For the remainder of the weekend, Lydia gathered the supplies to make each of the items in order to narrow down her options. On Sunday afternoon she started cutting her decorative paper to create petals for the paper flowers.
By dinner time, she had just about finished cutting the last few petals so she took a break to eat. When she got back to her project, she separated the number of petals already cut into piles and was shocked by the small amount of progress she’d made in all the time she was working. There were only enough petals for maybe two flowers total and it took her most of the day!
“That was a lot of work for such little amount of product… I don’t think the paper flower business is for me,” she thought to herself.
Deciding to break for the rest of the night she threw the petals in a bag for another day and put out a stack of paper she would use to work on the bookmarks on Monday after school.
Lydia walked to school the next morning with a spring in her step, excited to get home to work on her next business idea. She went to class as usual, passing by the other club members in the hall throughout the day. Whenever they saw one another, their faces would light up and they’d give each other an encouraging thumbs ups. It felt awesome becoming friends with like-minded people. As Lydia’s dad always preached, “Be the energy you want to attract!” and “Surround yourself with people who get you!” Turns out, he was right and Lydia felt like she had finally found her people.
After school, Lydia and Veronica walked home together, while Karen got a ride with her dad since her house was too far to walk to. Veronica spent most of the walk complaining about her two older brothers and their disgusting “boy” habits. They did manage a little bit of business talk towards the end of the walk but decided it would be better to save important topics for the meeting on Saturday since Karen wasn’t there to participate and it would be more fair to include all members when it came to club business.
When they arrived at Lydia’s house, she told Veronica she’d call her later to discuss the progress of her products and raced into the house to begin working again.
“Ok, bookmarks! This should be a piece of cake!”
She pulled out a ruler and a pair of scissors. Deciding on a simple and classic rectangle shaped bookmark, she started snipping away. About an hour into cutting out her bookmarkers, she had grown a giant pile of beautifully decorated rectangles on her desk.
“Easy, simple and low cost!” her mother exclaimed as she strolled into the room with a tray of snacks and a large glass of milk.
“Hmmm, thank you!” her stomach growled at the sight of the food.
“Make sure you remember to take breaks so you don’t get burnt out,” her mother warned as she set the snacks next to Lydia, gave her a kiss on the head and left the room so she could continue her work.
“I could make a million of these in a day if I wanted!” Lydia thought to herself as she took a bite of pickle and grabbed her cup of milk to wash it down.
She placed her cup back on the work table without looking up, oblivious that she was setting it down on top of a stray pencil. Her reflexes weren’t fast enough and she watched in horror as it tipped over, soaking all of her finished bookmarks and the work table in the creamy white liquid. The paper bookmarks absorbed most of the milk and stuck together. Lydia attempted to peel them apart but only succeeded in making it worse by ripping and wrinkling the paper. She threw her hands in the air with a screech of frustration and hot tears welled up in her eyes.
“Why is this so hard!? I sell things almost every day, why can’t I make a stupid simple craft?” she cried to herself, feeling close to giving up on her dream.
Her mother could hear her daughter’s distressed cries from the other room and came in to find Lydia lying face down on her bed sobbing as milk dripped off the table she was working at earlier.
“Oh no, what happened?” “I am horrible at making things and I’m quitting the club!” Lydia muffled through her pillow.
“Aw, sweetie! That’s not true, your bookmakers were beautiful – perhaps they just weren’t sturdy enough for everyday use.”
“It was a failure, I’m a failure, and this club is a failure!” Lydia wailed. How could she be an entrepreneur now? “All of my paper is ruined, my clumsiness ruined the one thing my project ideas had in common!” she sniffled her nose into her pillowcase.
“Hey, can I tell you one of my favorite things your dad used to tell me when I felt like I was failing my graphic design business?” Her mother sat down next to her on the bed and rolled Lydia over to wipe her tears away.
“Sure, but I doubt it will help since I am out of ideas.” Lydia wasn’t in the mood for lecturing and quotes, but her mother was just trying to help so she sat up with a weak smile.
“ ‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.’ Winston Churchill said that; he was a smart guy,” her mother recited. “And I know your excitement about becoming a small business owner is still in you somewhere even if you did have a small setback. You’re still successful in spite of this perceived failure!”
Again her mother provided her with a positive spin on things, but it was true – she still really wanted to be an entrepreneur like her dad!
“But what should I do now?” Lydia looked at her mother expectantly.
“That’s the spirit, you go back to the drawing board! I don’t have time to help right now, why don’t you put on your thinking cap and write down some more ideas to try? And can you please clean up that mess before dinner so it doesn’t become a stinky nightmare?” her mother tossed her a towel before heading back into the office to continue her work.
She spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the spill and adding more ideas to the list of possible crafts she could make. Once she had five more ideas, she went back to the top of her list to work on her next project.
“Pencil holders,” she read to herself. “Easy! All I need is the cans from the garage, some glue, and some pretty paper…” she trailed off as she remembered all of her paper was ruined in the spill. “Hmm… well maybe Veronica has some I can borrow, I’ll call her after dinner,” trying not to get discouraged, she went to help her mother set the table.
Mr. Wyley arrived home shortly after the salad was set on the table. He was carrying a large cardboard box that he dropped down on the dining room floor.
Lydia rushed over to inspect the box. “More overstock from the store?”
“A thirty count of school glue that was mislabeled as wood glue,” her father laughed and shook his head. “I just don’t understand how that can happen, but they are sending a new shipment over and told me to keep the mislabeled ones. So… Lydia, here ya go! A lifetime supply of school glue, the best gift a father could give his favorite daughter.”
Lydia rolled her eyes and groaned at the joke, “Dad, I am your only daughter and thank you! I promise to use this ginormous amount of glue for mostly good… and maybe for a few April Fool’s Day pranks next year!” She laughed and gave him a big wink.
Clapping her hands to grab their attention, Mrs. Wyley announced “Okay, enough with the jokes you two. Let’s eat dinner already!”