The next morning Lydia couldn’t get to school fast enough. She located Veronica in the library on the computer just like the first day they met.
She gave her friend a tap on the shoulder and a sideways squeeze, “are you ready to do this?”
Veronica looked down at her bag of products, “I think so, but I’m not sure anyone is going to want a pot holder.”
A dark cloud of disappointment was growing before they had even started. “My brother played with your slime all night, now Michael wants to buy some and I know you’re going to do great. Kids don’t want pot holders though. I’ll look silly.”
Lydia thought for a moment, trying to find a way to give this a positive spin. “Ah ha!” she smirked at Veronica and showed her the calendar on the computer desktop. “It will be Mother’s Day in a few weeks! Let’s promote your pot holders as gifts for their mothers.”
Veronica gave Lydia a giant hug, grateful for the suggestion and the girls set off to the courtyard to sell their wares.
“Treat yourself to a bag of slime, only three dollars!” hollered Lydia.
“Pot holders for your mom! Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Only five dollars!” Veronica shouted from the other side of the court.
A group of boys surrounded Lydia and asked to see her products. Six kids and a teacher’s aide went over to Veronica to view her items. By the time the second bell rang, Lydia had made twenty-four dollars and Veronica had made fifteen.
“Not too shabby for selling pot holders to kids!” Lydia commented, nodding to the small stack of bills Veronica was placing in her backpack.
“Yeah, I guess so. Thanks for the help! Wanna walk home together after school?”
“Of course!” Lydia beamed and they raced off to their classes.
It was a right after the fifth-grade lunch break when a sixth grader came into Lydia’s classroom and handed her teacher a pink slip of paper. Ms. Penny’s brow furrowed as she read the note.
“Lydia, the principal would like to meet with you, please report to her office and don’t forget to come back to class with a signed hall pass.”
Lydia’s cheeks burned and her stomach gave a flip flop. She’d never been called to the principal’s office before. Sliding out of her seat, she grabbed the pink note from her teacher.
As she trudged out the door she could hear one of her classmates whisper in a not so quiet voice, “Oooooooh Lydia’s in trouble!”
The door slammed behind her and she moped down the empty hallways, peeking into various classrooms as she passed.
When she arrived at the front office, the secretary greeted her with a soft smile, “Hello dearie, what can I help you with?” With a grimace, Lydia slid the note across the desk to the waiting lady. “Ah, I see… it will be just a few moments, please grab a seat and I’ll let her know you’re here.”
She took a seat on the wooden bench next to the principal’s door. Her knees trembled as she waited outside the office imagining all kinds of horrible scenarios. “What if someone died or my house caught on fire?”
She gave a startled jolt when the door flung open and a boy she recognized as one of her customers from earlier barreled out, his hair streaked with clumps of blue slime.
“You may go in now dearie.”
“Ah Lydia, please take a seat.” The principal pointed to a chair in front of her, and Lydia timidly sat down. Her principal continued, “I hear you are turning into quite the little sales person. I am happy to see you taking the initiative and starting your own business.”
Lydia relaxed a little, “Thank you–”.
“However, I cannot have you selling this goopy mess to the students around the school; the janitor has been finding pieces all over the campus grounds and one young man threw a piece into another student’s hair! Please save all your business ventures for after school hours and away from the building in the future.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Lydia stammered.
“Ok, you may go, please let the secretary know I am ready to see the next student on your way out.”
Lydia left the office, informed the secretary the principal was ready for the next student and collected the signed hall pass as requested. For the rest of the day, she was disappointed about the number of students she had to turn down when they requested a bag of her slime.
When the last bell finally rang, she sprinted to her locker to collect the rest of her inventory before meeting up with Veronica to walk home. Veronica saw her friend’s glum face as she walked up to her and asked what was wrong.
“I’m not allowed to sell my slime to the kids at school anymore,” she informed her as they headed home. “I got in trouble today because some kids were throwing the slime around and making a mess. So the principal banned me from selling it on school grounds.”
“Whoa, she banned you? What are you going to do now, you were going to make a fortune!”
Lydia kicked a rock into the road, “I know! I don’t know what I am going to do next. I’ll have to make a new plan.”
“Well, call me when you know, I’ll sell with you in your new location if you want. I wasn’t going to make very much money at school anyways.”
Lydia appreciated her friend offering to peddle with her somewhere else; she was used to selling stuff alone and Veronica would make waiting around for customers more enjoyable.
“Ok! I’ll call you later tonight once I figure something out! You think about it too and maybe we can come up with a couple of different places just in case I get banned again.”
“Ok! And I’ll call Karen to see if she has any ideas.”
The girls’ spirits lifted with their new plans, and they parted ways when they arrived at Lydia’s house promising to chat later that evening.
Lydia bounded through the front door, practically colliding with her mother as she was grabbing her purse and coat from the front closet.
“Whoa, hi sugar lump! I need to head over to the store for a few items. Would you like to come with me?” Her mother grabbed the car keys and gave them a jingle.
Lydia accepted the invitation and the two got in the car to head off to the grocery store in town. As they were approaching the store, Lydia saw a few girls in brown uniforms with green sashes standing behind a table of boxed cookies. The girls were selling to customers as they exited the grocery store and had a long line growing in front of their table. Lydia gave a sharp snap of her fingers with excitement. She was sure she’d just stumbled onto an insanely great sales idea!
Later that evening, Veronica called Lydia and then dialed in Karen. Once everyone was on the line the girls filled Karen in on what happened with Lydia’s slime at school. Karen expressed sympathy for the mishap, but Lydia told them she had another great idea – maybe even better than selling at the school! Veronica mentioned she’d also came up with a few ideas and they took turns telling the group their new plans.
Lydia went first, “Why not set up a table in front of the grocery store and sell our stuff just like the girl scouts do? I saw them at the store today and they had a HUGE line of people buying cookies as they walked out of the store. We can do the same thing!”
The girls agreed that this was an excellent idea because people were already shopping anyways so were more likely to buy their products. It made perfect sense to Lydia and Veronica.
Karen chimed in, “Oh, hold on guys… we can’t sell at the grocery store if the girl scouts already claimed that turf. That’d be too many vendors, don’t you think?”
Lydia groaned, Karen was right; there would be too much competition in one place.
“Ok, what about this idea… have you guys ever visited downtown or the boardwalk on the weekends?” asked Veronica.
Lydia and Karen said of course they did, it was one of the most popular parts of Santa Cruz.
Veronica continued, “Well sometimes my brothers will take me there to hang out and play arcade games or grab a slice of pizza. The last time they took me to either place, I saw a few people just sitting on the sidewalks with items for sale on a blanket! We could do that, the boardwalk and downtown are always popular on the weekends.”
“Ok, well that’s it then! Let’s set up our shops this weekend and try to sell everything we have!” Lydia was thrilled with the plan.
The girls agreed to go downtown on Saturday and set up their shops in the hopes of selling out of their products. They would meet up at Lydia’s at the usual club meet up time and prepare a plan of attack before heading out.