrie October 30, 2007 at 10:41 pm

ohhh I have one of the video ones..I could give you the dimensions πŸ˜‰

mrsmicah October 31, 2007 at 5:51 am

Thanks, Carrie. I actually found a site which had the measurements/specs for each one. πŸ™‚

Millionaire Mommy Next Door October 31, 2007 at 11:14 am

Kudos to you for taking a great idea and running with it! Hopefully, soon, you’ll no longer dread Mondays because you’ll be following your idea passionately. You’ll be the boss. And trust me, that feels wonderful!

mrsmicah October 31, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Thanks, Millionaire Mommy. πŸ™‚

I just rescued your comment, Raymond. Excellent points–I shall be looking into that. And the camera idea sounds like fun. I’ll have to get some general size estimates. πŸ™‚

mapgirl November 1, 2007 at 12:41 pm

Try Etsy.com. It’s where the cool crafty kids are going.

Carrie November 2, 2007 at 3:17 pm

*Grins* Alrighty then! Sign me up for one…I would like it to be PURPLE of some sorts…any sorts is good surprise me πŸ˜‰ and do you have a paypal account? Because that’s the best way to do business on the web…and well Ebay is great for selling…I’ll also probably need another one around Christmas time for my hubby πŸ˜‰ LOOK YOU HAVE BUSINESS ALREADY πŸ˜‰

Mrs. Micah November 2, 2007 at 3:31 pm

*dances* You, madam, have an e-mail! πŸ™‚

Michelle MacPhearson November 6, 2007 at 2:29 am

Yes, absolutely list your skins on Etsy. My husband lists his original art there.

Then, go on a mass-marketing campaign and send pics/specs etc. to everyone who blogs about Ipods/cool tech gadgets. And everyone who does “cool crafty finds” kind of blogs – like FunkyFinds.Blogspot.com and MightyGoods.com. There are tons out there, looking for content every day, so they’re usually receptive to submissions. Google blog search on “ipod” and “hand made gift” and “craft blog” and you find tons of great sites to market to.

-Michelle

Mrs. Micah November 6, 2007 at 9:05 am

Very cool ideas, Michelle, thanks!!! I hadn’t come up yet with good ways to market them. πŸ™‚

Fecundity November 14, 2007 at 11:31 am

Excellent idea! Do let us know how that’s going. My beloved iPod is getting dinged up in my purse as I type. I’m too cheap (er, frugal) to buy an actual case for it, but I might be convinced to support a blogger if her extra fabric suits my fancy.

Don’t forget to surf around eBay (or wherever else) to see what other people are already selling for iPod covers and how much they’re selling them for.

Best of luck!

The Chef November 15, 2007 at 6:32 am

All the best for your venture, it was a nice small b-plan but no numbers in it. Please put some numbers in terms of working hours, cost per hour, revenues per hour and profit after deducting the costs of labor, marketing etc. well this can form the next step i guess.

fathersez November 17, 2007 at 8:29 pm

You have taken the most difficult first step. Run with it. I am sure your passion will overcome any obstacles that may come your way.

It is clear that you have many friends offerring you advise and guidance.

I have no doubt you will succeed.

God Bless

fwp October 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm

yes, etsy is a good place to sell your projects — it’s like ebay, but much more specialized and the focus is on handmade items.

i am currently working on selling my handmade crocheted items, at thefwproject.etsy.com.

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