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How to start a business without really trying…

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I guess you could say that I am the classic “Unintentional Entrepreneur”. Approximately 30 years ago while RVing through the Southwest I picked up a bag of Raffia at a flea market for 25 cents…yes things were very inexpensive 30 years ago. I started weaving miniature coiled baskets with the raffia, it was a fun hobby that evolved into making flat coils out of embroidery floss and yarn. One day I decided to make a matching pair and put them on earring hooks. I started wearing these little woven baskets out on the town. Being in the Southwest, you’d think they wouldn’t have got any notice with all the Native designs available but they were a big hit. People would zoom in on my ears and say “Wow, what are those earrings made of and where did you get them”. Needless to say, I had to start making them to sell. This was the beginning of Designs by Annette!

Next journey on my road to earring making was finding a tupperware craft container full of beads for 3 bucks at a flea market in El Paso. I was so giddy with excitement, I couldn’t wait to get back to the RV with my deal of a lifetime. Beads were going to be dangling from my little basket earrings …that was the plan and the plan worked. I started selling my unique earrings at flea markets. What really bolstered my confidence was the reaction I was getting from the Native American population. I had one weathered old Indian man in Tuscon who stood in front of my display and just kept shaking his head back and forth in amazement at my weaving technique.  He told me to go to a place called Jay’s Indian Arts in Tucson, he was sure they’d like to see my earrings.  I made up a nice little display case, I was scared witless but walked into the shop, opened my case and sold  them a dozen pairs of my woven earrings.

Sad to say, this craft was very time consuming and could never be very lucrative but it was a start….to be continued!!!!

wovenEarrings coiled basket 007

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